McNish Meets The Audi R8 LMS At Silverstone
Le Mans ace puts GT3 car through its paces for Autosport 6hrs preview
With 'only' 500 or so horsepower to play with on the wide-open spaces of Silverstone, it's not the outright acceleration that gets you. But 'lawks', those big Michelins don't half hang on through the corners.
Don't get me wrong, the view from the passenger seat positively flies by when Nishy's leaning on the power, but it's the lack of much discernible slowing down for some of the corners that really makes your eyes wobble. Don't go for a taxi ride with a hangover, is my advice, or you'll risk the £50 clean-up fee...
So why was the R8 there yesterday? Well they can't do passenger rides in the R18 and this particular car is the latest addition to Audi UK's PR fleet. So look out for eager hacks driving it in your favourite magazine soon (they may even let PH have a go...), but maybe not just yet as it's fresh out of the packing crate from Germany.
"Where you can really feel the lineage from the road car is the weight distribution," he told us. "It's very good for a road car with a V10 engine in the back, and this is transferred across to the race car. It's really easy to set it up balanced in a corner and hold it there."
"It's also a really flat, stable platform - which I'm used to from my LMP1 car - you don't feel the car pitching or rolling when changing direction. There's also lots of front end grip and the car turns in really quickly - which is something I'm not so used to on my own racer, so I'll be taking that back to the team in Ingolstadt..."
"As my 'home' race, the pressure's on to do well, especially as there'll be so many friends and old faces turning up."
If you want to join them, you can see McNish racing his R18 at Silverstone on the weekend of Sept 9-11. Tickets are available from a measly £12 at www.silverstone.co.uk.
When you meet or interview some drivers, you can get the feeling that they are only there because they have to be, but with Allan it didn't feel like that in the slightest. He went in to great detail in each of his answer's to the questions being thrown at him (even though he's possible answered them a million and 1 times before...) and cracking jokes. One of racings great guys!
With the R8 LMS, it's not the straight line speed that gets you, it's the braking (sometimes lack of braking....) and cornering speeds. We were pulling just over 2G in to Stowe, braking from about 160ish. Here's my video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q--922obu-Q