Allan McNish enjoyed a triumphant homecoming on his return to racing on British soil after he and Dindo Capello secured victory in the final round of the Le Mans Series at Silverstone.
Victory for the duo aboard the #1 Audi R10 ended the winning streak for the Peugeot 908 HDi – which had been unbeaten in the LMS since debuting last year – and also helped Audi to a clean-sweep of the LMP1 class titles.
McNish started the race from third on the grid but stormed into second on the run through Copse after a brave move around the outside of Nicolas Minassian. He continued to run at the front of the field before pitting under the Safety Car to hand the car to Capello after an accident for Minassian on the Hangar Straight.
However, Capello then hit trouble when he was involved in contact with the Peugeot of Stephane Sarrazin and dropped down to 19th place after returning to the pits with a puncture. He managed to fight back to second before handing the car back to McNish who sat a lap down to team-mates Alex Premat and Mike Rockenfeller.
When the #2 car suffered a suspension issue, McNish stormed into the lead and secured the win, while Premat and Rockenfeller recovered to fourth to take the drivers' crown.
"I believe that Dindo and I deserve this victory, and so does everyone in the team," McNish said. "We fought hard this year. For Dindo and me things weren't always going as well as they should have. We had incidents when we were in the position to win races.
"I think 24 hours ago nobody would have expected Audi to win the race and the manufacturer's title and 'Rocky' and Alex the drivers' title. Audi has had a clean sweep in sportscar racing this season: Le Mans, the American Le Mans Series and the now the Le Mans Series. A great year for Audi Sport."
Capello was also thrilled with the win.
"First of all, congratulations to our team-mates Alex and 'Rocky' on their well-deserved title win," he said. "For Allan and me it was a nice end of the Le Mans Series. We were fast at the first four races as well but always had some kind of problems.
"After the accident with Stephane Sarrazin, in which I feel – 101 per cent – that I was not at fault, I thought that this race was over for us as well. But we never gave up. Seasoned drivers, an experienced team and a great car make for a good combination to win a race which – just like Le Mans – seemed to have been lost already on paper. This race showed that people with a lot of will power and commitment can make the seemingly impossible possible. That's why Allan and I are proud to be part of this fantastic team."