McNish: Worst conditions everposted in LMANS16 | 06 | 2012
AUDI SPORTSCAR ACE Allan McNish this morning completed the official 45-minute warm-up for the 80th Le Mans 24-Hours, in what he described as "the worst conditions I've ever experienced."
Minutes after completing the rain-hit session in his Audi e-tron quattro, the 42-year-old from Dumfries, who starts the race from fourth on the 56-car grid — his Audi team-mate Andre Lotterer is on pole — spoke exclusively to Jim McGill about the session, the weather forecast, and his expectations for this afternoon's race start.
"Conditions were really bad," McNish admitted. "When they restarted the session, after the safety car had been deployed because of cars spinning off — and I think the fact so many cars spun off showed you how slippery it was — the spray was the worst I've ever experienced.
"Going down the Mulsanne Straight, with only one or two cars in front of me, I couldn't see more than a foot in front of the nose of the car. So you're kind of trying to see out the sides of the car to see where you are on the track, and just get judgement of your location.
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"I think I braked and accelerated about six times on a long straight that we're usually flat-out all the way on, trying to work out where I was.
"The forecast is it's going to rain off and on for the next couple of hours, then be dry later on … but I don't think it will be dry for the start of the race: I definitely think it will be wet.
"But I don't think we'll start behind the Safety Car, because knowing Le Mans and knowing the tradition … it'll be a full-blown racing start, which should be pretty spectacular in the spray.
"I'm doing the first stint. If it's wet, you want to try and get to the start to have the clear track, but that's only going to be for two or three laps before you start lapping people.
"If it's dry, Toyota have some very good top speed — they've got some good engine power — and if that's the case and I'm behind, then it will be very difficult to overtake.
"So, of course, it would be ideal if I was ahead of them. but we'll need to wait and see what unfolds."
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