1998 Auto Trader RAC British Touring Car Championship Rounds 25 & 26, Silverstone, Northamptonshire - Sunday September 20 1998
Mansell Draws Record Crowd To BTCC Finale
* Record crowd for Nigel Mansell's last 1998 Ford Mondeo Racing appearance * More top ten finishes for Ford Mondeo Racing * Mansell and Hoy hail end of season progress * "It's been terrific", says Mansell
Nigel Mansell joined Will Hoy in a Ford Mondeo for the last time at Silverstone this weekend - and completed the two final races of the 1998 Auto Trader RAC British Touring Car Championship season in front of a record BTCC crowd.
The double World Champion also took time to reflect on his experiences in the BTCC and with the Ford Mondeo Racing team.
At the wheel of a brand new Ford Mondeo - built specifically for his appearance at the season finale - Mansell first showed a touch of his spectacular skills in qualifying, as the first to venture onto a damp track on slick tyres to snatch pole position, which he held for most of the session until the track dried sufficiently for his time to be surpassed.
Team mate Hoy also had his own chance to shine in the damp conditions, with the two Ford Mondeos eventually lining up in the middle of a dry race day grid.
With everything to play for in two hard fought races, both drivers improved on their grid positions, with Hoy claiming points from each round and securing himself a top ten position in the drivers' championship table.
"I finished!", joked Mansell later, after taking the chequered flag in both of his Silverstone races. "It's been a terrific experience to come in to the championship and have this opportunity. These cars are a lot more complicated than when I first drove one five years ago, but we've learned a lot and made some significant developments through the season. Dick Bennetts and the team have been fantastic to work with, as has Will Hoy. It's been a great learning experience and a lot of fun."
Ford Mondeo Racing team principal, Dick Bennetts echoed Mansell's words: "We've made progress through the whole season and have continuously improved our performance. We're very satisfied with what we have managed to achieve with all we've been up against. I'd like to thank all our drivers, especially Nigel, for their input and all the team for their work during this season."
"I think we've had a pretty good season, considering the circumstances", agreed Hoy, after his final race for the Ford Mondeo Racing team. I'm disappointed to be only one point behind Derek (Warwick) in the points tables, but I will be back next year - I'm good enough and I deserve to be."
Race Statistics Round 25 (Sprint Race) Will Hoy 10th Nigel Mansell 14th Winner James Thompson (Honda)
Round 26 (Feature Race) Will Hoy 8th Nigel Mansell 11th Winner Anthony Reid (Nissan)
Championship Points (Final) Drivers' Championship Rickard Rydell (Volvo) 1st 254 points Will Hoy (Ford) 10th 69 points Nigel Mansell (Ford) 18th 7 points Craig Baird (Ford) 20th 6 points
Teams' Championship Nissan Racing 1st 168 points Ford Mondeo Racing 7th 44 points
Manufacturers' Championship Nissan 1st 273 points Ford Motor Company 7th 117 points