The penultimate round of the 2004 EuroBOSS championship was held at Brands Hatch on Sunday and the crowd was treated to another race long battle between the talented eighteen year old Scott Mansell and the very experienced Dutchman, Klaas Zwart.
Mansell, the current outright lap record holder at Brands Hatch which he set earlier in the season, qualified the Zig-Zag Mansell Motorsport 1997 Benetton Formula one car on pole position, with his main championship rival Zwart just behind him on the grid.
Once the race got underway, Mansell and Zwart proved they where in a class of their own and both quickly pulled away from the rest of the field, in a race that could decide the outcome of the championship. Mansell needed one more win and the championship would be his, so he set about putting in some storming laps to try and break away from Zwart.
With such a packed field of pre 1998 F1 cars, Indycars and F3000 cars, backmarkers were always going to be an issue and the gap between the pair was to fluctuate between 0.6 and 2.9 seconds following numerous brave manoeuvres as they sliced through the busy field.
The twenty four lap race proved to be a thrilling spectacle as Mansell pushed on with Zwart chasing hard and with two laps to go the championship looked to be Mansell's. However going through the tricky McLaren corner which requires braking and changing gear whilst cornering, a problematic downshift put the young Mansell into a half spin. Zwart took the lead only to immediately spin through 360 degrees himself but luckily he collected it and carried on having lost less time than the still recovering Mansell, who having kept the engine running got going again.
Crossing the line with two laps to go, Mansell was 1.85 seconds behind Zwart and the youngster was now really fired up. One lap to go and the gap was down to 1.1 seconds. Mansell was flying again and the crowd roared as Mansell starting the final lap, trying all he could to close the gap. Alas there was not enough time left and Zwart took the chequered flag a mere 0.49 ahead of the talented teenager from Tamworth.
To see the eighteen year old pushing the 1997 Benetton to the limit again, was truly a spectacular sight and Scott Mansell will now go into the final round of the championship at Le Mans in France on October 10th needing just two points to become the EuroBOSS 2004 champion.
MANSELL PROVES HE IS A TRUE RACER IN THRILLING RACE AT DONINGTON
Scott Mansell and Klaas Zwart had the crowd at Donington Park on their feet watching round six of the EuroBOSS championship racing very recent formula one cars on Sunday. Eighteen year old Mansell the current lap record holder, qualified the Zig-Zag Benetton on pole but was beaten into the first corner by a brilliant move from Klaas Zwart in his much improved Ascari Judd.
The crowd were then treated to fifteen laps of wheel to wheel racing as Mansell tried everything to get back past his championship rival who was strongly defending the lead. Then on lap sixteen in a breath taking manoeuvre, running side by side down the craner curves, Mansell outbraked Zwart into the old hairpin and the lead was his.
Two laps before the end I got a good run coming out of Redgate and lined him up. I darted to the right just before the old hairpin, having to take a small amount of grass on the inside and only just about slipped through. It was probably the best manoeuvre I have ever pulled off."
Later in the lap, Zwart having greater traction from coppice onto the back straight managed to get along side the teenager before goddards, forcing Mansell wide onto the marbles and into a half spin onto the grass. Unperturbed, the teenager cleverly kept his engine running, rejoined the race and still managed to finish second behind the much improved Zwart. Patrick D'aubreby finished third on the podium in his Benetton B192.
With two rounds remaining at Brands Hatch and Le Mans, Scott Mansell the teenager from Tamworth leads the EuroBOSS championship from Klaas Zwart by seventeen points.
MANSELL DESTROYS ZOLDER OUTRIGHT LAP RECORD BY OVER TWO SECONDS!
EuroBOSS racer, eighteen-year-old Scott Mansell continued his amazing run of smashing outright circuit records on Sunday in his Zig-Zag Mansell Motorsport Benetton B197 at Zolder, in Belgium.
Having never seen the track before Friday, after just sixteen laps in free practice he showed just how good he is at learning new circuits by managing to put in an astonishing lap of 1:19.73 in qualifying to go 2.4 seconds under the outright lap record and 2 seconds quicker than his nearest rival, Klaas Zwart.
Lap two of the race saw the record go with Mansell on a full race fuel load, putting in a 1:20.068 lap to smash the previous outright lap record by over 2 seconds and to make it five outright track records in a row.
On lap six however, an electrical fault led to the display of false data and Mansell was led to believe from the display that there was an overheating problem and he immediately retired the car. Post race, it was discovered that an electrical fault had cruelly robbed him of another victory.
The race was won by Klaas Zwart in his Ascari Judd with Karl-Heinz Becker in his Minardi Cosworth coming second and Paul Smith completed the podium in his Simtek Ford.
Scott Mansell leads the EuroBOSS championship by nineteen points over Klaas Zwart with three rounds to go.
MANSELL SMASHES ANOTHER OUTRIGHT LAP RECORD IN GERMANY AT THE LAUSITZRING
Scott Mansell continued his domination of the 2004 EuroBOSS championship with his fouth consecutive win and outright lap record at the Lausitzring in Germany on July 4th in front of 19,000 spectators.
In qualifying, Mansell put in a stunning lap of 1:31.237 to become the fastest ever driver to lap the circuit, smashing the previous lap time of Heikki Kovalainen who leads the Formula Nissan World Championship and is Renault's current F1 test driver.
Starting for pole position for the fourth time this year, Mansell put in some very quick laps early on to establish a new outright circuit lap record of 1:32.059 to eclipse the previous record held by Frank Montagny set in 2003 in the Formula Nissan World Series.
