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An Interview With Le Mans Winner Michael Christensen

Transcript:

Eddie LePine: Welcome to Road America, Pirelli Challenge 2018. I’m here with Michael
Christensen fresh off his win at the 24-hour of Le Mans. Welcome Michael.

Michael Christensen: Thank you.

Eddie: It’s really good to have you. How was your week this week after the race? Was it worse than the race?

Michael: No, it’s been better. After the race was definitely one of the best days of my life. I think just realizing that what you have actually done because after the race, you’re happy of course because you know that it went well but you don’t really get the emotional feel yet that’s because you’re tired I guess. Of course it would be nice to have it like that straightaway but, the day after just sinks in a bit better and you’re like relaxed and yeah just enjoying yourself
and so yeah, the last last week basically has been great for me, realizing, also having all the
messages and the people being kind and congratulating me with what happened, this has been a great week.

Eddie: Lots of beer? Lots of beer German beer?

Michael: On the Sunday evening, yes. But then, nope, back to business.

Eddie: Back to business and now we’re here at Road America and this is pretty exciting. I mean but it’s a big difference from being at Le Mans all last week and having the plan and strategize for a 24 hour race. You’re here having to race a 50 minute race big difference huh

Michael: Yeah it’s definitely a big difference just everything about it is. You know, the Le Mans
race is an event this is just something else that any other race that I do over the year, and I think for any other driver it’s just different event. It’s just something special and so for sure just that it makes it quite a different approach to the race itself. And then just being a 50 minute race, instead of a 24 hour race is also very different approach of course. Different car, different type of track, everything is different. But yeah, I like it.

Eddie: Well I mean, you said yesterday it was funny because, you mentioned that you slept really well during the race last weekend. Did you normally do that?

Michael: Depends, depends. I’m not sure I can’t really tell, what that makes a difference. Sleeping well or not, but sure we have good have good facilities too recover that’s for sure. But I think maybe just I was really confident in my own abilities and what I had to perform and what else and of course my teammates, confident in them makes you, I guess more relaxed, and I was able to to recover well and slept like probably the best races in terms of sleep I’ve ever had so it
was great.

Eddie: Well, the other thing that was the big deal was the the retro look and it was just really exciting to see the the pink pig. Such great memories of that car in the 70s and here you are. How did that all come about to take place, you know with the retro with the Rothman’s car?

Michael: I thought it was a great move from Porsche side, to do this especially this year it’s the
17th anniversary year. So it was good reason to do something like that and you had these
two cars with iconic liveries from the past are very well known and to be part of that was just great. I mean just to be able to drive an iconic race livery like that in a Porsche works car it’s already special, but yeah I guess it all happened just because the magazine people were
creative and we have this 70 years of anniversary of Porsche road cars so, I guess that’s how it happened.

Eddie: You know, Michael is from Denmark and you know everybody associates Tom Kristensen, no relation. You know Mr. Le Mans, nine time winner and you know I mean he was in the booth and I actually watched some of him standing behind you, and giving you a little plug there and it’s really cool to see you know you coming and you know having such a good race and and winning for Porsche and the one thing, with Michael, he has one up on Tom already he won the 24-hour Daytona last year with Carlos and with the Alegra racing and how does that
feel now? I mean, I think you guys probably put that and the watch in the background right now?

Michael: Yeah for sure, you know, like last year was a great year for me, just do to Daytona
really. I had a good year in WEC and all other good races in IMSA with Alegra motorsports but you know everything comes to the race at Daytona. You know that was the highlight, it was
the first race of the year but also the highlight of the year as it’s just difficult racing with high competition. Everyone is going there to win. Yeah, it’s a career goal I think for most sports car drivers, so to get that one last year was great of course, and to put that on the CV. Then you have done that kind of thing and for sure you want to do more of that for them, yeah.

Eddie: Well, to put it in perspective, it’s just going out and winning the biggest, I mean it’s like winning in a Super Bowl of racing basically.

Michael: Yeah, having Daytona, Sebring and Le Mans on the CV now is of course, just what I wanted you know, just what I dreamed off and now it’s like well there’s no bigger race than Le Mans for me to win as you said. So it’s just about what are you gonna do now, what is the next goal for me, that is World Championship in the WEC. That’s the next thing we’re doing well, we’re leading at the moment, me and Kevin Estre in the 92 car. So we are on our way, but there’s for sure theres a long way to go but the next goal is that.

Eddie: It’s a big year this year with Porsche’s 70th year and Rennsport being later this year, this is gonna be a big deal and is the Pink Pig going to be at that?

Michael: I don’t know, I don’t know, but I can’t tell. I think I’m just gonna keep it quiet for
now if it’s gonna happen with the Pink Pig. I would love it to be everywhere to show
it to everyone and maybe even drive it. That would be great as it’s something big for myself, what happened to my career, so it’ll be good. It’ll be dream of mine to do again.
Eddie: What about the Pink Pig about driving, was there some sort of bet that if you
guys did win, could you drive the 917 Pink Pig?

Michael: Somehow, we spoke with Fran about that exact thing when we chose livery back in February that if we did well, would we then get to drive this 917/20 Pink Pig. And he said yeah, of course, we’re gonna make you happy if you do win we’re gonna do that for you. Okay, good.
Then this on Sunday at the party, Laurens Vanthoor, my teammate, made a clever prank that we actually had an agreement and then I was like, oh well, I guess we have to do something about it. So we’ll see, but I’m quite confident that we might get a shot at that.

Eddie: That’s great. We really enjoy having you here at Road America, especially after winning the Superbowl and coming here. And we wish you all the luck today and tomorrow. That’s two
races this weekend at Road America and this is a big year. Thanks a lot for being here, thank you very much.

Michael: Thank you.

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Eddie has been involved in motorsports for over 30 years as photographer, columnist, and driver. Eddie also is now a retired racer (well, retired unless a good ride pops up).