Motor Racing: Mansell glad to survive

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The Independent Online
NIGEL MANSELL, not usually content with anything less than victory, gladly settled for his third place in a dramatic second race of the PPG IndyCar World Series race at Phoenix International Speedway.

'I'm just happy to be here talking to you,' Mansell said after a dangerous race. 'Considering what kind of race it was, I was just thrilled to finish.'

Emerson Fittipaldi won the race, beating another Penske- Ilmor driver, Al Unser Jnr, by 13.482sec. Mansell, who is fifth in the PPG Cup standings after two rounds of his title defence, was a lap of the one-mile oval behind.

There were three cautions during the race and two serious incidents that claimed eight cars. Fortunately, the most serious injury of the day was a dislocated shoulder suffered by Japan's Hiro Matsushita.

A year ago the rookie world champion was the new kid on the IndyCar block and aware that there would be people waiting to pounce on any mistakes the Formula One title- holder made. Now he can afford to be a little more relaxed. He even admitted: 'My mechanics did a fabulous job, it's just the driver that didn't get it together.'

There are 14 races to go in the season, and according to Mansell, whose 19 points leave him 18 adrift of the leader, Fittipaldi, there are 10 drivers capable of taking the title away from him.

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