The 39-year-old Scotsman bids for a third career Sebring triumph and the perfect warm-up for the Audi R15 TDI that will next compete in the Le Mans 24 Hours this summer.
The stunning new Audi R15 TDI differs significantly from its predecessor, the R10 TDI, featuring many technically innovative details with which Audi aims to maintain its Le Mans supremacy after scoring three consecutive "diesel" victories in the French "classic" with the R10 TDI. Audi's new Le Mans prototype is equipped with a smaller, lighter and even more efficient turbocharged diesel engine.
"The new R15 TDI is spectacular and I can't wait to race it at Sebring," confirmed McNish who became the first Briton to win the Le Mans 24 Hours last June driving a diesel-powered sportscar.
"I drove it for the first time before Christmas as planned in Spain and everything went well. Since then Audi Sport has been busy with extensive testing and everything is progressing very well and on schedule - it's a tremendous car."
McNish will share his new R15 TDI with Dindo Capello (Italy) and Tom Kristensen (Den) at Sebring on 21 March with Germans Lucas Luhr, Mike Rockenfeller and Marco Werner in a second Audi Sport Team Joest R15 TDI - the trio having competed together at Sebring last year.
"Sebring is the second biggest sportscar race in the world after Le Mans," added McNish who recently completed Audi Sport's fitness training in Germany. "I have been in the Audi `family' for a few years now and have confidence that the team in Ingolstadt have again designed and built us a worthy successor to the R10 TDI."
Last year McNish was voted Driver of the Decade by American Le Mans Series fans, collected the British Competition Driver of the Year Award at the Autosport Awards, British Racing Drivers' Club silverware and the Audi Driver magazine Personality of the Year for a third consecutive year.
Every new Le Mans Prototype from AUDI AG has celebrated its race dbut at the American race track in the heart of Florida. In Audi's first ever sports car race in 1999, Audi Sport Team Joest claimed a podium position first time out with the Audi R8R. A year later the Audi R8 triumphed on its dbut at Sebring as did the R10 TDI in 2006. The brand with the Four Rings has won the 12-hour race at Sebring, which also forms the opening race of the American Le Mans Series (ALMS), a total of eight times, the last time in 2007.
"So far the R15 TDI has performed as we expected," explains Head of Audi Motorsport Dr. Wolfgang Ullrich. "Now it must also prove itself in race conditions. Sebring is a particularly hard race and is therefore perfectly suited to reveal even the smallest of weaknesses."