We reported yesterday that despite Audi’s Lucas di Grassi turning in the best lap time around Le Mans at yesterday’s free practice, conclusions were difficult to draw from the early test, but Audi’s Allan McNish says that the results are promising.

“There are early positive signs,” McNish told Motorsport.com. “The long run with the #8 car was a good one. It wasn’t quite what it will be like in the race, in terms of being interspersed with red flags and so forth, but overall, it was positive and I think the drivers are happy so far with their progress.”

McNish went on to say that he was surprised by how close Audi and Porsche were, though he said that he wasn’t sure their performance was a true representation of how they will perform during the race.

Both McNish and Audi are intent on beating Porsche, though. Last year, Audi suffered a rare defeat at the hands of the Stuttgartians, and McNish told Motorsport.com that the defeat will fuel them this year.

“A defeat is never a bad thing once in a while, it just depends on how you take it,” says McNish. “You just have to look at the car Audi has produced this year to see how much it is up for the challenge of winning it again.”