Mansell And An M3 GTR
Bless Me Father for I have sinned – as a (very) lapsed catholic,
it has been some 30 years since I have attended confession, but
I feel I should unload this from the Goodwin book of revelations
– I was once, and in part still am, a Nigel Mansell fan.
That was in the days of course when F1 was still
worth watching, when overhypeing was only just pulling out of the
slipstream of overtaking, as the principal facet of the sport.
of course was a man of many vices: he was undoubtedly a man who
was guilty of too many moans and groans about his lot in life, a
trait made infinitely worse by his Brummie twang, which could make
an Oscar acceptance speech sound like a suicide note. He also sported
one of the most ridiculous displays of facial hair in professional
sport. He was though beloved of his fans, from the Union Jack boxer-shorted
Mansell mania crew that turned Silverstone into a petrol-fuelled
version of the Last Night of the Proms, to the hardcore race goers
who loved his gutsy style of win or bust driving.
There were some
lowlights in the last years of his active racing career of course,
including the infamous trip into the bridge parapet at Donington,
a massive accident which could all too easily have left him far
more seriously hurt. That crash, which he blamed (totally unfairly)
on Tiff Needell, robbed race fans of the opportunity to see Mansell
behind the wheel of a racing sportscar for the first time.....
Nige’ having qualified second on the grid (behind the evergreen
Colin Blower!) in, of all things, the TVR Tuscan Challenge.
return to the racing scene this season, both behind the wheel in
the new GP Masters series, and in the paddock supporting sons Greg
and Leo in Formula BMW, give a new generation of race goers the
chance to see the now facial hair-free Nige strut his stuff.
Brands Hatch World Touring Car Championship meeting on May 21 may
not feature the International GT Open cars, but it will provide
the opportunity for fans to see two modern legends combined, Mansell
and the BMW M3GTR, the fire breathing V8 powered Porsche beater
which only raced once on UK shores (at the 2001 ELMS round at Donington
Park) - and of course posted 1-2 finishes in the 2004 AND 2005 Nurburgring
The M3GTR will
be demonstrated at racing pace by the 1992 World Champion on the
full Grand Prix circuit, apparently the first time Mansell will
have lapped this track since 1998. Part of me hopes he enjoys it
so much that ……………………..
But let’s not go there!
M3 GTR driver Jorg Muller will have to cope with his two litre BMW:
"No power, no downforce, no grip!" (He was explaining
how to drive his current car, to Franck Lagorce)