The Hollywood Walk of Fame is a popular attraction in the United States, and it is an honor for celebrities to have their names placed on this piece of pavement. In Birmingham, the United Kingdom, there is also a pavement that displays a host of names, paying tribute to the achievements of those who have made valuable contributions in sport, literature, music, business, film, radio, television and theater, namely the Broad Street Walk of Stars. Its latest inductee is the very deserving Nigel Mansell, who made his mark on the Formula 1 racing industry and is still respected for his achievements.
Born on 8 August 1953, Nigel Mansell grew up with a love for auto racing. He reflects back on his childhood with fondness, remembering how he had to be escorted home after police caught him racing his carts in the streets. He enjoyed fifteen successful seasons in the Formula 1 circuit, and in the year 1992 he won the Formula 1 World Championship. His last two years in racing he spent driving in the CART Series where he won the CART Indy Car World Series in 1993. He also made history by winning the CART Indy Car World Series, as it was the first time this title was won by someone making their debut in this division.
He completed his racing career with thirty-one victories behind his name, and finds his name on the winners list with Michael Schumacher, Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost ahead of him. Mansell was listed as one of the ten best Formula 1 drivers in the world, and is listed at number nine on the Times Online listing of top drivers of all time. On this list he again finds himself in the company of Formula 1 icons such as Jim Clark, Ayrton Senna and Alain Prost. Nigel Mansell is still considered to be the best Formula 1 diver to have come out of Britain.
Murray Walker, a Formula One commentator, is also on the Birmingham Walk of Stars, and Nigel Mansell’s name will now be alongside other celebrity names, such as Ozzy Osbourne, Frank Skinner, Jasper Carrott and Noddy Holder. Mansell commented that it was a great honor to be recognized and added to the Birmingham Walk of Stars, and that it was a privilege that he is very proud of.
View our various guides to auto racing, where we explore different types of motor sport that aren’t in the spotlight as often as NASCAR or Formula One.
The Champ Car World Series, which was formerly known as Championship Auto Racing Teams or CART is the name of an Open Wheel World Championship auto racing series. It replaced CART in 2004 after the Championship Auto Racing Teams Inc. filed for bankruptcy. Roger Penske, Pat Patrick and Dan Gurney originally founded the organization in 1978 along with several other team owners who had been regularly participating in various CART and IndyCar events.
Originally CART oversaw the sanctioning of Champ Car racing in the US, Canada, Mexico and Australia. Today the Champ Car World Series performs this task. Championship Car racing differs from Formula One (or F1) racing in many ways, although the cars themselves may appear very similar to the casual eye. For example, Champ Car racing usually takes place on oval tracks, cars are permitted turbocharged engines and the cars use methanol for fuel rather than gasoline. In addition, Champ Cars are about 15% heavier than F1 cars and have sculpted undersides that produce ground-hugging forces – a practice banned by the Formula One governing board in 1982. Perhaps the main difference in the two types of racing is the expense: Formula One being a much more costly endeavor due to the requirement that teams build and prepare their own chassis. Champ Car teams source their cars’ chassis from a number of independent suppliers, which fosters competition and keeps costs down.
Most modern Champ Cars use turbocharged engines built by Ford Cosworth. Although only displacing 162 cubic inches, these methanol-fueled powerhouses put out an astonishing 850 horsepower in full racing trim – enough to propel the 1,550-pound Champ Cars to a pavement-blistering 240 mph!
Emerson Fittipaldi, also fondly known as “Emmo”, from Brazil is a renowned race car driver who has achieved much in Formula One, the Indianapolis 500 and CART. He remains involved in motor sports to this day and still has a large fan following dating back from his early racing years. As a Formula One driver Emerson Fittipaldi will leave a lasting impression on the sport.
Emerson Fittipaldi was born on 12 December 1946 in Sao Paulo of Brazil. His father, a well known auto racing journalist named Wilson Fittipaldi, named him after American writer Ralph Waldo Emerson. Together with his brother Wilson Jr., Emerson took a great interest in motor sports. The two Fittipaldi brothers established their own business of creating custom car accessories when only in their teens. In 1967 they began building their own racing karts and competed with great success. In fact, Emerson was the Brazilian kart champion when 18 years old. Emerson Fittipaldi moved to England in 1969 to pursue a career in motor sport. On arriving in England he purchased a Formula Ford and Jim Russell, a racing school owner, took him under his wing. He quickly began bringing in winning results, winning the Lombank F3 championship. Right from the start his driving was noted for his controlled, smooth style.
