McNish tips Detroit iron

McNish tips Detroit iron

McNish tips Detroit iron

Audi star will be watching GM and Panoz for Le MansWorks Audi driver Allan McNish believes that the prototype teams from Audi, Cadillac and ORECA may have a surprise from an unexpected quarter - the GT2 Corvette entered by General Motors.

"That thing should be very quick," claimed the Scot of the V8 powered machine that has, so far, not shone in the ALMS, but challenged in the Daytona 24 hours.

"God knows it's been difficult enough for us to pass on the straights in the American Le Mans Series races. It's got a lot of power, a lot of straight line speed."

The 1998 Le Mans winner knows that the long straights of the French circuit could play into the hands of the Corvette Racing team, with their powerful Chevrolet V8 and low drag coupe body. The Corvette team could even embarrass their 'sister' GM squad, the Cadillac prototype running Cadillac Racing.

For the Prototype class, McNish tips another front-engined machine powered by a thundering V8, this time the Ford-V8 powered Panoz roadster.

"It will be interesting to see what they can pull out," he said. "I would think it will definitely be between Audi and Panoz, though."

"The other prototypes aren't really in there. The Cadillac is a bit early in the programme, and is a bit lacking in every area - they're short on a bit of power, a bit of downforce, a bit of downforce-to-drag... It's a bit difficult to tell from outside the car, obviously, but it looks to be that way.

Of the privateer prototypes McNish thinks it will be unlikely that any surprises will be sprung.

"The Rafanelli Lola could be fast - they've been fast in the ALMS - but then it's a case of staying power through the night. And they will need to get some lower downforce bodywork on the car than what they've currently got."

In GT3, McNish claims that "Porsche will dominate - largely because there'll be no-one else there!"

For top honours, however, things are less clear cut. Only the Panoz and Audi teams have the experience that La Sarthe usually demands, but Panoz have yet to muster a great deal of reliability in the French Classic in their three prior appearances, and Audi's R8 is still relatively unproven.

In fact, in another major endurance race this year, the Daytona 24 hours, a GT2 Viper won overall, after all the prototypes hit trouble. It is not by any means impossible, therefore, that a 'minnow' such as the Corvette could end up on the top step of the podium.

shares
comments
Weaver and Wallace take Grand-Am pole

Previous article

Weaver and Wallace take Grand-Am pole

Next article

Pre-qualifying 'as significant as ever'

Pre-qualifying 'as significant as ever'
Load comments
The unwanted GT car that changed sportscar racing forever Plus

The unwanted GT car that changed sportscar racing forever

Had FIA GT boss Stephane Ratel had his way, the Maserati MC12 would never have been allowed to set foot in his series. It duly proved the class of the field that most had expected, but the Balance of Performance that its superiority spawned would keep GT1 battles tight and bring long-term benefits that sportscar racing enjoys today

GT
Sep 21, 2021
Why Britain's greatest sportscar was eclipsed on the world stage Plus

Why Britain's greatest sportscar was eclipsed on the world stage

The E-Type may be the most famous of all road-going Jaguars, but that didn't always translate into success on the track. After winning on its competition debut in 1961, motorsport success seemed an inevitability, but things didn’t turn out to be quite that straightforward

GT
Aug 6, 2021
Why the Jaguar E-type remains special at 60 Plus

Why the Jaguar E-type remains special at 60

It’s 60 years since the Jaguar E-type arrived and caused a sensation. As our resident racer Ben Anderson discovered when he got behind the wheel of two special racing versions at Brands Hatch, the thrill of driving them hasn't diminished over time

GT
Jul 31, 2021
The rise of a GT squad responsible for a unique 24-hour racing feat Plus

The rise of a GT squad responsible for a unique 24-hour racing feat

It's a significant achievement to win one 24-hour race in a year, let alone two, and with different manufacturers, but that's exactly what ROWE Racing did in 2020 at the Nurburgring and Spa. This weekend's German classic offers the DTM newcomer a chance of another unique double to add to its growing collection of accolades

GT
Jun 3, 2021
The new threat facing motorsport's greatest success story Plus

The new threat facing motorsport's greatest success story

The manufacturers were unconvinced – and even hostile – when Stephane Ratel launched GT3 in 2006. Now, 15 years on from its debut, they’ve sold more than 2000 cars and counting, but its continued expansion puts the increasingly globalised category at risk of losing its roots

GT
May 25, 2021
The Lamborghini teams plotting to stop a RAM raid on British GT Plus

The Lamborghini teams plotting to stop a RAM raid on British GT

With the Silver pairings that dominated 2020 now banned, Mercedes pair Yelmer Buurman and Ian Loggie could be in the box seat after winning last year's Pro-Am crown. But a swarm of Lamborghinis, with the defending outright champion among them, will ensure they face tough opposition

GT
May 21, 2021
How McLaren’s GT3 ‘single-seater’ defies expectations Plus

How McLaren’s GT3 ‘single-seater’ defies expectations

Time in a thoroughbred racer leaves you searching for time in yourself, especially when the rewards for total commitment are so high, as our man discovered at Snetterton

GT
Apr 28, 2021
How Ferrari's F1 protege became a Mercedes GT prodigy Plus

How Ferrari's F1 protege became a Mercedes GT prodigy

Raffaele Marciello once appeared to be Ferrari’s next Italian F1 star, but is now under the pay of its German arch-rival in GTs – and he’s very happy with his life

GT
Apr 8, 2021