The announcement that Tom Kristensen will retire from full-time driving has triggered a swag of tributes from friends and rivals in the motor racing world.
Kristensen has decided to opt out of his plum gig with the Audi LMP1 team which will see his final race as a permanent member of the four-ringed brand's line-up at the closing World Endurance Championship round at Sao Paulo next week.
The 47-year-old Dane has been an ornament to his profession, winning a record nine Le Mans 24 Hour races, seven of which have been behind the wheel of Audis.
His departure comes after former Audi team-mate Allan McNish decided to call time on his full-time career at the end of last year.
Kristensen, McNish and Loic Duval combined to win Le Mans last year along with the WEC title.
“I have reached the finish line. I have grown up,” Kristensen said.
“I have been told that you know when it's time to stop.
“I have not had that feeling until now.
“Over the last couple of months, my thoughts of retiring have been stronger and therefore it feels right to inform you today that I am retiring from motor racing.
“After the last WEC race of the season next week it's over. That gives me the opportunity to do other things in life going forward.
“For me today is a happy day.
“I am proud of my career, what I have achieved, and for the memories that I will have forever. I feel privileged to have worked with so many inspiring and talented people.
“I have driven with the best co-drivers on the best teams in the world.
“If I could do it all again, I would not change a single decision in my career.”
Kristensen holds a Knightship in his home country with the order of the Dannebrog for his contribution to and achievements in sport.
Among many highlights throughout his career, Kristensen has never finished a Le Mans 24 Hour race without being on the podium.
He also has the distinction of winning at Sebring a record six times in 1999, 2000, 2005, 2006, 2009 and 2012.