McNish to debut Audi
Scot racing new R18 TDI this weekend but has one eye on Le Mans
Last Updated: 04/05/11 10:47am
McNish: Will race new Audi for the first time at Spa
Allan McNish says he will learn a lot more about Audi's new Le Mans 24-Hour challenger when it makes its competitive debut in Belgium this weekend.
The Scot, together with team-mates Tom Kristensen and Dindo Capello, will give the new R18 TDI its race debut at the six-hour Intercontinental Cup race at the Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
Saturday's race represents the only competitive outing for the car before the 24-hour endurance classic on June 11 and 12, and McNish says its importance as a Le Mans warm-up matches the need to earn championship points.
"It's essentially two races in one because I'll have one eye on the Spa race and claiming as many points towards the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup as possible while also looking at the bigger picture of the Le Mans 24 Hours," said McNish, who with Kristensen and Capello finished third at Le Mans last year.
"Although we tested at Le Mans recently, we'll learn a lot more about the new Audi R18 TDI and also how it fares against the competition at Spa.
"The 20-minute qualifying session on Friday afternoon will be the first time when we'll see the true performance of all of the new cars because it will be the first time when everybody is on the same playing field together at the same time."
McNish, Kristensen and Capello recovered from an accident to finish fourth at the opening ILMC race of the season at Sebring.