The world outside F1 - II

Continuing the "The world outside F1" posts, as promissed I will talk about some drivers that after bad F1 moments had nice achievements to be proud of.

Let's start with ex-Toyota Allan McNish. His case isn't really a "death and return" scenario, but it's interesting in the same way.

We can define McNish's carrer in three main points: Endurance pre-F1, F1 itself and Endurance past F1. Of course, he aimed F1 at first, but in the end he became one of the most brilliant endurance drivers of the modern era.

The endurance part before F1 had him driving first for Porsche in the incredible 911 GT1, even winning in Le Mans with the factory team. Since Porsche didn't returned to the Le Mansin 1999, so he drove for Toyota in their GT-One model, which he didn't finished the race. After that, he changed his squad to Audi, being part in one of the most dominant eras in endurance racing by the four-ringed manufacturer. starting with the trophy of the 2000 American Le Mans Series season.

Then, in 2002 he drove for Toyota F1 team, without scoring points and with a 7th place best finish, and with a awful accident in the Suzuka's high-speed 130R turn at Japan GP practice. In the following year, Allan became Renault's test driver for the whole season, going out F1 in the end of the season.

After his years in F1, he got back to Audi, again being part of the most winning squad in Le Mans past decade and in this one too, catching twice the 24 Hours of Le Mans(2008 and 2013), four times the 12 Hours of Sebring(2004, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2012) and 2006 and 2007 American Le Mans Series seasons. In the end of 2013, Allan announced his retirement from motorsport, at 44 years old.

Another example of this case, but in minor scale, is Marc Gené. The spanish entered in F1 in 1999 in Minardi(nowadays Toro Rosso), in what we could call one of the worst cars of the grid that time. Between some mid-pack finishes, he got a somewhat lucky 6th place in that year's European GP, given the fact that his team-mate Luca Badoer was in 4th but didn't finished the race. In the following year, he continued in Minardi, but without scoring points in 2000 season. In 2003 and 2004, he made some replacement appearances for Williams, considering he was a test driver for them, with a 5th place top finish.

In sportscars, he had a commitment with Peugeot factory team from 2007 to 2011, when the french manucaturer abandoned their sportscar program. In this time, he was part of the squad that broke Audi Sport's Le Mans wins in 2009, driving a Peugeot 908 HDI FAP, being his only win in La Sarthe. Then, he achieved a 12 Hours of Sebring, in 2010. His last apperances were with Audi Sport in the first rounds of 2012 and 2013 World Endurance Championship seasons, although Audi didn't called him to drive a WEC season for them in 2014. Instead of this,he will join LMP2 team Jota Sport in some rounds of the FIA WEC.

Photos: Border Reivers, Motor Authority, Cursa Models, AutoEsque