MCDONALD'S DRIVER BOURDAIS TO SHAKE DOWN PREDECESSOR NIGEL MANSELL'S 1993 CHAMPIONSHIP-WINNING RACE CAR ON RACE MORNING
CLEVELAND (July 24, 2006) --- Two-time Champ Car World Series champion Sebastien Bourdais will shake down the 1993 championship-winning race car driven by Englishman Nigel Mansell between 10:00 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. ET tomorrow in advance of the Champ Car Grand Prix of Cleveland Presented by U.S. Bank. The No. 5 Kmart/Havoline Lola Ford/Cosworth race car will be transported to England for Mansell to pilot during the annual Goodwood Festival of Speed, July 7-9.
Mansell brought Newman/Haas Racing (NHR) the third of six Champ Car titles when he earned five wins, seven poles and led 603 of 2112 laps while competing in 15 of the 16 events held in 1993. He missed the Phoenix event due to a back injury (soreness) sustained in a practice crash. The last time he drove a Champ Car was at the 1994 season-finale at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterrey, Calif. NHR began restoration of the race car approx. two years ago.
Mansell's last appearance at a Champ Car race was as a spectator at Bourdais' debut in St. Petersburg in 2003. Despite only being behind the wheel of a Champ Car for seven days Bourdais claimed the pole in his debut and became the first rookie in series history to lead the first lap of his first Champ Car start before contact ended his race after he led a total of 30 laps. He won the pole in the following event in Monterrey, Mexico and became the first rookie since Nigel Mansell (1993) to win the pole for each of his first two series starts. A radio problem led to a missed stop and he again failed to finish the race after he led a total of 16 laps before contact ended his race.
About Nigel Mansell and Newman/Haas Racing...
Nigel Mansell came to Newman/Haas Racing in 1993 as the reigning Formula One Champion. He became the first rookie and third former Formula One champion to capture the CART title. He was also the first driver to win the Formula One and CART titles back-to-back. He edged fellow Formula One Champion Emerson Fittipaldi by a 191-183 margin to bring Newman/Haas Racing its third CART title. Mansell made a strong statement immediately as he won the season opener in Australia from the pole. After missing the following race at Phoenix due to a practice accident, Mansell posted five podium finishes, including a win at Milwaukee, in the next six races. He went on to tie for the series high in victories at five and become the sole leader in poles at seven. He also established single-season rookie records for poles and laps led at 603. He reached the $1 million mark in earnings quicker than any driver in racing history (10 races). The reigning Champion came back to Newman/Haas and CART for the 1994 season but did not fare as well and returned to Formula One at the end of the season. In his two-year stint with the team, Mansell won five races, 10 pole positions and set numerous track records.