McNish: Audi still boosted by Petit

Allan McNish believes the Petit Le Mans was still a valuable experience for Audi even though the team lost out to Peugeot - the first time Audi had been defeated in the Road Atlanta classic since it first entered the race in 2000

McNish: Audi still boosted by Petit

The Scot led the race in the wet at first, but had a spin under yellow and fell back to third just before the torrential rain that forced the race to be abandon set in.

Audi has only contested the Sebring 12 Hours, Le Mans 24 Hours and Petit Le Mans this year, and while McNish was frustrated to lose the race, he said Audi had gained a lot that would be useful for 2010.

"Even when we had the red flag, we were sitting down making a list of notes of things we observed, things we know we can improve on quickly and things that will take a little bit of time," he told AUTOSPORT. "That was part of the reason to come.

"I think we have got a bit more of an understanding of what it takes to get our car in the [set-up] window. The funny thing about racing as opposed to testing is that in racing you have definitive points where you have got to be fast. We weren't always fast at that.

"However when we look back now we have got some very strong feelings as to why that was the case, and if this was a test then we probably wouldn't have done. So I do think from a pure 2010 point of view it was very worthwhile, and it gives us an idea where we are relative to Peugeot."

Peugeot's winning driver Stephane Sarrazin has suggested that the French squad has usurped Audi as sportscar racing's benchmark, but McNish is not so sure, despite Audi's defeats at Le Mans and Road Atlanta.

"I think they have got the quickest car," he said. "That's quite clear. I don't think they necessarily know how to beat us, because in Le Mans we probably beat ourselves as much as anything else. Here after an hour they were nearly a lap down.

"So I wouldn't suggest they know how to beat us and I think it would have been tight to the end of the race whichever way.

"But I would say they are a very different team to the one they were 12 months ago, and they have improved and they are much tidier and neater in everything they do but you can see that there are still a few errors in the pits and things like that."

shares
comments
Q & A with Stephane Sarrazin
Previous article

Q & A with Stephane Sarrazin

Next article

Q & A with Allan McNish

Q & A with Allan McNish
Load comments
Rating the best drivers of the century so far Plus

Rating the best drivers of the century so far

Autosport's Top 50 feature has been a staple of the magazine for the past two decades since its first appearance in 2002. Here are the drivers that have featured most prevalently during that time

General
Jan 7, 2022
The best motorsport moments of 2021 Plus

The best motorsport moments of 2021

Motorsport produced one of its greatest years of all-time in 2021 despite a backdrop of ongoing COVID-19 challenges and an ever-changing racing landscape. Through the non-stop action Autosport has collected the finest moments from the past 12 months to highlight the incredible drama and joy motorsport generates

General
Dec 31, 2021
The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers Plus

The racing comeback artists who resurrected long-dormant careers

Making it in motorsport can be tough, and sometimes drivers move elsewhere before their best chance arrives. Here are some of those who made it back

General
Dec 26, 2021
The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes Plus

The hidden racing gem attracting ex-F1 heroes

It’s rarely mentioned when it comes to assessing the best national contests, but the Brazilian Stock Car series that reaches its climax this weekend has an ever-growing appeal. Its expanding roster of ex-Formula 1 names has helped to draw in new fans, but it's the closeness of competition that keeps them watching

General
Dec 10, 2021
The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under Plus

The one-time Schumacher rival rebooting his career Down Under

Joey Mawson made waves in the middle of the last decade, beating future Haas Formula 1 driver Mick Schumacher - among other highly-rated talents - to the 2016 German F4 title. A run in F1's feeder GP3 category only caused his career to stall, but now back in Australia Mawson's S5000 title success has set that to rights

General
May 8, 2021
The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing Plus

The lesson football’s would-be wreckers could learn from racing

OPINION: The greed-driven push for a European Super League that threatened to tear football apart is collapsing at the seams. Motor racing's equivalent, the football-themed Superleague Formula series of 2008-11, was everything that the proposed ESL never could be

General
Apr 21, 2021
The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan Plus

The F1 and Indy 'nearly man' that found contentment in Japan

Having had the door to F1 slammed in his face and come within three laps of winning the Indianapolis 500, the collapse of a Peugeot LMP1 shot meant Japan was Bertrand Baguette's last chance of a career. But it's one which he has grasped with both hands

General
Feb 27, 2021
The female all-rounder who arrived "too early" Plus

The female all-rounder who arrived "too early"

From Formula 3 to truck racing, Dakar and EuroNASCAR via a winning stint in the DTM, there's not much Ellen Lohr hasn't seen in a stellar racing career that highlights the merit in being a generalist. But she believes her career came too early...

General
Feb 17, 2021