Silverstone Friday report

"WE HAVE A GREAT FUTURE AS RACING DRIVERS!" SAYS DOUBLE WORLD CHAMPION 2006 Grand Prix Masters of Great Britain -- Friday Official Practice Track temp: 26 degrees Ambient temp: 20 degrees FRIDAY 11TH AUGUST 2006 (SILVERSTONE, UK): In order...

"WE HAVE A GREAT FUTURE AS RACING DRIVERS!" SAYS DOUBLE WORLD CHAMPION

2006 Grand Prix Masters of Great Britain -- Friday Official Practice
Track temp: 26 degrees Ambient temp: 20 degrees

FRIDAY 11TH AUGUST 2006 (SILVERSTONE, UK): In order to preserve their supply of engines, the drivers had limited running in the practice sessions at Silverstone today. Nigel Mansell, five times a grand prix winner on home turf, set a fastest time of 1:37.522. In second was double World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi, followed by Stefan Johansson.

Scott Poulter (CEO, Grand Prix Masters): "We've had an issue with the engines. We've lost ten engines since yesterday morning, and therefore have had to adjust the running program for everyone, causing some disruption. We're analysing the issues and are on track to recovery."

Nigel Mansell (Britain): "It's hard to just switch it on in a couple of days when you haven't driven in anger for a few months. I haven't raced competitively since Qatar. Yesterday I had a tough time with myself, but today it's a little bit easier. We've been very professional here today, we've all had limited running. This morning I only had one timed lap, because we've all agreed that it would be unfair to allow some people more time than others. By tomorrow everyone will have caught up with one another. Emmo got his car really hooked up today."

Emerson Fittipaldi (Brazil): "I've grown back my sideburns, so hopefully this will deliver some extra speed as well as style. It's great to be back racing in England. This is where I started my career and it's like my second home. I have a lot of friends here -- maybe not as many as Derek or Nigel, but there are a few of them here. It's a great honour to be back at Silverstone, and I like the new layout. It's challenging and there are two good places to overtake. I'm very pleased to be part of this group -- great champions from all over the world, and we're having fun. I think this series is growing, and I think we have a great future as racing drivers!"

Stefan Johansson (Sweden): "My first win in Formula 3 was here at Silverstone, and my last grand prix was here in 1991. The track is very different to how it was in those days but it's still very challenging and fast."

Eddie Cheever (USA): "I think anyone who wants to start in open wheel racing really has to come to England. I did what everyone else did, coming here to do Formula Ford and Formula 3. I have fond memories of this place, but it's very different to how it used to be. I think some of the corners used to be a bit more exciting, and over my career I've probably been off at each of them!"

Derek Warwick (Britain): "I've got a lot of friends here from Jersey and my family from England. Hopefully all the local fans are going to turn up and support me and Nigel and the rest of the guys. I think the race is going to be exciting on Sunday. There's going to be close racing and a lot of overtaking. More so than Qatar or Kyalami just because of the nature of the circuit. It's also a lot more demanding. My target right now is to get pole position. And where Nigel is I don't really care!"

Hans-Joachim Stuck (Austria): "To try and keep myself fit I've been driving BMW touring cars, and a few weeks ago I did a funny thing by going truck racing. It was 5.5 tonnes with 1200 horsepower. It was absolutely no help at all today! I only had a six lap race in Qatar because unfortunately I had a coming together with my yfriend Stefan, but hopefully we'll do a few more laps here and I'm sure we'll enjoy it. I find it pretty difficult here because Silverstone is a very fast circuit, and having looked at Emerson and Nigel's telemetry I think I'd better go to bed early tonight."

Patrick Tambay (France): "I know the new format of the grand prix circuit fairly well having taken some Renault customers around the track for three days recently, but it's a bit different in a grand prix masters car. I need the mileage more than some of my friends, and I need to loose some weight!"

-credit: www.gpmasters.com

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Series OPENWHEEL