Audi’s R18 e-tron quattro scored a one-two podium victory during Bahrain’s six hour race on Saturday Sept. 29.
McNish and regular co-driver Tom Kristensen (Den) steered their Audi R18 e-tron quattro home one-lap behind race winners and championship leaders Marcel Fässler (CH)/André Lotterer (D)/Benoît Tréluyer (F) in their similar “factory” hybrid-diesel Audi.
The 641.76-mile race staged at the 3.36-mile Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir ran mainly in darkness but humid 35°C ambient temperatures and marked the first race for McNish and the “factory” Audi Sport team in Bahrain.
“Congratulations to Audi for our 1-2 result here in Bahrain,” said McNish. “It was a very hot race in more senses than just the ambient temperature. We had a brake problem early on that caused excess tire wear so we had to change the rear tail section. We also had a few other minor problems with lights resulting in the need for the front bodywork to be changed which effectively put us completely out of contention.”
McNish began from pole-position – his second “pole” of the year – on the 28-car grid after the Scotsman’s efforts in qualifying the previous day with the similar Audi of Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer alongside on the front row and the Alex Wurz/Nicolas Lapierre (Toyota) third.
The R18 e-tron quattro is powered by a V6 turbo diesel engine delivering around 510 horsepower through the rear wheels, it benefits briefly from an extra near 200 hp, transmitted only through its front axle above 75 mph, at specific “zones” using power “harvested” under braking.
The penultimate round of the WEC is staged at Mount Fuji in Japan on Sunday Oct. 14.