Audi factory driver Allan McNish suffered his first retirement in two years as his Audi R18 e-tron quattro ground to a halt on track during the Six Hours of Bahrain.
Indeed the Scottish Le Mans winner did not even get to drive the car he shares with Loic Duval and Tom Kristensen thanks to the retirement occurring just before his stint was due to begin.
However, the retirement did not affect McNish in the points standings having won the drivers title at the penultimate round in Shanghai: “We came to Bahrain without the pressures of a championship battle on our hands and free to race and we took the fight to Toyota,” reflected McNish.
“Tom and Loïc had fantastic stints and I’d got my helmet on to take over from Loïc when I looked at the television screen and saw he had come to a stop out on the track.
“It was a shame as we were in striking distance of catching the leading Toyota when we had a drive related technical problem.”
Thankfully McNish won’t have to drive the car that made him not finish a race for the first time in two years again, as the LMP1 rule book is completely torn apart with the team predicting that everything – including the bolts – will be different for the teams 2014 challenger.
“It’s been a fantastic year. Tom, Loïc and I secured big wins starting off at Silverstone and winning the Tourist Trophy on ‘home’ soil, then Le Mans and at Austin, and to effectively tie up the World Championship title one race early was a superb achievement for everybody at Audi Sport and for our car crew.
“Today was disappointing, however one race doesn’t make a championship and overall we have had a tremendous season and we were taking the race as we should have done, attacking from the start with a good strategy, and trying to win.”