World Endurance Champion Allan McNish will have a dual role with Audi Sport working with its drivers and international governing bodies.
Audi Sport boss Wolfgang Ullrich explained that McNish, who announced his retirement from front-line competition in January, would act as a conduit between the German manufacturer’s WEC driving squad and its engineering staff and play a role in driver development.
McNish, who will be present at seven of the eight WEC races this year, will also help with Audi’s relations with motorsport organizers, with particular regard to the TUDOR United SportsCar Championship.
“Allan will be with the team at the races and one of his responsibilities will take care that the thoughts of the drivers come the quickest way to the development people,” explained Ullrich.
McNish’s driver development role has already resulted in Audi LMP1 newcomer Filipe Albuquerque’s placement with the Jota Zytek LMP2 team for this year’s European Le Mans Series. The Scot already had links with the British squad courtesy of his management role with Formula 3 graduate Harry Tincknell, who will also race with the team this year.
“Being involved with driver development was timely with Filipe coming into the program [in the third R18 e-tron quattro at Spa and Le Mans],” McNish said. “Filipe needs experience of long-distance endurance racing with high-downforce car, so it made sense to put him at Jota to gain experience and for Marc [Gene, Audi’s reserve driver who will race for Jota at Spa and Le Mans] to do some races to keep him up to speed.”
McNish revealed that his presence at the Rolex 24 at Daytona in January was as a result of his new duties.
“I know of lot of the people over there from my time in the U.S.,” he explained. “That’s why I went to Daytona and why I will be going to another [IMSA] race during the season.”
McNish has yet to be given a title for his new role with Audi Sport.