CHAMPCAR/CART: Darren Manning profile

Darren was born on April 30th 1975 in North Yorkshire; he began karting at the age of ten and it was soon clear that he was a star in the making. He competed in the British, European and World Karting championships on a professional level between...

Darren was born on April 30th 1975 in North Yorkshire; he began karting at the age of ten and it was soon clear that he was a star in the making. He competed in the British, European and World Karting championships on a professional level between 1986 and 1991.

In 1992 he raced in the Brands Hatch Formula First winter series with SpeedSport and finished second overall with two wins, three fastest laps and one pole position. Darren's extraordinary start impressed team boss Mike O' Brien and in 1993 Darren progressed to the Formula Vauxhall Championship with SpeedSport. He finished second overall in the championship with three wins.

Darren raced in the Formula Vauxhall series for the next two seasons, claiming fourteen podiums, three poles and a new lap record at Snetterton. It became evident that Darren was ready to move up to the ranks of the prestigious British Formula Three championship. In his first season in F3 in 1996, Darren finished seventh overall, including an impressive win at the British Grand Prix support race at Silverstone. Winning the Graham Hill trophy, he remained in F3 for the 1997 season and returned again to Silverstone in 1998 to win at the British Grand Prix support race - the only driver ever to do this twice!!

1999 was a superb year for Darren; he competed in the All Japan F3 championship winning six consecutive victories. He dominated the Macau Grand Prix, leading from start to finish from pole position. Leading every lap and setting yet another lap record, he became the first man to achieve the "perfect" win since Ayrton Senna. Darren went on to win the Korean Grand Prix setting the fastest lap along the way. He also attended a very successful F1 test at Jerez with the Williams team.

BAR Honda F1 team snapped Darren up for the 2000 season as a test driver, a relationship that has continued into the 2002 season. Rick Gorne, the team's Race Operations Director, said that he had been watching Darren for four years and that he had a special "spark" which put him head and shoulders above the rest. Darren also raced with the Arden International F3000 team in 2000, finishing eighth overall in the championship with one pole position, two podium finishes and several top ten finishes, continuing in 2001 with several top six qualifying positions, one podium and several top six finishes.

Darren is also working as a television presenter on ITV's Pulling Power programme, testing new cars and demonstrating his racing skills in the ASCAR Championship. This included victory at the EuroSpeedway in Germany and setting the first 150 mph lap in an ASCAR at Rockingham as well as . an ASCAR. He also set a new land speed record whilst driving backwards in a Caterham!!!

-tsg-

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About this article
Series IndyCar
Drivers Darren Manning , Ayrton Senna , Graham Hill
Teams Williams , Arden International