At the end of a season in which he took his third 24 Hours of Le Mans win and a first FIA World Endurance Championship title with Loic Duval and Tom Kristensen Scotsman Allan McNish has decided to retire from LMP car racing.
“As a racing driver it’s important to stop at the right time when I’m still fast and capable of doing the job and the timing feels right after winning Le Mans for a third time this year and claiming the World title,” said McNish. “This year especially was mega successful, teaming up with Loïc for the first time and obviously with long-time co-driver Tom. We’ve ticked all of the boxes and I ticked my personal ones too but now the time is right to hand over to the young guys.”
He added; “my fellow Scot and mentor Jackie Stewart knew when to get into things but also knew when to get out and he has taught me that lesson.”
“We appreciate and respect Allan’s decision to retire at the pinnacle of his career,” says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. “At the same time, this is a parting that is particularly difficult for us. All of us are well aware of Allan’s racing successes. We should not forget, though, how valuable he has been in the development of our race cars, how great a team player he has always been and how he has consistently applied himself to achieve Audi’s aims far beyond motorsport with professionalism, loyalty and commitment. We regret that Allan will no longer be contesting any races for us but are happy that he will continue to be associated with Audi Sport and the Audi brand.”
Before joining Audi McNish progressed up the single seater ladder, reaching Formula 1 in 2002 with the debut team Toyota Racing. He also raced for the Japanese manufacturer at Le Mans in 1999 after two previous race starts with Porsche teams.
McNish raced 89 times for in Audi’s LMP1 machinery, standing on the podium on 66 occasions, including 29 overall race wins. His Audi LMP career started in 2000, making McNish one of the few drivers (alongside Kristensen and Rinaldo Capello, who retired from the team at the end of 2012) to have driven every iteration of the marque’s top-line sports cars, starting with the R8, and ending with the R18 e-tron quattro, the first hybrid-drive car to with the 24 Hours of Le Mans. He won at Le Mans in 1998 with Porsche and the in both 2008 and earlier this year as part of Audi Motorsport’s squad. He won the American Le Mans Series title on three occasions, in 2000 and back-to-back in 2006 and 2007.
Though out of the cockpit McNish will remain close to racing in general and to the Audi Motorsport team, offering his knowledge to the team as they prepare for the 2014 season with a brand new car and with the new driver line-ups necessary given McNish’s decision.