McNish tops Petit Le Mans timesheets

Scots racer Allan McNish topped the timesheets in the first practice for this weekend’s 1000-mile Petit Le Mans, the latest round of the American Le Mans Series near Atlanta in Georgia.
The 39-year-old from Dumfries powered his turbodiesel Audi R15TDI round the demanding 2.54-mile road course in 1min 08.308secs to outpace the Peugeot of Stephane Sarrazin and Franck Montagny by 0.169s.
“It’s great to get back to racing on-track with other cars,” McNish, who has spent much of the season testing with Audi rather than racing due to the manufacturer’s decision to reduce its competitive commitments, admitted today.
“We’ve got the set-up just about right, but we know there are a few minor tweaks here and there which will improve our lap times even more. But we’re happy where we are at the moment.”
McNish, who won the Sebring 12-Hours in March before finishing a frustrating third at the Le Mans 24-Hours in June, wasn’t the only Scot to impress as Bathgate brothers Dario and Marino Franchitti clocked fast times.
While Indycar ace Dario was sixth-quickest in his Acura, lapping in 1m10.127s, younger brother Marino was the fastest LMP2 car as he powered his Dyson Lola-Mazda round the track in 1m11.624s.
“It a great way to start the build-up to the race weekend,” Marino said. “We’ve won already this year and it would be a terrific ending to the season if we could win here. And the great thing is I’m racing against my brother which always tends to spice things up.”

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