Allan McNish lies second in the FIA World Endurance Championship after the Scotsman claimed the runners-up position in his hybrid diesel Audi in the Spa Six Hour race this evening (Saturday May 4).
Dumfries-born McNish shared his Audi R18 e-tron quattro with Tom Kristensen (DK) and Loïc Duval (F) and finished 65.815secs behind the similar Audi of Marcel Fässler (CH)/André Lotterer (D)/Benoît Tréluyer after 168-laps around the famous 4.35-mile Ardennes track having started from third place on the 35-car grid.
McNish won the opening Silverstone race last month and now lies just one-point off the lead in the eight-race series.
He said: “From a team point of view, we [Audi] achieved an excellent result with a 1, 2, 3 heading into Le Mans – particularly as the third-placed Audi ran very strong with a Le Mans aero in both qualifying and the race and on a track that did not suit its ‘long-tail’ particularly.
“I was a little disappointed with my car in the race. It didn’t have the consistent performance it should have had. It certainly wasn’t like we had at Silverstone and so we are going to have to look at where the losses were.
“It seemed we lost grip and didn’t have the pure down force grip that the winning Audi had and so we have to understand what happened going forward.
“But from a championship point of view, we are right in the fight, we dropped to second, but just one point behind the ‘sister’ car’s drivers with a first and a second each – they’re ahead due to them claiming pole-position here at Spa.
“So it’s set itself up nicely for Le Mans where you can be certain Loïc, Tom and I are going to be going for the centre spot on the podium!”
McNish, who had started from pole-position and finished fourth in the corresponding Spa race 12 months ago, got in the car for the first time with 2½hrs remaining. Duval had grabbed the lead at the first corner and ran in the top-two for most of his triple stint before Kristensen took over in second place.
Allan remained in the top-two during his 85mins stint prior to handing over his leading Audi to Duval who finished the race – the final pit-stops for the Audi sportscars being out of sync.
The third round of the eight-race 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship is the Le Mans 24 Hours (June 22-23). Before the race weekend, 61-cars will take part in a one-day “test” at Le Mans on June 9.