Allan McNish interview

Allan McNish spoke early on Sunday morning about his accident in the opening hours of the race. The Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx driver had spun on oil and hit the barriers but was able to get the car back to the pits before having to be taken to the Medical Centre.

Q: Allan, can you talk me through the accident?

Allan McNish: Basically coming into Porsche Curves I saw just as I started to brake like a puff of smoke which, on initial instincts, I thought it was actually a tyre exploding on a GT3 car but as soon as I braked I lost grip and I turned into the corner and was just sliding. I knew then it was obviously oil and all I did at that point was, I knew I was going off the circuit, I tried to go into the tyre wall at the best angle possible. It was quite a heavy impact because it's fifth gear and with very little braking deceleration meant we were going in at quite some speed.

#8 Audi Sport UK Team Veloqx Audi R8: Frank Biela, Pierre Kaffer, Allan McNish.
Photo by Tom Haapanen.

Q: Where there any flags at all?

AM: There were no flags but to be honest, in fairness, I saw a puff within about a second or two seconds so in reality I'd be quite surprised if they were able to react to something like that straightaway.

Q: Somehow you got back to the pits. What actually happened when you got out of the pits. You got out the car?

AM: I got out the car because, first of all, when you drive a car that's got two wheels or three wheels you get out so that the mechanics can get to work. But I think that's more a natural reaction than anything else and then Dr John was already on the scene and he took me through the back and sat me down to give me a complete check over at which point they also decided to take me to the Medical Centre for verifications that I didn't have any spinal injuries.

Q: Did you loose consciousness in the car?

AM: It's difficult to really say. I wasn't unconscious to the point of a head flump of anything like that but I think certainly on impact I was dazed more than unconscious. [At the back of the pits] I was in focus, there's no question of that. You know, when you have a big impact then you have to take things a little more calmly and especially when the doctor is telling me to sit down then you take their advice.

Q: And obviously you're disappointed?

AM: Very disappointed because the car, at the beginning of the race wasn't that good but it was starting to get a bit little more competitive and as the race wore on I'm sure it would have got a bit better but anyway unfortunately that's motor racing. One of the sides of Le Mans that you don't want but it does sometimes happen.

Q: The doctors advised you not to race this weekend?

AM: Yeah, obviously for my safety and other people's safety, they advised that it's not appropriate to continue this weekend. I'm obviously disappointed considering that the car's back out but I've always taken one thing through my career . when the doctor tells you one thing they are the experts at that. We're the experts at driving, the engineers are the experts at setting up the car. Doctors are the experts about your health and obviously I don't want to put myself or anyone else in a compromising position.

Q: Are you aching at all?

AM: I'm aching a little bit, headache etc, but nothing I wouldn't have expected,

Q: Was that one of the biggest impacts you've experienced?

AM: I've got to say that, in comparison to Suzuka 2003, it was a walk in the park.

Interview courtesy of Audi Sport UK.