Dumfries racer Allan McNish — acknowledged as being the bast sportscar racer in the world — has predicted he can win back-to-back Le Mans 24-Hours races, despite having not yet tested his all-new Audi R15TDI.
And the 38-year-old Scot, who won this year’s French endurance classic in the diesel-powered Audi R10 TDI, believes that despite having just one build-up race ahead of the June marathon his new car will be more than ready.
“I haven’t driven the car, but the reason I think we can win is because Audi have never, in my experience, done anything by half,” McNish, president of the Scottish Motor Racing Club, said today.
“When they compete, they race with a car that is already proven in reliability and performance gain. And as much as we have got some regulation changes which are going to make it very difficult at Le Mans, we are going to make a step forward.”
McNish, who will only drive the new R15 in the American 12-hours race at Sebring in March in preparation for the French race, admitted that he was disappointed not to be racing more in 2009.
“At the moment it’s just two races next year,” the Scot continued. “We unfortunately confirmed the Le Mans Series and the American Le Mans Series were not going to happen which was a surprise.
“But the one thing I would say is that there is still a very strong motorsport bloodline at Audi and that commitment and support is still there, it’s just that it’s on a leaner level than it has been lately.
“We’ll still be at the two biggest sportscar races though and it’s with the new car, so we’ll come out fighting.”