Mansell's school run with F1 hopefuls. Brands Hatch, 29 March, 2007. Britain's best loved racing driver, Nigel Mansell turned school master today for the start of the Formula BMW season which he launched in unique style by taking the 'Class of...
Mansell's school run with F1 hopefuls.
Brands Hatch, 29 March, 2007. Britain's best loved racing driver, Nigel Mansell turned school master today for the start of the Formula BMW season which he launched in unique style by taking the 'Class of 2007' on a lap of Brands Hatch in a yellow school bus.
Reaffirming his involvement as ambassador to the Formula BMW UK Championship, Mansell spent the day acquainting himself with the new line-up of drivers who arrived at the Kent circuit ahead of the season opener on Sunday.
The series attracts drivers as young as 15 who are looking to become the Formula One stars of the future. This season's grid includes other well known names in motorsport - Henry Surtees, son of John Surtees (who remains the only person ever to win world titles on two and four wheels) and French youngster Anthony Comas, son of Formula One driver, Erik.
First of a series of 'Mansell Masterclasses', the exclusive bus trip involved a 45 minute lesson from the former Formula One World Champion, who was handing out lines of a different kind in the form of race tips on how to tackle the Indy circuit, which the young drivers face in Rounds 1 and 2 of the championship.
Brands Hatch is renowned as one of the most technically challenging circuits in the UK, requiring drivers to produce their bravest and most precise performances. As they retraced the tracks of other great champions including Stirling Moss, Jenson Button and Ayrton Senna, Mansell recounted his personal experiences from the venue that saw him claim his first Formula One victory in 1985, as well as winning the last British Grand Prix to be staged at the circuit in 1986. The young audience listened avidly and took notes as he offered an inspirational insight into every turn of the famous track.
Nigel Mansell commented: "It's a pleasure to be involved in the Formula BMW series again. The championship not only offers a fantastic introduction to competitive single seater racing but additional support away from the track that is now so important. I find it really exciting to think that among these young drivers could be a future World Champion and if, by passing on any of my own experiences, I can be part of developing their careers, I'll feel very proud."
Last year's Rookie Cup Champion and one of the favourites for this year's title, Henry Arundel, commented: "What an amazing start to the season. It's not every day you get taught by one of the greatest drivers of all time. I can't wait to get out onto the track and put into practice some of the tips he passed on."
Peter Walker, General Manager, Sports Marketing, BMW (UK) commented: "We're delighted to have Nigel involved in the Formula BMW Championship - a series which prides itself on offering a rounded education both on and off the track. Nigel's record at Brands Hatch speaks for itself and to hear first-hand about his own experiences has been both fascinating and extremely motivating for the young drivers."
A total of 18 drivers are set to battle it out for the 2007 Formula BMW UK Championship title. The series runs from April-September and consists of 18 rounds staged at eight different venues throughout the UK. This year's grid sees a younger line-up than last season with over half of the drivers aged 16 or under. As well as the prestigious title, the winner will receive a test drive in a Formula 3 car with Double R Racing.