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Allan McNish is aiming for a third Le Mans 24 Hour Race win this weekend, insisting that last year's horror crash at the circuit has not dampened his enthusiasm for this race.
McNish, 42, who partners Rinaldo Capello and Tom Kristensen in an Audi, won the race in 1998 and again in 2008 but was lucky to escape a huge crash in the first hour of the 2011 edition.
He said: “The crash has no relevance to be honest, I've raced since then and I've won since then.
“I definitely think that three wins is a better number than two. The pressure is always there. But I have won two more Le Mans than Mario Andretti, for example, and Mario is an absolute legend in motorsport and won everything else but never won at Le Mans.”
Last year Audi won for a 10th time in 12 outings.
Nevertheless, Andre Lotterer, Benoit Treluyer and Marcel Fassler were not the men expected to be taking the chequered flag.
They thrived where the other two Audis failed - McNish was followed out of the race by 2010 champion Mike Rockenfeller whose car speared into the barriers.
McNish will be amongst the favourites this year, especially with eight-time winner Kristensen and three-time champion Capello alongside him again. The combination have raced together at Le Mans since 2006.
McNish added: “Going back to Le Mans is always very special and the race itself is always an amazing occasion.
“I gave this car a debut race pole-position at Spa in Belgium in May but I'm now focused on giving it a maiden win at Le Mans.
“We know it's going to be tough but we've prepared well and I can't wait to get on track again.”
Audi's main competition in the 80th running of the iconic endurance test will come from Toyota, returning to Le Mans after a 13-year absence.
Toyota technical director Pascal Vasselon believes a win is not out of the question for his team, despite Audi setting the three fastest times in qualifying on Thursday.
“We want to show that we are here.”
“We are going to do our best, so long as it doesn't detract from the other work we need to do. It will be a nice game.”
The Toyota TS030 Hybrid has yet to complete a 24-hour test and its first chassis was damaged in testing.
Toyota have four experienced drivers at their disposal - Nicolas Lapierre, Alexander Wurz, Anthony Davidson and Stephane Sarrazin.
Sarrazin was on pole for Peugeot for three consecutive years from 2007-2009 - AFP