We were delighted to welcome three-time Le Mans winner and 2002 Toyota F1 driver Allan McNish back to the track where it all began. Starting out in karting at Larkhall Circuit in the 1980’s, his motorsport career took the Scotsman all the way to Formula 1 and the legendary 24 Hours of Le Mans, where he secured a total of 3 wins and made his mark as one of the most successful endurance racing drivers in history.
Speaking to us about his karting roots, McNish highlights the importance of tracks such as Larkhall Circuit in training young Scottish drivers. With karting serving as a springboard to many other forms of motorsport, it’s crucial that aspiring racing drivers have access to circuits that allow them to develop their racecraft and hone their skills.
“It’s quite a tricky track, it’s not a case of that you come here and you can master it quickly. You come here and you’ve got to treat it with respect and you’ve got to gain its respect. That’s something I think develops drivers and in Scotland we need that. We need circuits that will actually train the drivers so that when major championships come to Scotland, we’ve got a real good fight. Larkhall Circuit definitely has that.”
McNish also looks back on his own karting days, remembering the times when he used to line up on the grid with fellow racing legends David Coulthard and Dario Franchitti. As a young driver moving through the ranks, he recalls how karting helped him build his confidence as a teenager.
“I was a very young kid, I was very small, and I wasn’t necessarily that academic at school, but I was able to do something in a kart and I won a few trophies. I remember winning that first ever trophy and it was something that I had won, and that gave me so much confidence. It was just a superb feeling.”
Be sure to watch the full interview to hear more about Allan’s early days as a kart racer, his love for Larkhall Circuit and his words of advice for young drivers who are looking to make their mark in the world of motorsport.