Allan McNish has set his sights on a third 24 Hours victory but anticipates a tough battle from old and new rivals. The Scot was confident that after winning the Sebring 12 Hours earlier this year, Audi's new T15 TDI would be more than a match in the famous race at Le Mans.
"Although the R15 TDI has only contested one race, we've spent the last three months vigorously testing it," he told AOL. "We have 10 per cent less power by regulation but we managed to record the same times at Sebring as with the R10, so the R15 is better developed. There was no official test day unusually at Le Mans this year, which means the first time we see what 'true' speed everyone has will be in qualifying on Thursday evening."
"There's no doubt it's going to be tight," McNish continued." There is a very aggressive line up of talent coming to Le Mans including former and current Formula 1 racers.
"This year there is a new challenge from Peugeot; the team has different structures and I think they've tried to replicate the Audi way. We'll have to work harder at Le Mans, that's for sure, because we'll be fighting Peugeot at their peak. And with Aston Martin coming up on the blind side, it sets up a very, very interesting 24 Hours. I wouldn't discount Oreca either, they have a very good aero package, while Pescarolo have improved the last three or four months."
McNish and his team-mates Tom Kristensen and Dindo Capello get their first taste of the Le Sarthe circuit in the R15 tonight with two free practice sessions that begin at 1800 (BST).
To find out more on what Allan McNish had to say, click here. Keep returning to Autoblog for updates of the race (start: 1400 BST, Sat 13 June)