Scot Allan McNish has capped a memorable year, which included winning the Le Mans 24-Hours in June, by being voted Driver of the Decade in the American Le Mans Series.
The 38-year-old Audi ace, who won the 2000, ’06 and ’07 ALMS championships, received the most votes cast by fans of the North American-based endurance sportscar series.
On his way to winning his three US titles, the Dumfries racer — acknowledged as the best sportscar racer in the world, recorded 26 victories, 12 pole positions and 15 fastest race laps.
“It’s an accolade which has come completely out of the blue,” McNish, who is also the president of the Scottish Motor Racing Club, admitted today.
“Over 70 drivers, including all of the legendary names from the past 10 years of sportscar racing, were eligible and I’m honoured to have been chosen by the fans – especially as I’ve only completed three full seasons in the ALMS and just two races this year.”
McNish, however, added to his legacy with a stunning display at the Petit Le Mans race last month when he made up two laps in the first two hours and 45 minutes after crashing his Audi R10 TDI on the pre-race reconnaissance lap.
Unbelievably the Scot — partnered by Italian duo Dindo Capello and Emanuele Pirro — then McNish went on to win the 1000-mile race by just 4.512 seconds.
“That was a brilliant display by all three of us,” McNish, who will also receive the British Racing Drivers Club (BRDC) ACO Award in London next month in recognition of his Le Mans 24-Hours victory, continued.
“This has been the most successful year of my sportscar-racing career and for my achievements to be recognised by American sports fans in this way is very humbling.”