Motor Racing: Mansell bows out by finishing eighth: Tracy wins season's final race as Briton leaves IndyCar circuit behind him

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The Independent Online
NIGEL MANSELL's two- year IndyCar career ended in disappointment here yesterday when he finished eighth in the final race of the season. His race was marred by the same mechanical gremlins that have plagued him all year.

Paul Tracy, who led from start to finish, won what will probably be his last race for Penske. The Brazilian, Raul Boesel, was second, and Jacques Villeneuve of Canada finished third.

Mansell will not have time to dwell on his season of misfortune as he is due in Portugal tomorrow for two days' testing with Williams in preparation for the weekend's European Grand Prix at Jerez, Spain.

It seemed his luck might have changed for his farewell when he avoided a pile-up at the first corner. However, bad luck struck when a frozen rear-wheel nut forced the Newman-Haas team to send him out with a worn rear tyre. Incredibly, he managed to hang on to fifth place until he could come in for a full set of fresh rubber.

With the new tyres he had a last chance to catch the leaders, but a quirk in the rules put Mansell behind the pace car in the final full-course caution and robbed him of his opportunity.

Mario Andretti, who had been looking for his 53rd IndyCar triumph in his 407th and final race, was within four laps of the finish when his engine went up in smoke.

The British driver Steve Robertson ended his PPG- Firestone Indy Lights career out of the limelight as an engine misfire robbed him of the chance of victory.

Robertson's Tasman teammate, the Brazilian rookie Andre Ribeiro, won from pole position. Robertson is continuing his search for a sponsor that will take him into IndyCars next year.