DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Tom Kristensen, known as one of the most successful sports car endurance racers of all time, will serve as Grand Marshal for the 54th anniversary of the Rolex 24 At Daytona on January 30-31 at Daytona International Speedway.


The Rolex 24 At Daytona kicks off the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season and will be the first race following the completion of DAYTONA Rising – the $400 million redevelopment project of the iconic “World Center of Racing.”


Kristensen will give the command, “Drivers, start your engines.”


“We are honored to have such a decorated sports car driver as Tom Kristensen serve as the Grand Marshal for this much anticipated Rolex 24 At Daytona,” Daytona International Speedway President Joie Chitwood III said. “Tom’s achievements in sports car endurance racing are incredible and we look forward to having him help kick off the first event in our new motorsports stadium.”


Kristensen, who retired following the 2014 season after 37 years of racing, won the 24 Hours of Le Mans a record nine times, a feat that earned him the title “Mr. Le Mans.” Kristensen’s other accomplishments include a record of six wins at the 12 Hours of Sebring, winner of the FIA World Endurance Championship in 2013, as well as 14 consecutive appearances at the Race of Champions, a tournament that pits the world’s greatest drivers against one another to crown a ‘Champion of Champions.’ His commanding performance on the track led to Autosport awarding him the title SportsCar Driver of the Decade in 2010.  Tom Kristensen has also been decorated by the Queen of Denmark.


Kristensen has been a Rolex Testimonee in motor sports since 2010, and is currently also an active ambassador for Audi. Recognized as the fittest driver during his career, he now manages the physical and mental fitness practices for Audi’s factory drivers together with the medical department, and is very active in the fight against cancer.


Tickets for the 2016 Rolex 24 At Daytona can be purchased online at www.daytonainternationalspeedway.com or by calling 1-800-PITSHOP.


Fans can follow sports cars at www.imsa.com and go on Twitter (@IMSA). Fans can also stay connected with Daytona International Speedway on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram and YouTube for the latest news all season long.  Fans can follow the latest on DAYTONA Rising, the $400 million front stretch redevelopment project at the “World Center of Racing” by using #DAYTONARising on Twitter or visiting www.daytonarising.com.