McNish surprised by Audi's speed
|By Simon Strang and Matt Beer||Saturday, September 26th 2009, 18:56 GMT|
Allan McNish admitted that he had not expected Audi to be so competitive in the first stints of the Petit Le Mans.
The #2 Audi of McNish and Dindo Capello has led the event through the first three and a half hours, having pulled away in the wet early on then held off the #07 Peugeot even as the track dried.
"I've got to be honest, after qualifying yesterday I didn't think after a 100 lap or 25 per cent of the race distance we would be leading, and through pace as well," McNish told AUTOSPORT.
"We were close to having a lap lead on [Pedro] Lamy and nearly past him when the yellow came out.
"The car is good! This morning in the warm-up it was quick and it was quite easy. I only did one timed lap and I thought 'fine'. But I wasn't expecting Peugeot to be so slow to be honest, downforce levels irrelevant. I wasn't expect them to be that far off the pace.
"Even in the dry I was able to pull away a little. So we are very quick in the wet but also quick in the dry. I didn't expect us to be as competitive as this in the dry either."
But Peugeot driver Lamy said he had not expected Audi to be easy to beat despite the 908s' practice pace - and that rain was always likely to work in Audi's favour.
"The Audi is a bit faster," he told AUTOSPORT. "In the wet normally this is the case. They were fast in testing here in the rain as well.
"We are not surprised, but normally they fast in the wet. But when it is dry they are fast as well so we will see."