Allan McNish posted the best time for Audi during the Le Mans 24 Hours test day on Sunday, despite suffering an accident in the final hour, when he lost control at Tetre Rouge corner.
McNish set the quickest time during the afternoon in the two session, eight-hour trials around the 8.47-mile track in his diesel hybrid Audi R18 e-tron quattro. He clocked a 3mins 25.927secs lap, an average speed of over 148mph, but despite his excursion with less than one hour remaining, McNish and co-drivers Dindo Capello and Tom Kristensen, were all satisfied with the day's activities.
“Crashing was a disappointing end to a productive day after having been able to set consistently fast laps,” McNish. “I dropped my left rear wheel on to the grass turning into Tetre Rouge [corner], spun around 360 degrees and contacted the barriers. The damage prevented me from driving the Audi back to the pits and so our day was over with about an hour to run.
“But we return to the track here at Le Mans in 10 days time with a good starting point for race week. Between now and then we will also study data where we can further improve but we already have got a pretty good balance.
“We had a small problem at the beginning of the trials with a fuel leak which lost us some time but Dindo felt good in the car and Tom improved on the balance and set the second fastest time during the morning session.”
The similar Audi R18 e-tron quattro of Marcel Fässler, André Lotterer and Benoît Tréluyer meanwhile set the second quickest time – 0.541secs slower than McNish - with the Audi R18 ultra of Romain Dumas, Loïc Duval and Marc Gene third on a 3m 26.561s.
The teams and drivers now return to Le Mans in one week's time when the organising Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO) begins two days of scrutineering checks on all 56-cars to ensure all meet regulations.