Unless you follow endurance racing, the name Allan McNish may not be all that familiar to you. If you’re a fan of the 24 Hours of Le Mans, you probably know that McNish won the race in 1998 and in 2008; if you follow the American Le Mans Series, you probably know that he was the series champion in 2000, 2006 and 2007.
He’s even spent time in Formula One, driving for Panasonic Toyota Racing in the 2002 season, where his best finish was a seventh place in Malaysia. In other words, the Scottish driver knows a thing or two about going fast, and is considered by many to be among the top endurance racers in the world.
That’s not to say that McNish is everyone’s idol, and his answer to a fan’s question is perhaps a bit too revealing. When asked who he would like to race, on which circuit and in which car, McNish’s response wasn’t what you’d expect.
His pick wasn’t the late Mark Donahue in a Porsche 917 at Sebring, or Nigel Mansell in a Williams FW14B at Silverstone. Instead, McNish’s ideal race would be in an Audi R8 GT, on a frozen track in Scotland, against anonymous rookies driving three-wheeled Reliant Robins.
We like to win as much as the next guy, but a victory that hollow wouldn’t be much of a victory at all in our eyes. We’d much rather come in second behind Donahue or Mansell, knowing that we gave each lap our best effort.