McNish targets world titleposted in LMANS17 | 10 | 2013

    SCOT ALLAN MCNISH aims to take a step closer to clinching this year’s FIA World Endurance Champion by winning the Six Hours of Fuji in Japan on Sunday.

    Driving his hybrid-diesel Audi R18 e-tron quattro, the 43-year-old from Dumfries — who won his third Le Mans 24-Hours in June — is determined to build on his 33-point lead in the championship.

    McNish, who also won the last round at the Circuit of the Americas in Texas (pictured) last month, will again be partnered by co-drivers, Tom Kristensen and Loïc Duval.

    But with 78pts still up for grabs McNish, who missed out on last year’s World title by 13.5pts, is not taking anything for granted.

    “Tom, Loïc and I have a clear objective in Japan — to win the race from pole-position, like we did in the previous race in Texas,” McNish, who already has three wins and two second places from the previous five races, said today.

    “That’s our objective, but I’m also sure there is going to be very strong competition from Toyota and of course the ‘sister’ Audi, so there is still a long way to go in terms of the title race but we’re looking forward to the fight.

    Related: 24 days with Le Mans winner Allan McNish

    "Our winning advantage was just 23 seconds after six hours of hard racing last time out in America, so I fully expect Toyota, who are doubling up their efforts with a two-car entry, to be out for revenge especially on ‘home’ soil.

    “With Loïc in our car this year, Tom and I can also benefit from local knowledge as he still races single-seaters in Japan. That experience could be very helpful."

    In last year’s corresponding race around the 2.84-mile Fuji track that sits in the shadows of Mount Fuji, the highest mountain in Japan and 60-miles south-west of Tokyo, the McNish/Kristensen Audi finished a disappointing third.

    “Last year’s corresponding race was the first time Tom and I had raced on the new configuration and it was a baptism of fire,” McNish reflected. “Our set-up was not ideal and it was a tough battle to finish third.

    “Fuji is a track basically split into two main sectors. The first part is the old circuit and is fast and flowing. The second section is new, very slow and tricky.

    "We've got to know and understand the car much better over the bast few months, so we're certainly up for the challenge this weekend, and we have every intention of leaving with another win."

    Related: Allan McNish wins Le Mans 24-Hours

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    Jim McGill


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