Britain’s Allan McNish (pictured) came tantalisingly close to achieving his fifth Petit Le Mans race victory at Road Atlanta on Saturday (26 Sep) and maintaining Audi’s 100% winning record in the annual American sportscar endurance race since the German manufacturer’s debut in 2000.
The Dumfries-born double Le Mans 24 Hour race winner and Italian co-driver Dindo Capello led for the opening 4hrs before the Scotsman suffered two spins and dropped to third place on the treacherously wet and slippery track in Georgia - moments before the race went in to a Safety Car period and was ultimately stopped with almost five hours run.
After a further delay of almost four hours and near constant heavy rain, organisers decided not to re-start the event which in any case was limited to 10 hours or 1,000-miles, leaving the McNish/Capello diesel-engined Audi R15 TDI classified third, a mere 3.465secs behind the winning Peugeot (Franck Montagny/Stephane Sarrazin).
"It was a disappointing way for the race to end, it was the correct decision due to the adverse track conditions but I feel robbed and frustrated,” reflected McNish who set the race’s fastest lap.
“I made a good start in the wet and the car adapted well to the drying conditions. I had been very close to putting the second-placed Peugeot a lap down but a Safety Car period nullified that opportunity for us.
“Dindo then led throughout his stint before I took over again. I was leading but spun down to third on a greasy track after light rain during another Safety Car period when my slick tyres became cold running at slow speed and lost their grip.
“I pitted soon afterwards for wet tyres as the rain intensified but then aquaplaned out of second place and down to third again. The rain was torrential and far too dangerous to continue. My Audi was floating on the track as opposed to driving on it which was all but flooded and the organisers made the correct decision, if not five laps late, as there would have been no cars left on the track in those conditions.”
The McNish/Capello Audi had started from third place on the 27-car grid but McNish swept in to the lead on the opening lap. The “sister” R15 TDI of Lucas Luhr/Marco Werner began from fourth place, a position the German duo were classified in, one lap down on the top-three, when the race was declared over. Meanwhile the McNish/Capello Audi won the efficiency award “Michelin GreenX Challenge” – a trophy awarded to the most environmentally friendly car.
Audi unexpectedly contested a third race of the year to collect further race information about its new sports-prototype in preparation for the Le Mans 24 Hours next June.
Allan concluded: “Despite the race being cut short, we’ve learned a lot and gathered valuable race data which we will be very helpful for next year - and that was our ultimate aim for coming here.”
Dr. Wolfgang Dürheimer presented at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show the new Audi RS5 DTM, witch is the racecar for the DTM (Deutsche Tourenwagen Masters) 2013. Wolfgang Dürheimer...read more
Audi wants to surprise the spectators at this year’s 24-hour race at Le Mans (France) with a progressive design: the Audi Design Team created a fresh outfit for the...read more
MTM engine specialists has come up with a very special powerkit for one of the fastest luxury sedans in the world, the Audi S8. MTM boosts the performance of the Audi V8 with an extensive hardware...read more
Audi will be using the second FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) round at Spa-Francorchamps on May 5 as a “dress rehearsal” for the Le Mans 24 Hours as well. For the first time,...read more
Jarno Trulli develops his first Lotus race car. F1 Racing driver Jarno Trulli assists in the development of the Lotus Evora Cup race car during its first test session at Snetterton. The ...read more
Refined style, agile driving fun and elaborate technology – the Audi A3, the A3 Sportback, the A3 Cabriolet and the S3 are the sporty models in the compact segment. Audi now displays...read more
The tuning company Carlsson presents its new SLK-based race car at the Geneva Motor Show. The Carlsson Mercedes-Benz SLK 340 debuted on the first press day. This absolutely unique race car was...read more
Audi continues its electrification offensive with Audi Q3 45 TFSI e and Q3 Sportback 45 TFSI e compact SUVs. Both Q3 models e continue the range of plug-in hybrid...read more
As the centerpiece of this year's Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show, Rhys Millen Racing (RMR) fabricated a Genesis Coupe with the award-winning 4.6-liter Tau V8 powerplant to develop...read more