Motor Racing: Mansell's testing 'record'

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The Independent Online
NIGEL MANSELL 'broke' the track record in his first IndyCar test session with the Newman-Haas team at the Firebird Raceway in Phoenix yesterday.

Mansell, the first reigning Formula One world champion to switch from grand prix racing to Indycars, unofficially cut the previous best for the 1.77km Firebird East track by 0.8 of a second.

'I am delighted not only to go so quickly but also to make such a good start with my new team,' he said. 'This week is really a learning week for me and I feel we have achieved a great deal already.

'The Lola-Ford car has a terrific engine and it is up to me to improve myself and to learn all about racing on ovals later in the week.'

Mansell was driving a 1992- specification car on the flat and normally regulated road circuit, but tomorrow he will drive for the first time on a concrete-walled, banked oval at the Phoenix International Speedway. He will also be driving the 1993 specification Lola-Ford for the first time.

A large press corps watched Mansell in action. 'This is the biggest media event at a test session in the 81 years of IndyCar racing,' a team spokesman said.