Mansell tackles bug before Masters GP - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Mansell tackles bug before Masters GP

11/11/2005 05:49:20 AM Comments (0)

Former champion Nigel Mansell says he will be racing 'blind and deaf' when he joins other Formula One greats in Sunday's inaugural Grand Prix Masters event.

The 52-year-old Briton, winner of the South African Grand Prix at Kyalami in 1985 and his championship year of 1992, told a news conference that a stomach bug had made a tough challenge even harder.

"Since I was here last the direction of the track is completely opposite," Mansell said. "The track now runs in an anti-clockwise direction.

"The cars are unbelievable, better than anything I drove in my heyday," added the former Lotus, Williams, Ferrari and McLaren driver.

"Despite what many people might think, these cars are extremely powerful although I haven't been able to test them on this track because of a stomach bug the last few days. I'm racing blind and deaf."

Mansell, Brazilian Emerson Fittipaldi and Australia's Alan Jones are the only former champions in a 14-strong field which also includes race winners like Frenchman Rene Arnoux and Italian Riccardo Patrese.

Practice is on Friday and Saturday. All will race identically prepared cars powered by V8 engines that produce more than 600bhp.

Fittipaldi, 58 and world champion in 1972 and 1974, has expressed reservations about safety while endorsing the overall vision.

"I like the concept but there is a big difference between this concept and golf masters and tennis masters," he told Britain's Daily Telegraph newspaper.

"In golf if you make a mistake with your equipment the ball goes into the tree. But a mistake in Grand Prix Masters means we go into the tree together."

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