Allan McNish says his 2013 World Endurance Championship crown is more valuable to him than his three Le Mans 24 Hours victories.
The Scot, racing alongside Tom Kristensen and Loic Duval, won his first world title this year following a campaign that included three race wins and seven podiums from seven races. While he also triumphed at Le Mans to become a three-time winner of the round-the-clock endurance, he said his WEC crown trumps his other career achievements.
Asked how the WEC crown compared to his hat-trick of Le Mans wins, McNish said: “To win [Le Mans] is already very difficult, but to win a championship like the WEC is even more complicated. So many factors play a role: you race on different types of track, in different conditions and in various time zones. And you have to be in top form over a long period of time.
“This is the big difference and makes this title very valuable. For me, it was without a shred of doubt the highlight of my career so far, something like the icing on the cake. The 24 Hours of Le Mans is of course a very special race, but I never dreamt of being a world champion at sometime or other.”
Rather than enabling him to relax, McNish said he was spurred on by his title triumph and promised an all-out attack in this weekend’s Bahrain season finale.
“[The] passion to win drives me on ” [and] four wins in a season sounds much better than three,” he said. “It’s not often I get the chance of winning a race on St Andrew’s Day, so it’s gloves off in Bahrain.
“Audi has won six out of seven WEC races this season but Toyota will be very keen to make amends for the close fight they lost in China. It’ll be no holds barred for everyone because there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain to sign off the year in spectacular fashion.”