Skip to content

McNish retires from racing at top of his game

Dec 17, 2013, 1:00 PM EST

FRA-AUTO-LEMANS Getty Images

One of sports car racing’s most iconic and legendary drivers, Scotsman Allan McNish, has retired from sports car racing. The announcement comes only a day ahead of Audi announcing its 2014 program for the FIA World Endurance Championship.

“I’ve had fantastically successful time with Audi and feel it’s the right time to step back from Le Mans sports-prototype racing and to look at other opportunities,” McNish said in a statement. “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.”

Indeed this year capped one of McNish’s most successful seasons. He won Le Mans for the third time and took the Driver’s World Championship in the WEC with longtime co-driver Tom Kristensen and emerging French talent Loïc Duval. In an 11-year relationship with Audi, McNish won 29 races including four wins in the 12 Hours of Sebring and four at Petit Le Mans.

McNish also had several years in Formula One as a test driver in the 1990s with McLaren and Benetton, before taking up a test and then race seat with Toyota in 2002. He failed to score a point, though, and perhaps his most notable Grand Prix moment came with a bad crash at Suzuka’s 130R corner in qualifying. Fortunately he emerged unscathed.

He could tell the same story, too, after surviving this smash at the 2011 24 Hours of Le Mans.

We’re thankful he walked away from both shunts, and we’re especially grateful for his dynamic attitude, pure grit and tenacity on track, and a fighting spirit every time he stepped into an Audi cockpit.

McNish is likely to continue in an ambassadorial or support role with Audi, however his starring efforts behind the wheel are at an end. His Scottish countryman Dario Franchitti summed up their possible next exploits:

Latest Posts
  1. Williams double podium caps phenomenal comeback season

    Nov 23, 2014, 10:56 AM EST

    ADpodium Getty Images

    Second and third for Massa and Bottas caps an incredible 2014 season for Williams.

  2. Hamilton calls second title victory “the greatest day of my life”

    Nov 23, 2014, 10:13 AM EST

    AUTO-PRIX-F1-ABU-DHABI-PODIUM Getty Images

    British driver wins his second F1 championship in Abu Dhabi as title rival Nico Rosberg fails to finish in the points.

  3. Hamilton clinches second F1 world title by winning Abu Dhabi GP

    Nov 23, 2014, 9:45 AM EST

    F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi Getty Images

    An engine failure for Nico Rosberg leaves Hamilton free to win the race under the lights in Abu Dhabi and clinch his second world title.

  4. GP2: Coletti wins final race of the season in Abu Dhabi

    Nov 23, 2014, 8:30 AM EST

    © GP2 Media Service © GP2 Media Service

    F1′s feeder series comes to a close in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

  5. GP3: Stoneman and Niederhauser close out season with wins

    Nov 23, 2014, 7:45 AM EST

    © GP3 Media © GP3 Media

    The third tier single seater series comes to a close in Abu Dhabi, with Alex Lynn winning the championship.

  6. Starting grid for the 2014 Abu Dhabi Grand Prix

    Nov 23, 2014, 7:15 AM EST

    F1 Grand Prix of Abu Dhabi Getty Images

    Nico Rosberg will lead the grid away for the 11th and final time in 2014 later today.

  7. WATCH LIVE: Abu Dhabi GP Race Day live on NBCSN from 7a ET

    Nov 23, 2014, 6:45 AM EST

    Nico Rosberg AP

    Nico Rosberg and Lewi Hamilton’s date with destiny awaits in Abu Dhabi today.

  8. Alonso hits back at questions about his motivation

    Nov 23, 2014, 6:30 AM EST

    F1 Grand Prix of Japan - Practice Getty Images

    Spaniard responds to comments made by Ferrari team principal Marco Mattiacci earlier this week.

  9. The Final Showdown: Hamilton and Rosberg prepare for one final battle in Abu Dhabi

    Nov 23, 2014, 6:00 AM EST

    Nico Rosberg, Lewis Hamilton AP

    The 2014 Formula 1 season has been a sensational one, but the championship will finally be decided today in Abu Dhabi. Will it be Lewis or Nico?

