POSITIVE McNISH AIMS FOR DTM SUCCESS AT BRNO Allan McNish firmly believes he can look forward to a successful DTM (German Touring Car Masters) race at Brno on Sunday (5 June). The Scotsman heads for his maiden race in the Czech Republic, the ...
POSITIVE McNISH AIMS FOR DTM SUCCESS AT BRNO
Allan McNish firmly believes he can look forward to a successful DTM (German Touring Car Masters) race at Brno on Sunday (5 June). The Scotsman heads for his maiden race in the Czech Republic, the fourth round in the 11-race series, in a buoyant frame of mind for the "factory" Audi team despite unluckily retiring from the last two races.
"I made massive progress at Spa three weeks ago," confirmed McNish. "I adopted set-up changes for my Audi A4DTM from my Audi Sport Team Abt team-mates for the race which resulted in me being fastest for much of the 'warm-up'."
"In the race, the car's handling was much more to my liking and I was heading for a top-eight finish but unfortunately my Audi suffered a punctured left rear tyre three laps from the chequered flag."
McNish, contesting the DTM for the first time, recorded an 11th place on his debut at Hockenheim (17 Apr) but was then involved in a collision in the next race at the EuroSpeedway (1 May), with the resulting accident damage causing his retirement.
"Brno was the venue for my very first drive in a DTM car when I was invited to track test the Audi A4DTM for a British motorsport magazine but that was my first-ever visit to the track."
"Thick fog restricted the number of laps I did that day last October but at least I have an idea of the track layout. Furthermore Audi qualified 1-2 for the corresponding DTM race at Brno last year and went on to claim 1-2 in the race so historically it's a strong track for Audi."
Audi's defending DTM champion Mattias Ekstr?m - winner of the Brno race last September - and Tom Kristensen - who started that race from pole-position - lie joint second and fifth respectively in the championship standings.
"I'm eager for the Brno race to come around - I feel very positive," added Allan who has enjoyed spending some time with his recently born son, Finlay, and wife Kelly since Spa. The Brno race will feature 30-laps around the undulating 3.36-mile Czech track.
Meanwhile McNish - and Kristensen - will also be keeping up to date with news from Le Mans on the Brno raceday. 1998 Le Mans 24 Hours race winner McNish and Kristensen, who bids for a seventh Le Mans triumph on 18-19 June, miss the one-day test session in France.
McNish commented: "It's a shame the Le Mans test day clashes with Brno but the priority for Tom and I this season is the DTM with the 'factory' Audi team."
"We both joined Audi's 'customer' Champion Racing team and its regular drivers for the Sebring 12 Hours in March, where Tom and I finished first and second respectively. Missing the test is not a big problem and will not compromise our chances in any way for the race."
McNish will co-drive an Audi R8 with triple Le Mans winners Frank Biela (D) and Emanuele Pirro (It) while a second Team ADT Champion Racing R8 sportscar will be piloted by JJ Lehto (Fin), Marco Werner (D) and Tom Kristensen with Audi aiming for its fifth Le Mans triumph.