Motor Racing: Motown misery for Mansell

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The Independent Online
NIGEL MANSELL spun his Lola and hit a wall in a low-speed accident eight laps from the end of the Detroit IndyCar Grand Prix yesterday, but despite collecting no points for being classified in 15th place, he still leads the championship standings.

Mansell, in sixth place at the time, tagged the wall in turn nine in what was his first crash in an IndyCar race. Going into the right hand turn, Mansell came upon his team-mate, Mario Andretti, who was in fifth place and trying to overtake Raul Boesel, who eventually finished second behind Danny Sullivan. Mansell went wide and hit the outside wall with his right front tyre, damaging the suspension and causing him to retire.

Sullivan, who scored his first success of the season, led home a trio of ex-Formula One drivers, with Boesel taking second place to close to within three points of Mansell in the overall championship with 68 points. Andretti finished third.

Once again Mansell's unfamiliarity with the rolling start let him down. He was on pole position, but at the green flag the Penskes of Emerson Fittipaldi and Paul Tracy roared past, although Fittipaldi was penalised for being too quick off the mark.

The Brazilian's attempts to regain his position after his enforced stop ended in a tire wall, which brought one of a number of yellow flags that punctuated the race.'

Before his exit Mansell had been caught up in a tangle involving two other Formula One exiles. It ended with Teo Fabi crashing into a tire barrier and the Swede Stefan Johansson sliding into the rear of the Italian's car after contact with Mansell.

By lap 51 out of 77 Sullivan, who had started from eighth on the grid, had found his way to the front, where he was tracked by Al Unser Jnr. They battled ferociously, and the question became whether the pair had sufficient fuel to make the finish. However, at one point during their tussle Unser, trying to pass, had struck the safety cones defining the course's edge. He incurred a penalty and that left the way clear for Sullivan.

DETROIT INDYCAR GRAND PRIX Leading finishers: 1 D Sullivan (US) Lola-Chevy, 77 laps, 1hr 56min 43.678sec; 2 R Boesel (Bra) Lola-Ford Cosworth at 12.206sec; 3 M Andretti (US) Lola-Ford Cosworth at 15.571; 4 A Montermini (It) Lola-Chevy at 17.353; 5 B Rahal (US) Lola-Chevy at 17.633; 6 A Unser Jnr (US) Lola-Chevy at 27.091. Selected: 15 N Mansell (GB) Lola-Ford Cosworth, 8 laps behind.