  10. Vettel and Ricciardo to start Abu Dhabi GP from pit lane

    Nov 23, 2014, 5:48 AM EST

    Mideast Emirates F1 GP Auto Racing AP

    Changes made to the cars overnight warrant another penalty for Red Bull.

  11. Brad Keselowski tips Lewis Hamilton to win F1 title

    Nov 23, 2014, 1:57 AM EST

    Goody's Headache Relief Shot 500 - Practice Getty Images

    “I believe in miracles but not this time. Lewis Hamilton has got this.”

  12. Remembering iconic motorsports PR great Denny Darnell

    Nov 22, 2014, 11:21 PM EST

    Denny Darnell (far left), with wife Jean, and Cyndee and Jerry Bonkowski. Denny Darnell (far left), with wife Jean, and Cyndee and Jerry Bonkowski.

    The world of motorsports — particularly NASCAR and NHRA — is mourning arguably the best public relations person it has ever seen, Denny Darnell, who passed away Saturday.

  13. Indy USF2000 winner Will Owen moves to Juncos Racing, Pro Mazda Series in 2015

    Nov 22, 2014, 6:15 PM EST

    (Photo courtesy Juncos Racing) (Photo courtesy Juncos Racing)

    Will Owen, who impressively won the 2014 USF2000 race as a rookie at Indianapolis Motor Speedway this past May, is moving up the racing ladder.

  14. Marco Andretti, Will Power, AJ Allmendinger go back to roots in big karting race this weekend in Las Vegas

    Nov 22, 2014, 5:15 PM EST

    superkarts usa

    Marco Andretti, reigning IndyCar champ Will Power and NASCAR driver AJ Allmendinger, are all going back to their racing roots this weekend in Las Vegas, taking part in one of the biggest karting events of the season.

  15. Luke Lambert, Ryan Newman’s crew chief, named ‘Problem Solver of the Year’; earns $100k prize

    Nov 22, 2014, 4:45 PM EST

    Ryan Newman, left, team owner Richard Childress and crew chief Luke Lambert together at Homestead-Miami Speedway last weekend. (Robert Laberge/Getty Images) Getty Images

    Luke, Lambert, crew chief for Ryan Newman, has been named Federal-Mogul Motorparts’ “Problem Solver of the Year.” And with it comes a $100,000 prize that he’ll receive Dec. 4 in Las Vegas.

  16. Former F1 driver Mark Webber talks Hamilton-Rosberg title battle (VIDEO)

    Nov 22, 2014, 4:30 PM EST

    F1 Grand Prix of USA - Race Getty Images

    The former Grand Prix regular and current sports car racer chats with NBCSN’s Will Buxton in Abu Dhabi.

  17. Force India owner Vijay Mallya comes out firing against Red Bull on Twitter

    Nov 22, 2014, 3:50 PM EST

    F1 Grand Prix of Hungary - Practice Getty Images

    Mallya attacks Red Bull following its double exclusion from today’s qualifying session in Abu Dhabi.

  18. Formula E Notes: Lucas di Grassi keeps points lead; Nick Heidfeld excluded from Putrajaya ePrix

    Nov 22, 2014, 3:00 PM EST

    Formula E Championship - Putrajaya Getty Images

    di Grassi climbs from 18th on the grid to second at finish in Putrajaya ePrix; Nick Heidfeld found to have made pit stop car change outside permitted area, relegated to 19th.

  19. Abu Dhabi GP Paddock Notebook – Saturday

    Nov 22, 2014, 2:30 PM EST

    Lewis Hamilton AP

    The stage is set for the final showdown on Sunday. Will it be Lewis or Nico?

Video from NASCAR America

Most unexpected event of 2014?
Top 10 NASCAR Driver Searches
  1. J. Gordon (1829)
  2. J. Johnson (1772)
  3. D. Hamlin (1646)
  4. J. Logano (1636)
  5. T. Stewart (1588)
  1. K. Kahne (1451)
  2. J. McMurray (1414)
  3. R. Newman (1413)
  4. K. Harvick (1363)
  5. K. Larson (1172)