Text: Eric Tipan / Photos: | posted December 18, 2013 11:39
Retires as World Champion and Le Mans winner
Just days before his 44th birthday, 13-year Audi factory driver Alan McNish announced his retirement from motorsports.
Hailing from Scotland, Alan McNish started his career in karting 32 years ago and has had most success driving for Audi winning his first World Championship title behind the wheel of the Audi R18 e-tron Quattro in the American Le Mans series.
“I found the ideal moment for myself to bring an end to my LMP sports-prototype racing with Audi. Together with my team-mates Tom Kristensen and Loïc Duval I finished my most successful season in the sports car. Having also won the Le Mans 24 Hours, I can’t wish for more than what we’ve achieved this year. I can look back on a fantastic career that has left no aims unfinished and I’m looking forward to new challenges the future holds for me. Now I’ll have a lot more time for my family. But I’m going to continue to be part of motorsport in various roles, albeit no longer as an Audi race driver,” says McNish.
“We appreciate and respect Allan’s decision to retire at the pinnacle of his career. 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,” says Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich, Head of Audi Motorsport.
Mcnish took home title wins at the North American sports car series in 2006 and 2007 driving the Audi R10 TDI and also had four overall victories in the Sebring 12 Hours complement his track record in North America. Two of his three wins in the Le Mans 24 Hours were with Audi in 2008 and 2013 and the early title win in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) in Shanghai (China) five weeks ago is the perfect ending to the Scotsman’s impressive career.
He is the only driver to have raced all sports cars ever made in Ingolstadt and Neckarsulm, from the Audi R8R to the R8, R10 TDI, R15 TDI, R18 TDI models and the R18 ultra through to the R18 e-tron quattro. He has recorded 29 overall victories, 18 pole positions, 17 fastest race laps and four title wins in eleven years, which makes him one of the most successful Audi sports car drivers.
“Of course, we’re going to miss Allan in our driver line-up extremely, but it’s typical of Allan that he’s also found a perfect point in time to end his career,” says Chris Reinke, Project Manager LMP at Audi Sport.
“The end of a great career,” addd Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich
Allan McNish stay on as a consultant to Audi Sport.