McNish denied provisional pole in Atlanta

Dumfries racer Allan McNish was denied provisional pole position for today’s 1000-mile Petit Le Mans race in Atlanta when his Audi R15TDI was pipped by the lead Peugeot of Frenchman Stephane Sarrazin by just 0.162s.
The Scot, a former winner of the American Le Mans Series, posted his fastest lap of the week in the build-up to the penultimate round of the championship. McNish completed the 2.54-mile road course in 1min 07.840secs.
“Of course I’d have preferred to have been quickest,” McNish admitted yesterday, “but it’s all very, very close between us and the Peugeot. I think we’re in for a real battle this weekend.”
And while Bathgate’s Marino Franchitti was fastest in the lesser-powered LMP2 class, clocking a best of 1:11.023s in his Dyson Lola-Mazda, older brother Dario will only find out today if he has a car to drive.
The IndyCar ace’s Highcroft team-mate Scott Sharp amazingly walked unscathed from a horrific high-speed crash which completely wrecked the team’s Acura. And while Franchitti tested his IndyCar in Florida yesterday, the Highcroft crew battled to rebuild the car.
“It was a horrible accident,” explained Franchitti, who spent yesterday testing his Ganassi IndyCar at Homestead ahead of the season finale in Florida next month.
“Scott exited Turn 2 flat-out and clipped Dirk Werner’s Porsche. The impact launched Scott and the car into a horrifying series of flips and a violent impact with the barriers.
“That’s one of the biggest accidents I’ve seen. I’m glad Scott is okay, because that was a big one. I only hope they can rebuild it in time for Saturday.”

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