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Allan McNish starts his hybrid diesel Audi from pole-position for the Bahrain Six Hour race tomorrow (Saturday 29 Sep).

Dumfries-born McNish stopped the clock at the wheel of the Audi R18 e-tron quattro he shares with Tom Kristensen (Den) in a fastest time of 1min 45.814ecs, an average speed of 114.40mph around the 3.36-mile Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir in today’s (FRI) 20-minute qualifying session.

“From pole position you can’t get a better starting point for a race,” commented McNish who switches to the hybrid diesel for the first time since the Le Mans 24 Hours in June.

“It’s a ‘thank you’ to our car crew for all the work they’ve done this week in building an e-tron quattro up from scratch here at the track for Tom and I.”

McNish and Kristensen are bidding for their second win in the FIA World Endurance Championship and cut the points deficit to their Audi Sport team-mates Marcel Fässler (CH)/André Lotterer (D)/Benoît Tréluyer (F) who head the title race now by 6.5pts with just three races remaining.

The Scotsman’s last “pole” was at Spa in Belgium four months ago on the R18 e-tron quattro’s race debut.

Allan added: “The run to the first corner at the start will be easier with the extra hybrid boost of the e-tron quattro but the difference between winning the race or not will be determined by clever strategy and driving plus human and tyre conservation because it is going to be very hot.

“We’ve got to work in achieving that goal but claiming ‘pole’ is a good first step.”

The Fässler/Lotterer/Tréluyer Audi R18 e-tron quattro completes the all-Audi front row, Fässler setting the second fastest time (1:45.888) on the 28-car grid – the time trials having been red-flagged briefly midway through for debris to be cleared off the track.

The six hour race, which starts at 2pm (UK time), will be run in energy-sapping temperatures above 30° Centigrade throughout but mainly in darkness at the ultra-modern Bahrain track.

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