Mansell Hails Gp Masters Concept
Posted 28 September 2005 - 11:37 PM
Nigel Mansell has predicted that the new Grand Prix Masters series, in which Formula 1 stars of the past will renew old rivalries in equal machinery, will be a roaring success.
The series gets underway in South Africa on November 13 and features an A-list line-up highlighted by former world champions Mansell, Alain Prost, Alan Jones and Emerson Fittipaldi.
Mansell believes the star-studded entry and speed of the cars will ensure first-class entertainment for the viewing public.
“Having spoken at length with the organisers I can tell you that the concept is absolutely fantastic,” said the 1992 world champion.
“I visited the factory last week to look at the GP Masters car and everything about it is first-class.
“The chassis [based on the 1999 Reynard Champ Car] and engine [a 3.3-litre Nicholson-McLaren V8 unit pumping out 600bhp] are really going to shock people when they see and hear them for the first time.
“It’s far better than any Formula 1 car from the 1980s, for sure, and is exactly the sort of car we drivers dream of, because it puts the skill factor back in our hands.”
Mansell says the lack of technological wizardry and the parity of equipment are central to the appeal of the new series.
“The cars are not overly complicated,” he observed. “They have no traction control, for example, which means you can spin if you try too hard and damage your tyres if you are not careful with your driving style.
“Everything about them is equal, so ride height and suspension settings and tyre choice will be dictated by the organisers to ensure that no one can gain an advantage on anyone else.
“I think this, more than anything, is what has captured the imagination of all the drivers who are keen to participate.”
Mansell contrasted the accent on entertainment in the GP Masters concept with the “sterilised” environment of Formula 1 and promised unrivalled levels of access for spectators.
“[Entertainment] is the be-all-and-end-all,” he said. “Every GP Masters race will stand out because we will be available for the fans, media and sponsors.
“Accessibility to famous racing drivers has vanished in modern motorsport and Grand Prix Masters will be something tangible, a series that opens up the drivers and cars to everybody.
“Compared to modern Formula 1 it will be so different.
“Everything has been sterilised in Formula 1 now, the whole thing is controlled too much.
“Grand Prix Masters drivers have reached the top of the racing ladder and have nothing left to prove.
“We can compete without fear of offending anyone.”
Nonetheless, with pride at stake and old scores to settle, the competition is likely to be intense – and Mansell couldn’t resist an early piece of psychological gamesmanship by tipping his old rival and former Ferrari team-mate Prost as the favourite for the inaugural race at Kyalami.
“Prost will start as the hot favourite, have no doubt,” said Mansell, who was beaten by the Frenchman in a recent charity race in DTM saloons at the Norisring in Germany.
“He has been racing a lot recently [in the French GT championship] and I haven’t been in a car for a long time.
“But I like being the underdog. I always was in my Formula 1 career and I will be again at the start of Grand Prix Masters.”
Posted 29 September 2005 - 03:32 AM
"I reject your reality and substitute my own"------Adam--Mythbusters
Posted 29 September 2005 - 08:26 AM
Listening to: Cracker - Kerosene Hat
Dig that jive, Jack. Put it in your pocket, and don't look back.
Posted 29 September 2005 - 02:13 PM
Posted 30 September 2005 - 01:01 AM
Absolutely…I’m not sure who has the broadcasting rights though. That information will surely be made public soon…
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