By Mark Gledhill - Motorsport.com Mansell breaks 160mph barrier Rockingham Motor Speedway, England Saturday 26th May, 2001 Nigel Mansell became the fastest man in England at Rockingham Motor Speedway on Saturday 26th May and also shattered...
By Mark Gledhill - Motorsport.com
Mansell breaks 160mph barrier Rockingham Motor Speedway, England Saturday 26th May, 2001
Nigel Mansell became the fastest man in England at Rockingham Motor Speedway on Saturday 26th May and also shattered Keke Rosberg's 160mph lap record set in the country in 1985. The display was a special demonstration agreed between Mansell and circuit officials to celebrate the opening of the venue, and a Champ Car was flown over and specially prepared for the event.
Mansell took to the track from a secret point out on the far side of the circuit under a hail of fireworks and a fanfare. He then did several fast laps and eventually reached the 34 second barrier. However, knowing he needed to go faster to break Rosberg's record, he backed off for a couple of laps before charging around the oval to set a lap record of 33.009 seconds (163.6mph).
Mansell summed up the experience in one word, "Wow!". He then described how he set the record: "I was very excitied actually getting the 33-seconds. I didn't think I was going to do it. I did two laps and got to 34, or 34 and a bit, and I pushed real hard and had to hang on. To be honest that's why I did two slow laps, to find a better line and find better grip, and then gave it one big one at the end there to get 33 even. And I said 'Thank you very much!' because I had a bit of a job hanging on there."
At the end of the Press Conference the young English driver Dan Wheldon was introduced to Nigel Mansell. Wheldon, 22, is currently contesting the Indy Lights Championship in America, and will drive a Champ Car at Rockingham later in the year.