Britain’s Allan McNish aims to get his 2013 season off to a winning start by claiming his maiden Daytona 24 Hour endurance sportscar race victory next weekend (26-27 Jan).
Audi Sport “factory” driver McNish, a two-time Le Mans 24 Hour race winner, competes for a second successive year in the Rolex 24 At Daytona for the burgeoning American Starworks Motorsport team.
McNish shares a Riley-Ford with Sébastien Bourdais (France), Ryan Dalziel (Scotland) and Alex Popow (Venezuela) in the annual race staged in Florida before the Scotsman begins his race programme with Audi Sport.
“With our driver line-up plus the team’s engineering strength, I think we have a very good chance of success,” believes McNish. “With an entry of around 60 cars, competing in three different classes, racing on a track that’s just over three miles in length, there could be just two or three clear laps during the entire race distance so many unforeseen things can happen.
“So long as we’re in contention entering the final hour, then we’ll be in with a good shout. Last year we finished a close second so we’re all especially determined to rectify that and claim the winner’s trophy.”
The Bourdais/Dalziel/McNish/Popow Riley-Ford posted the sixth aggregate fastest time in official testing at Daytona earlier this month (4-6 Jan).
Allan continued: “The test went well. I instantly felt good in the Riley which I hadn’t driven since last year’s race. We were consistently fast and worked through a lot of the set up ideas.”
McNish, who attended Autosport International in Birmingham (12-13 Jan) before visiting Scotland for two days, arrives in Daytona on Wednesday (23 Jan) having been in California with personal sponsor, Simraceway.