Having won the 24 Hours of Le Mans three times, the American Le Mans Series title another three times and, most recently, the FIA World Endurance Championship, Allan McNish doesn't have much left to prove. Which is why he's retiring, ending this stage of his 33-year driving career on a high note.

In a statement just released by McNish himself and his team at Audi, the Scotsman said "I've had a fantastically successful time with Audi and feel it's the right time to step back from Le Mans sports-prototype racing and to look at other opportunities."

Just what those other opportunities might be is another matter. He's raced in DTM, Formula One and the International Formula 3000 series, where he won two races in 1990. McNish, 44, is also part of the BBC Radio's F1 commentary team, serves as president of the Scottish Motor Racing Club and is often called upon by the FIA to act as a grand prix race steward. Audi says he'll continue to be part of the team, just not in the driver's seat. Given his success in endurance racing, he's surely got a wide variety of opportunities to pursue, and we're looking forward to seeing where he lands.
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Britain's triple Le Mans 24 Hour race winner bows out on top after ultra-successful 32-year motorsport career

Britain's Allan McNish will not defend his world sportscar title or bid for a fourth Le Mans 24 Hour race victory next year after deciding to conclude his sports-prototype racing career.

Triple Le Mans 24 Hour race winner McNish won the 2013 FIA World Endurance Championship after scoring three wins, three second and one third placing in the eight race series in his hybrid-diesel Audi.

Dumfries-born McNish steps down from a race driving role with Audi Sport with immediate effect but will comprehensively assist the "factory" team that has won Le Mans 12 times since 1999 in various roles next year.

"I've had fantastically successful time with Audi and feel it's the right time to step back from Le Mans sports-prototype racing and to look at other opportunities," commented McNish.

"As a racing driver it's important to stop [racing] at the right time when I'm still fast and capable of doing the job and the timing feels right after winning Le Mans for a third time this year and claiming the World title.

"This year especially was mega successful, teaming up with Loïc [Duval] for the first time and obviously with long-time co-driver Tom [Kristensen]. We've ticked all of the boxes and I ticked my personal ones too but now the time is right to hand over to the young guys.

"I've won the championships and races I wanted to win and frankly there's no better way to end my Audi sportscar race career than going out as a World Champion.

"My fellow Scot and mentor Jackie Stewart knew when to get into things but also knew when to get out and he has taught me that lesson."

McNish has contested 89 races since making his Audi sportscar debut in 2000 scoring 66 top-three "podiums" – including 29 outright race wins – for "factory" or "customer" Audi teams that also netted three American Le Mans Series titles.

"We appreciate and respect Allan's decision to retire at the pinnacle of his career," says Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "At the same time, this is a parting that is particularly difficult for us. All of us are well aware of Allan's racing successes.

"We should not forget, though, how valuable he has been in the development of our race cars, how great a team player he has always been and how he has consistently applied himself to achieve Audi's aims far beyond motorsport with professionalism, loyalty and commitment. We regret that Allan will no longer be contesting any races for us but are happy that he will continue to be associated with Audi Sport and the Audi brand."

Heralded as the world's greatest sportscar driver in recent years, Monaco-based McNish won the Le Mans 24 Hour races in 1998, 2008 and this year – scoring a further six top-three "podiums" in his 14 attempts in the legendary French "marathon".

He won the North American-based ALMS sportscar endurance title in 2000 – his debut season with Audi – and again in 2006 & '07. Other notable victories include four wins in both the Sebring 12 Hours and Petit Le Mans races plus second place in the Daytona 24 Hours on three occasions.

Allan continued: "I joined [Audi] in 2000 and immediately found that we each worked in the same way: you either won or lost. If we lost, then we solved the problem.

"Over the years I won three American Le Mans Series titles, four race wins at Sebring and at Petit Le Mans, scored two wins of my three Le Mans wins with Audi and have now won the World title.

"My success is not just down to me but comes as a result of a huge effort by Audi Sport who gave me the tools and my co-drivers to do the job right.

"There are some great new drivers coming through and they need an opportunity just like I did. I'm looking forward to being part of Audi Sport in the future to ensure that these young drivers have the same level of fun and success that I have enjoyed over the years.

"I celebrate my 44th birthday later this month and I've only ever been involved in racing to win. Winning is the sole reason I went racing and the investment of time, energy, mental and physical attention plus the sacrifices for my family can now be adjusted."

Allan's 33-year motor racing career has netted almost 80 wins – over 125 top-three "podiums" – and began in karting, winning three British and six Scottish championship titles between 1982-86, finishing third in the World Championship in 1985.

He won the 1988 Formula Vauxhall Lotus Championship and finished second in the 1989 British Formula Three Championship by a mere three points.

In Formula One, Allan had testing contracts with McLaren and Benetton (1990-96), Toyota (2000-02) – including a full F1 World Championship race season in 2002 – and Renault (2003).

McNish is a former winner of the Royal Automobile Club's Segrave and Tourist Trophies while other awards include the British Racing Drivers' Club's ACO Plate (seven times), BRDC Silverstone-Le Mans Challenge (twice), Scottish Motor Racing Club's Callands Trophy (twice), SMRC William Lyons Trophy (five times), SMRC John Romanes "Swift" Trophy (twice), SMRC Stewart Medal and SMRC Ecurie Ecosse "Hub Cap". Allan, who celebrates his 44th birthday later this month (29 Dec), has been Honorary President of the Scottish Motor Racing Club since December 2007.

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 1 Year Ago
      A gentleman racer who raced hard and fast but most of all, raced clean.
      Tom Winch
      • 1 Year Ago
      Allan McNish has been one of my two favorite racing drivers (Kimi Raikonnen being the other one) for over a decade. He is the epitome of the Scottish Terrier of motorsports. His tenacity and always driving at the limit has served him, and Audi, well as endurance races have really become long duration sprint races with drivers pushing at all times. His legendary drive to victory at Road Atlanta in 2008, after crashing on the way to the grid and starting from the pits two laps down, is one of the most incredible performances by any race driver in any series. His mentor was Jackie Stewart and that shows in everything McNish did on track and off. A true legend of the sport. Good luck in all your future endeavors Allan!
      • 1 Year Ago
      truly one of the greats
      • 1 Year Ago
      Perhaps the best Sportscar driver of all time.
      • 1 Year Ago
      hes amazing
      • 1 Year Ago
      " right time to step back from Le Mans sports-prototype racing and to look at other opportunities" that means he was fired.
      Steven Bremer
      • 1 Year Ago
      Truly a class act and one hell of a racer. Would have loved to see him in LMP1 at Le Mans next year battling Webber in the Porsche.
      • 1 Year Ago
      A true legend. Can't wait to see where he ends up.
      • 1 Year Ago
      A tough as nails racer. Glad he can go out on his own terms. I'm also so glad I got to shake his hand at Road Atlanta a few years ago.
      • 1 Year Ago
      Good luck Mr. McNish! I usually don't cheer for Audi in endurance racing but he's a class act, congrats on the retirement!
      • 1 Year Ago
      hello to all. well done mr. mcnish. and godspeed to you in your future ventures. please give the up and coming drivers for audi all of the encouragement and support that they needs as you were given in your career. regards, vrmchris
      • 1 Year Ago
      I got a chance to meet Mr. McNish at an Audi event several years ago before I knew who he was. I found him to be very down to earth, humble and extremely personable. After learning who he was, I became a great admirer. Well done on a fantastic career, Mr. McNish. I wish you much success and prosperity in all that your future holds for you and your family. You sir, are one hell of a champion and I was glad to have met you.
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