Ex-Formula One driver and current World Endurance champions Allan McNish has announced his retirement from racing after capping his title-winning year with a third-place finish in Shanghai.
McNish, who has driven for Audi since 2000, and drove for Toyota’s F1 team in the 2002 season before becoming a test driver for Renault the following year. Having returned to sportscar racing after his spell in single-seaters, McNish made his name as one of the most successful endurance drivers around.
Having secured the title with co-drivers Tom Kristensen and Loic Duval, as well as the 2013 Le Mans 24 hours crown, McNish has decided to bow out while he is still on top of the sport.
Speaking to Autosport, McNish said: “You have to get out at some point and everything lined up to make this an extremely good time to do it. Everything has fallen into place.
“I have won pretty much everything I wanted to and I ticked the last box with the world championship.
“It is good to do it now with the change over to the new car and new rules, which would have required a big commitment.”
McNish will be 44 later this month and he explained that he was developing other interests away from the steering wheel.
“There are other opportunities that have come up,” McNish explained.
“I definitely want to do some other things in life, like management and TV stuff, and there are other little personal reasons as well.”
McNish is managing Formula 3 driver Harry Tincknell, who is likely to make a switch into sportscar racing next season, and he also commentates for BBC Radio 5 Live as part of their F1 coverage.
He retires with three Le Mans winners trophy’s’, three American Le Mans Series titles and numerous other race victories, but he revealed that he made up his mind to retire earlier in the season.
“Audi has to prepare for the next few years and I didn't want to be ducking in and out of it,” McNish said.
“As a racing driver you never say never, but I am hanging up my helmet as far as anything serious goes.
“Perhaps I could do the Daytona 24 Hours in the future, like Martin [Brundle] did a few years ago [in 2011], but I will not be committing to a full championship again.”
Allan McNish’s career highlights:
1988 Formula Vauxhall Lotus champion
1990 Silverstone International Trophy winner (F3000)
1998 Le Mans 24 Hours winner
2000 Petit Le Mans winner, American Le Mans Series champion
2004 Sebring 12 Hours winner
2006 Sebring 12 Hours winner, Petit Le Mans winner, American Le Mans Series champion
2007 Petit Le Mans winner, American Le Mans series champion
2008 Le Mans 24 Hours winner, Petit Le Mans winner
2009 Sebring 12 Hours winner
2012 Sebring 12 Hours winner
2013 Le Mans 24 Hours winner, World Endurance Champion