After 32 years racing, from Formula Vauxhall to Formula 1 to Le Mans, Allan McNish has decided it's time to step back from the pressures of the pinnacle of motorsport to focus on his family and--between the lines--more entertaining forms of motorsport.
A three-time champion at Le Mans, winning the 24-hour race in 1998, 2008, and in 2013, McNish's 13-year stint with Audi has helped to make him one of the most successful endurance sports car drivers in history. All told, McNish has his three victories at Le Mans, plus three second-place finishes and one third-place with Audi. McNish also won the World Endurance Championship driver's crown this year.
McNish's prototype racing dominance wasn't limited to Le Mans and the World Endurance Championship, however. He has also won the season driver's championship in the American Le Mans Series (itself recently retired) three times, in 2000, 2006, and 2007. On top of those wins, he has four wins in both the Sebring 12 Hours and the Petit Le Mans, and three second-place finishes at the Daytona 24 Hours.
Allan McNish and the Audi team prepare for the 2013 24 Hours of Le Mans
"As a racing driver it’s important to stop [racing] at the right time when I’m still fast and capable of doing the job and the timing feels right after winning Le Mans for a third time this year and claiming the World title," said McNish in a statement
"I’ve won the championships and races I wanted to win and frankly there’s no better way to end my Audi sportscar race career than going out as a World Champion," McNish added.
"My fellow Scot and mentor Jackie Stewart knew when to get into things but also knew when to get out and he has taught me that lesson."
We've spent our own slice of time speaking with McNish, and found him to be every bit as driven, focused, and intelligent as his winning record has proved him to be. We wish McNish the best of luck in finding enjoyment in whatever his next endeavors will be, whether inside a cockpit or out, and hope they'll be, like his retirement-announcing Twitter sign-off, #alwaysflatout.
Allan McNish and the Audi team prepare for the 2013 24 Hours of Le MansEnlarge Photo