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McNish retires

NEWS STORY
17/12/2013

Former Toyota F1 driver and Renault tester Allan McNish has announced his retirement from motorsport.

The Scot, who had previously enjoyed success in Sports Cars, contested the 2002 season with Toyota, having spent the previous year as development driver. While his best result was a seventh in Malaysia, a heavy crash during practice for the Japanese Grand Prix meant he didn't take part in the season finale - the accident also leading to the reprofiling of the awesome 130R corner where the crash took place.

In 2003 he jined Renault as test driver, also taking a pundit role with the ITV F1 team, before deciding to return to Sports Cars in 2004.

Triple Le Mans 24 Hour winner McNish won the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship after scoring three wins, three second and one third placing in the eight race series in his hybrid-diesel Audi.

Today, the Dumfries-born driver announced he was stepping down from race driving with immediate effect but will comprehensively assist Audi Sport.

"I've had fantastically successful time with Audi and feel it's the right time to step back from Le Mans sports-prototype racing and to look at other opportunities," said the Scot.

"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.

"This year especially was mega successful, teaming up with Loic Duval for the first time and obviously with long-time co-driver Tom Kristensen. 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.

"I've won the championships and races I wanted to win and frankly there's no better way to end my Audi Sports Car race career than going out as a World Champion. 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."

McNish has contested 89 races since making his Audi Sports Car debut in 2000 scoring 66 top-three "podiums" - including 29 outright race wins - for "factory" or "customer" Audi teams that also netted three American Le Mans Series titles.

Heralded as the world's greatest Sports Car driver in recent years, Monaco-based McNish won the Le Mans 24 Hour races in 1998, 2008 and this year - scoring a further six top-three "podiums" in his 14 attempts in the legendary French "marathon". He won the North American-based ALMS sportscar endurance title in 2000 - his debut season with Audi - and again in 2006 & ‘07. Other notable victories include four wins in both the Sebring 12 Hours and Petit Le Mans races plus second place in the Daytona 24 Hours on three occasions.

His 33-year motor racing career has netted almost 80 wins - over 125 top-three "podiums" - and began in karting, winning three British and six Scottish championship titles between 1982-86, finishing third in the World Championship in 1985.

He won the 1988 Formula Vauxhall Lotus Championship and finished second in the 1989 British Formula Three Championship by a mere three points.

McNish is a former winner of the Royal Automobile Club's Segrave and Tourist Trophies while other awards include the British Racing Drivers' Club's ACO Plate (seven times), BRDC Silverstone-Le Mans Challenge (twice), Scottish Motor Racing Club's Callands Trophy (twice), SMRC William Lyons Trophy (five times), SMRC John Romanes "Swift" Trophy (twice), SMRC Stewart Medal and SMRC Ecurie Ecosse "Hub Cap".

The Scot, who celebrates his 44th birthday later this month (29 Dec), has been Honorary President of the Scottish Motor Racing Club since December 2007.

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1. Posted by Simon in Adelaide, 18/12/2013 5:46

"In F1 Alan was never in the right place at the right time but in sports cars he was able to show his potential.

It was always good to watch Alan scything his way through the field at Le Mans, there was always a definate buzz when he was behind the wheel which will be missed.

Thank you Alan for many enjoyable hours watching you race.

Simon"

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2. Posted by daytona, 17/12/2013 22:13 (moderated by an Adminstrator, 17/12/2013 23:06)

"This comment was removed by an administrator as it was judged to have broken the site's posting rules and etiquette."

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3. Posted by oldbiker100, 17/12/2013 18:36

"Yes, he was a good driver who was never quite fast enough for F1 and it's good to see he made a decent career out of sports cars. However, greatly missed ? Sorry no."

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4. Posted by rickyb79, 17/12/2013 17:42

"Brilliant driver, congratulations on all of your motorsport acheivments you will be greatly missed"

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