F1Weekly podcast # 698

CLARK AND NASIR ARE GIDDY ABOUT THE BEGINNING OF PRE SEASON TESTING IN BARCELONA NEXT WEEK OF COURSE ANOTHER GREAT MOTORSPORTS MONDIAL AND A BONUS FOR THE LISTENERS!…INTERVIEW WITH ALAN MCNISH…

McNish began his career in karting like fellow Dumfries and Galloway driver David Coulthard. McNish credited the start given to both of them and Dario Franchitti as being largely down to David Leslie senior and junior.

McNish and Coulthard both were recognised with a McLaren/Autosport BRDC Young Driver of the Year award having moved up to car racing. In 1988 he won the Formula Vauxhall Lotus championship and in 1989 finished runner up to David Brabham in a close fought British Formula 3 Championship. During the late 1980s McNish shared a house with team mate Mika Häkkinen.

Tipped as a future Formula One driver, he tested with both McLaren and Benetton, whilst also competing in F3000, then the recognised second tier of European motorsport, in 1990–1992. Whilst racing his first season in F3000, McNish suffered a crash at a race in Donington Park where a bystander was fatally injured. He went on to finish fourth overall in the championship that season. Concentrating on Formula One opportunities meant he appeared in F3000 only once during 1994, at Pau.

When a Formula One drive failed to materialise, he returned to F3000 in 1995 with Paul Stewart Racing (run by the son of Sir Jackie Stewart who went on to formStewart Grand Prix). While he was arguably the fastest driver of the year, a series of mishaps saw him well beaten by Super Nova drivers Vincenzo Sospiri andRicardo Rosset in the title race. McNish’s career appeared to stall in early 1996 after a deal to race in Formula Nippon fell through and Mark Blundell was preferred for a drive with the PacWest CART team. He also tested for Benetton during the year

[audio:http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/mp3.f1weekly.com/podcasts/02-16-16f1weekly698.mp3]