Scott Mansell's winning margin in the Zig-Zag Mansell Benetton B197 was 2.8 seconds over Klaas Zwart in the Ascari and Mike Wrigley completed the podium in his ex-Andrea de Cesaris Tyrell-Judd 020.
Scott Mansell now leads the championship by 32 points from Klaas Zwart as the series heads to Zolder on July 18th. Klaas holds the outright lap record at Zolder, a track which Scott has not yet raced at so that should make for a very exciting race.
Scott Mansell, Zig-Zag Mansell Motorsport:
BRANDS HATCH INDY LAP RECORD AND RACE WIN IN FRONT OF 40,000 BUMPER CROWD
Nineteen years after Nigel Mansell scored his first Formula 1 race win at the famous Kent circuit, Scott Mansell became the fastest racer ever to lap the Brands Hatch Indy circuit, driving his Zig Zag Benetton Judd V10 majestically around the twists and turns of the Kent circuit to secure the lap record by almost 0.2seconds in front of a bumper crowd of 40,000 people.
The Tamworth 18-year old broke the lap record set a year ago by Champ Car pilot Adrian Fernandez by setting a time of 38.03 seconds on lap four of Sunday’s race, which was part of the annual CSMA Classic Festival. Mexican veteran Fernandez set his outright lap record of 38.21 seconds during the London Champ Car Trophy on May 5, 2003.
Mansell admitted he was overwhelmed to have beaten a time set by such a high-profile racing star. “It’s fantastic, isn’t it?” he said afterwards. “It hasn’t really sunk in yet. I mean, Champ Cars are pretty serious machines and to beat their lap times means I was doing some very fast laps.”
Mansell had already beaten the outright lap records at Donington Park and Silverstone during the opening two rounds of the EuroBOSS series. But he said that beating the Brands record meant more to him. “It’s good that we’ve beaten the American Champ Car record, which was a record set by a current car, last year .”
The Mansell Motorsport/Zig Zag racing driver even dipped into the 37-second bracket during practice on Saturday, although he had a very light fuel load for that run. For the young racer, though , the fact that he set the new lap record with a full fuel load just adds to the kudos.
“I was quicker on Saturday,” he said. “But the lap on Sunday was the best driving lap I have ever done.”
DONINGTON OUTRIGHT LAP RECORD SMASHED ON WAY TO ANOTHER VICTORY!
Things could not have gone better for Scott as he qualified the Zig-Zag Mansell Motorsport Benetton on Pole, then secured another emphatic victory in the second round of the 2004 EuroBOSS Championship, setting a another outright lap record this time around the difficult Donington national circuit.
He lapped the 1.96 mile circuit in a time of 55.859 seconds, with an avarage speed of over 126 mph, taking over 1 second of the previous lap record held by Earl Goddard set in Michael Schumacher's 1994 championship winning Benetton.
From the start Mansell held off Zwart into the first corner and then started to put in some awesome laps smashing the lap record four times in the first five laps! Such was his speed, that on lap six he had already caught up with the backmarkers and he proceeded to blast past them on his way to a stunning second victory of the season making it two out of two. His winning margin over last years Champion, Klaas Zwart, was 27.5 seconds and Scott's average speed over the entire race was over 120 mph!
Scott now leads the championship by 10 points heading into the third round at Brands Hatch which is part of the spectacular CSMA festival on May 22nd/23rd.
I'd like to take this opportunity to thank everyone at Mansell Motorsport for all their hard work in preparing the car and to thank my sponsors Zig-Zag rolling papers, Drayton Manor theme park, Castrol and Living Well Health Club."
MANSELL WINS & BREAKS SILVERSTONE OUTRIGHT LAP RECORD!
Starting from pole, 18 year old Scott Mansell from Tamworth, England, driving the Benetton Judd, secured an emphatic debut victory in the first round of the 2004 EuroBOSS Championship, setting a new Silverstone national circuit outright lap record (47.404s, 124.47mph) in the process. His winning margin over last years Champion, Klaas Zwart, was 24-seconds and achieved despite losing his clutch for the latter stages of the race. Scott also becomes the youngest driver to win a race in a Formula One car.
With only minutes to go in qualifying, Mansell went out and posted a lap of 46.685 to grab pole position from Zwart by 1.156 seconds. By the end of the session, a differential problem forced Zwart to abandon his Championship winning Ascari Judd for the ‘peoples favourite’, the Jean Alesi 95 Ferrari.
From the start Mansell was a man with a mission. Zwart had only just beaten Mansell in their last encounter and Mansell knew that this was his opportunity for revenge. Mansell blasted into a lead and within five laps had broken the outright lap record four times. D’Aubreby in second place was finding it difficult to keep Mansell in his sights although his speed was increasing with every lap.
As the race entered its final stages Mansell began to slow, his clutch had given up and, with a commanding lead, he did not need to take unnecessary chances. His driving and race tactics were faultless and as he passed the chequered flag to take his first ever EuroBOSS win it became clear that he is the man to beat in 2004.
The Zig-Zag Mansell team did a great job and I dedicate this win to them and everyone who has made this possible, my family and friends and sponsors Zig-Zag, Drayton Manor Theme Park and Penthouse UK . It is a bonus to secure the track record along with my first win and I cant wait to for the next round at Donington, my local circuit."
The next round of the 2004 EuroBOSS Championship takes place on the 9th May at Donington Park, UK.