CHAMPCAR/CART: Blundell/Guglemin awards

Courtesy of CART Online PacWest's Guglemin And Blundell Honored By European Racing Publications CART Online (December 12) -- PacWest Racing Group drivers Mauricio Gugelmin and Mark Blundell each collected prestigious awards from respected...

Courtesy of CART Online

PacWest's Guglemin And Blundell Honored By European Racing Publications

CART Online (December 12) -- PacWest Racing Group drivers Mauricio Gugelmin and Mark Blundell each collected prestigious awards from respected European racing publications earlier this month including Autosprint Magazine's "Fastest Man on a Race Track' award for world record holder Gugelmin.

"Big Mo" was presented with a gold Hamilton watch by Autosprint on December 6 in Bologna, Italy, then was in London the next night when his teammate Blundell was voted top British Competition Driver by the readers of Autosport Magazine.

"This is just tremendous," said Blundell who drove the Motorola PacWest Reynard Mercedes-Benz to three CART wins in 1997. "It feels great to actually win this award after going over to the other side of the pond and flying the flag. To the readers, thank you. This means a great deal to me. To the F1 boys no offense. We've got the best open wheel racing in the world right now. There's tough competition in America. It's great racing, I'm making great friends, I'm enjoying the lifestyle and it's where I want to be."

Gugelmin received a rousing welcome from the Italian "tifosi" in honor of his record qualifying speed of 240.192 mph (390.156 kph for the Italian crowd) in the Hollywood PacWest Reynard Mercedes-Benz and the California Speedway in September. Gugelmin's achievement was also noted at the Autosport Awards when he was paired up with new Land Speed Record Holder Andy Green.

"I was very proud to be honored at Caschi d'oro (Golden Helmet) Awards," Gugelmin said, noting the 32-year history of the event. ""And to be called to the stage at the Autosport Awards really makes it a great weekend. I have a lot of memories of England from my Formula One days. It was fun to be back."

Gugelmin wrapped up his UK trip with a visit to Ilmor Engineering in Brixworth to check on the progress of the latest Mercedes-Benz IC108E engine. He also stopped by Reynard Racing Cars in Bicester where PacWest's first 1998 chassis is nearing completion. Blundell will shake down the new race car January 6 at Sebring.

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Series INDYCAR