Emerson Fittipaldi moved up to Formula 2 in 1970. Colin Chapman asked him to do a Formula One test drive that same year, promptly signing Fittipaldi up on the team. His first race was in a Lotus 49 at Brands Hatch where he came in 8th. He gained victory for his team by winning the United States Grand Prix. In 1972 Fittipaldi became F1 racing’s youngest World Champion – he was 25. Emerson Fittipaldi moved over to McLaren in 1974. That same year he once again won the World Championship title. In 1975 Fittipaldi became disillusioned with the politics of Formula One. Together with Wilson Jr. and Brazilian sugar company Copersucar he formed a new team. Unfortunately the team did poorly and was dismantled by 1982 due to lack of funds.
Following this time Emerson Fittipaldi moved back to Brazil to care for the auto accessory business and citrus farms. Whilst his Formula One career may have come to an end Fittipaldi continued racing, this time in USA IndyCar. The crowds were mad about Emmo. During his IndyCar career he won 2 Indianapolis 500 races. Unfortunately he had to retire after a bad accident in 1996 which resulted in a broken neck for Fittipaldi. Whilst recovering he was involved in a private airplane crash in which he hurt his back. Emerson Fittipaldi is still popular in the motor sports world and will remain such for many years to come.
Auto racing is a passion for many people, and like most popular sports a specialized language has grown up around it. This is common in situations where technical terms are often used, and those unfamiliar with the science of racing often shorten these words and phrases through frequent use.
Are you unsure of the meaning of the word “chicane” or other racing related terms? The Glossary at Autoracing.com is your online dictionary to the language of racing, providing you with a useful list of specialized words and terms relating to auto racing, along with their definitions. Use the Glossary at Autoracing.com as a handy reference tool. The terms have been listed in alphabetical order for your convenience. Why not bookmark this page – should you come across an unfamiliar term you can return here for quick reference.
Apex – The part of a turn at its center where the car is turning most sharply. The apex is usually the slowest part of the turn; the car slows down into the apex and then accelerates out of it.
CART – Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) is the sanctioning body of the FedEx Championship Series.
Chassis – The basic frame/structure of a racecar to which all other components are attached.
Chicane – A sudden sequence of serpentine turns found at the end of a long, high-speed straightaway that forces drivers to reduce their speed so that the car can be maneuvered into the next part of the course.
Crew Chief – The lead mechanic who makes decisions or implements changes to the car before and during a race.
Displacement – The total volume of air-fuel mixture that an engine is theoretically capable of drawing into all cylinders during one combustion cycle.
Drafting – The relative vacuum left in the trail of any fast-moving car that can often “pull” trailing cars forward by reducing the drag caused by wind resistance. Drafting enables a trailing driver to save fuel.
Drag – A term used in auto racing that relates to anything that causes wind resistance or affects the aerodynamics of air flow over the race car.
Groove – The unseen “line” that provides the fastest way around a racecourse or racing circuit. The groove is not a fixed point or “trajectory” as it may change during a race. The groove may depend on such factors as temperature and moisture, as well as oil, water and rubber deposited on the track during a race – all of which impact race conditions to various degrees.
Horsepower – A unit that measures the relative strength or pulling force of an engine. In its simplest terms, one horsepower equals approximately 33,000 foot-pounds per minute.
Methanol – Pure methyl alcohol used as fuel in all Indy Racing League cars.
NASCAR – The National Association for Stock Car Auto Racing (NASCAR) is the sanctioning body of American stock car racing. The three racing series currently overseen by NASCAR include the Sprint Cup Series (formerly the Winston Cup Series), the Camping Word Trucks Series and the Nationwide Series.
Pace Car – A Pace Car is the car that leads the field of auto racers around the track prior to the official start of the race. Typically modified and decorated production cars, pace cars sometimes feature celebrity drivers who either ride in the pace car or on occasion drive it.
Pit Stop – During a race, a driver may leave the race track and enter the off track area known as the “pit lane”. Once the car is stopped at the team’s designated location, the car may be repaired, examined, adjusted or refueled.
Pole Position – The favored position when the race begins. The pole position is located on the inside of the front row. The driver with the fastest qualifying time is awarded the pole position and the cars are lined up from the pole in order of the fastest to the slowest qualifying lap times.
Yellow Flag – The Yellow Flag signifies “caution” during a race and is usually waved to signal that an accident has taken place or debris (such as gasoline, oil or parts) remains on the track after a crash. Cars are required to slow down and not to pass while the hazard is being cleared.
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