Allan McNish's Le Mans diary:

Allan McNish is teaming up with autosport.com as he attempts to win his second Le Mans 24 Hours. Driving for Audi this year, Allan will be filing his daily diary of the events in the build up before - and during - the big race. His first one naturally focuses on the England football team's defeat in their opening Euro 2000 match - as any Scot's would. The rest, will concentrate on matters more petrol based... We hope

Allan McNish's Le Mans diary:


Tuesday, June 13, 2000.

Well, it's finally almost here... The 2000 Le Mans 24 Hours. After six months hard work preparing for the race, there's not much longer to wait.

I had a relatively relaxing drive down - courtesy of an Audi A6 - and the good company of fellow Le Mans racer Johnny Mowlem. We came via the tunnel and then took a coast road which made for a nice change arriving at our hotel in Le Mans last night.

It was then a case of watching England take on Portugal on the TV and for one horrible moment (only joking you England fans), I thought England were going to win. To their credit, for the opening 20 minutes they looked good but then fell apart and there was just no commitment from the players - apart from when Dennis Wise came on as substitute.

So Johnny went to bed not very happy and I, well, let's just say I had a good night's sleep - no seriously it's no good me being bitter that Scotland didn't make it but...

Tuesday at Le Mans is a funny day really in that on paper, you think "ah, it's a nice easy day with not much to do" but by then end of the day you feel as if it's been busy from start to finish. I did a couple of radio interviews for back home, and an interview with our Audi Press people who incredibly produce a full colour, eight-page newspaper on-event for four days.

I also collected a hire car, had two team meetings and then went to the Le Mans town centre for scrutineering - which all three Audi R8s passed without a problem. This takes a lot of time in itself because there is documentation to sign, various official photoshoots and also interviews - there were almost 3,000 people taking in the unique spectacle. It all makes for a gradual build-up of tension.

The weather has been very hot again today - much warmer than it normally is - which will have an effect on us driving - even at night time if the weather holds until the weekend. We will need to make sure we take on a lot of fluid when we're not driving (I don't use a drinks bottle in the car).

Tonight after dinner, I'll probably watch a little football but will essentially have an early night - qualifying lasts until midnight tomorrow. I'll be driving at the start of the session and I'll be aiming to post some quick laps during the four hour time trial - just so we've got something in the bag in case of rain or any other problems that may occur during Thursday night's qualifying.

Okay, must go now but look forward to seeing as many Autosport readers as possible at the weekend - it gives a driver racing in a foreign country a great boost know some of the crowd are rooting for him.

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