Audi factory driver Allan McNish in profile American Le Mans Series Champion for third time Scot with residence in Monte Carlo Son Finlay brings peace and quiet in his life Allan McNish's career history in the American Le Mans Series is ...
Audi factory driver Allan McNish in profile
American Le Mans Series Champion for third time Scot with residence in Monte Carlo Son Finlay brings peace and quiet in his life Allan McNish's career history in the American Le Mans Series is impressive: The Scot has competed in the US sportscar series three times for Audi, and on each occasion he signed-off the season with the title in the LM P1 class -- more recently twice in succession together with Dindo Capello in the revolutionary Audi R10 TDI diesel sportscar.
At a height of 165 centimetres and a fighting weight of 58 kilograms Allan McNish has the stature of a jockey. In the Audi R10 TDI cockpit the Scot does however rise above himself. He numbers among the fastest in the sportscar scene and loves the relaxed atmosphere in the American Le Mans Series. "Many families with children come into the paddock," he enthuses. "I was young once and know that as a child you love to touch the tyres on the racing cars. This is possible in the ALMS."
Outside of the cockpit his thoughts revolve permanently about the next race -- or how to make the Audi R10 TDI even quicker. Allan McNish is a pure blooded race driver who finds it difficult to 'switch off'. "Relaxing isn't my cup of tea," he confesses. "I'm always thinking about what's coming up next."
Only the birth of his son Finlay in May 2005 made life for Allan and Kelly McNish a little quieter. Since then there are new priorities. "I try to spend every free moment together with Kelly and Finlay," says the Scot who still comes across as an endearing child because of his nature and, for this reason, is often treated as such by his team mates. You would never notice that he loves sweets and likes cooking -- fitness studio, jogging and cycling make sure of this.
Although he lives in Monaco and enjoys the almost permanently good weather to be found on the Cote d'Azur, Allan McNish is a proud Scotsman. He regularly wears the family tartan kilt to official engagements -- a procedure that takes 30 minutes and which almost cost him his first American Le Mans Series title in 2000: As he was putting on his kilt for a photo shoot at the finale in Adelaide he trapped nerve in his back. McNish was in acute pain during the race. That he won the race and claimed the title in spite of this is typical for him.
A career as race driver was as good as presented to him at birth. "I grew up with cars," he says. "My father was a car dealer. The racing driver David Leslie comes from our area. He and my father helped me break into karting." The rest as they say is history.
Not only car racing fascinates him, he is also intrigued by two-wheel motorsport. His eyes light up when we visits the Tourist Trophy on the Isle of Man. "One of my greatest heroes was Giacomo Agostini, who I actually had the fortune to meet once."
Allan McNish is very keen on sport. "I keep an eye on just about every type of sport, especially football, tennis and Cricket," says McNish. The main reason he actively pursues several sports is to keep fit. "I love water skiing and used to do clay pigeon shooting in my earlier. But because we travel so much it's difficult to practice just one sport regularly."
As Audi factory driver Allan McNish has won almost everything there is to win. Only a win with Audi at the 24 Hours of Le Mans has remained out of reach for him to date. Whoever is familiar with the ambitious Scot knows that he won't give up until he has reached his goal.
-credit: audi motorsport