Post-race press conference

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The winning drivers - Tom Kristensen, Rinaldo Capello and Seiji Ara - spoke to the media immediately after the podium ceremony and answered questions about the race. Tom Kristensen. Photo by Tom Haapanen. Q: Tom, was this the...

The winning drivers - Tom Kristensen, Rinaldo Capello and Seiji Ara - spoke to the media immediately after the podium ceremony and answered questions about the race.

Tom Kristensen.
Photo by Tom Haapanen.
Q: Tom, was this the toughest victory that you've had so far?

Tom Kristensen: I would have to say that was the most fantastic race and some fantastic competing. Le Mans we know is something different. This was just something fantastic and I have not thought about it. I will have to look back right now.

Q: How does it feel to equal Jacky Ickx's record and also to set another record, breaking your own, with five straight victories?

TK: Of course it hasn't sunk in yet. I saw Derek Bell yesterday evening and I smiled at him, I think he smiled back but I am not sure because at that time it could go either way. Jacky Ickx wished me good luck at the Monaco Grand Prix and he said I'll make it one day equalising him. I've been part of fantastic teams every year, fantastic drivers, engineers, mechanics. There are so many people that I have to thank I will make sure I do it personally. That is the nature of racing now days. I'm sure like everyone here the drivers will say I am a lucky bastard, and I am quite than happy with that. Now I have as many victories as he, on a personal or individual basis, that is something of course hasn't sunk in, and I can only say I am very proud of that.

#5 Audi Sport Japan Team Goh Audi R8: Seiji Ara, Rinaldo Capello, Tom Kristensen.
Photo by Tom Haapanen.
Q: Rinaldo, you had some hot moments during this race?

Rinaldo Capello: Yes, especially the beginning. I found after two laps that something happened with the brake balance because I could not stop the car any more. I was talking to my engineer when I spun and that moment the brake balance went completely to the rear. It was not a good moment, to spin at the beginning of the race. I stayed cool. I did not try to leave the gravel with the started because it would have damaged the car. I wait just to be pulled out back on the race track and we lost about two minutes, but then we were back on the race track and then on the next stint we fixed the problem with the brake and then the car was perfect in the race.

Seiji Ara and team principal Kazumichi Goh.
Photo by Tom Haapanen.
Q: Seiji, you are only the second Japanese to win this race after Masanori Sekiya in 1995, but you are the first to take the chequered flag. How does it feel?

Seiji Ara: I am very excited today. I would to thank Audi and my team. Thank you very much.

Q: Does this victory mean that you're going to become a big star in Japan?

Kazumichi Goh: He is very proud to be a winner. Seiji and me still don't really realise what we have achieved. Toyota always give him the chance to come over to this race although it did clash with a very important Japanese GT race, but not this year.

Q: How was the pressure at the end of the race from Johnny?

Seiji Ara (translated by Kazumichi Goh): He feels he coped with a lot of pressure because Tom and Dindo were the winners last year. When at last he started he was suffering with big understeer. He felt a lot of pressure but he was lucky.

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