Allan McNish on Audi's decade of dominance





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Published on Jun 6, 2014

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Allan McNish has had an exceptional 32-year racing career, driving Audi to Le Mans victory in both 2008 and 2013.

In this video, McNish gives an insight into the ferocity of the race including how it feels to be behind the wheel travelling up to 200mph, the thrill of night driving and his experiences as part of the Audi team.

"It's difficult to appreciate how violent Le Mans actually is. When you're coming up into the Dunlop chicane - the first breaking point - you're hitting the pedal with about 80kg of force on your left leg. You've got this lateral g-force, which sometimes can be up to about 3.5g. So you hold your breath as you're going through the corner to stop your lungs and stomach from getting crushed," says McNish.

"You need to be an extremely well oiled and functioning team. It takes practice and attention to detail because Le Mans will always throw up something unexpected."

"Night driving is less daunting than you expect. The first time I went to an endurance test, I saw my teammate and the car looked like it was doing 400mph. I thought 'There's no way I'm getting in that car.' And then, when you get into the car, you realise that suddenly you don't have all this peripheral vision, so your focus is naturally a little bit narrower."

The recently retired racing driver goes on to explain the challenges of Le Mans and how it feels to win the most iconic motor racing event in the world. "The race comes alive as it progresses. The circuit comes alive. It's a changing, living organism. The weather conditions can change, the tyre grip changes, the fuel load comes down. And all of these effect the balance and feel that the driver has with the car.

"When you've defeated the race, as well as the opposition, you suddenly realise that you've achieved something pretty special."


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