Walk of Stars Fame for Nigel Mansell

August 17, 2011 by  
Filed under News

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.

Formula One Drivers

February 9, 2009 by  
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The passion, glory and prestige of Formula One racing has lured many drivers to the sport, but only a select few have become famous for their skill behind the wheel. So widespread is their fame that their names are on the lips of fans around the world; even those who do not follow their careers are usually familiar with them. Names such as Michael Schumacher, Fernando Alonso, Ayrton Senna, Mika Hakkinen and Nigel Mansell have become synonymous with the sport of Formula One racing.

Formula One (F1) racing is ranked as the highest class of auto racing by the FIA. Participants in F1 racing have to ensure that both drivers and vehicles meet certain requirements before being allowed to compete. Both equipment and salaries are high in the sport and so only a small minority are actually able participate in the sport and to own teams. The vehicles used are single-seat vehicles which need to be negotiated around a variety of tracks a number of times at top speeds. Because the tracks are not set in one fixed shape, drivers need to have full command of their thinking faculties during a race – the immense speed at which they drive allows little room for error.

The F1 World Championship consist of a series of races which are called Grand Prix’s. Drivers need to be in top form to win as many of these Grand Prix races as possible or to place well, in order to claim the World Championship title. Thus, only the select few who posses a combination of natural talent, guts, intuition, intelligence and athleticism are able to claim this much coveted title and make their way into the history books.

This section of Autoracing.com is dedicated to the many heroes of Formula One racing. It covers both current and previous racing legends who have left their mark on the sport. Some showed excessive brilliance on the F1 racing track, whilst others, such as Nikki Lauda, are remembered more for their impressive courage and persistence than their outstanding race performances. We cover notable drivers from every corner of the globe and those who are leading today as well as drivers who were present at the very beginning of the sport. We are confident that you will enjoy learning about these racing greats.

Famous drivers:

Nigel Mansell

February 9, 2009 by  
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Born near Birmingham on the 8 August 1953, Nigel Ernest Mansell drove his first car at the age of seven on an open field. He was inspired by Jim Clark, who won the 1962 British Grand Prix, and from then decided he would copy his hero. Like many other Formula One racers he started with cart racing and after much success became the 1977 British Formula Ford champion, regardless of the fact that during the test run he suffered a broken neck. The doctors then informed him that the accident had brought him close to becoming a quadriplegic and that for six months after the accident he was to be confined and would probably never drive again. Nigel sneaked out on the pretense of going to the toilet and raced on.

Nigel Mansell put a lot on line to progress in his racing. Having given up his job as an aerospace engineer and having sold many of his personal items to finance his move into Formula Ford, he was not about to stop now. Later, Mansell and his loyal wife Rosanne sold their home to finance his next move into Formula Three. In 1979, Mansell was again in a near death accident when he collided with another car. For the second time Nigel Mansell was hospitalized, this time with a broken vertebra in his back. With so much at stake he took painkillers to hide the extent of his pain and performed well enough in the Lotus tryouts to become a test driver for the Formula One team.

In 1980 he took part in his Formula One debut at the Austrian Grand Prix. During the race he had a fuel leak in the cockpit, which left him with extremely painful first and second degree burns on his buttocks. In 1985 Nigel moved to Williams, but by the end of that season he had had no victories to show for the 71 Grand Prix starts he had taken part in. However, after that he became a prolific winner, starting with the 1985 European Grand Prix at Brands Hatch. In a period of 18 months he won 11 races but was unable to achieve two World Championships. In 1986 his season came to an end when his tyre burst in Adelaide.

Nigel Mansell fuelled his motivational fires with adverse situations and if they did not exist he went out of his way to create them. Although this caused many conflicts within the Williams team, the fans loved him for the pure unadulterated aggression with which he raced. In 1988 an opportunity came up at Ferrari and Mansell took it with both hands. In 1989 his debut with Ferrari came with a win, which endured him to his Italian fans who called him “The Lion”. At Hungaroring he qualified at a seemingly hopeless 12th on a track that was known to be impossible to overtake on. But Mansell stormed through the field and managed to just get pass Senna’s McLaren and win the race.

At the end of the season Nigel announced that he would be retiring for the season but a couple of months later came back onto the racing scene with Williams. 1991 saw him winning five times in the Williams-Renault but he was unable to take the title. In 1992 this changed and he was declared World Champion after winning nine out of the 16 races in his Williams-Renault FW14B. But with grieviances over money and the prospect of having his arch enemy as his 1993 team mate he retired from Williams and started with IndyCar racing in America where he dominated, becoming the 1993 IndyCar champion. A year later Williams talked him into returning for four more races, the last of which he won from pole position. In 1995 he raced two more times with McLaren but decided once and for all to retire after 187 races over 15 chaotic seasons. Nigel Mansell retired from racing to run several business enterprises and now lives a much quieter life with his wife and three children, taking part in a couple of racing events from time to time.