The BOSS route

Author

admin

Browse pages
Current page

1

Current page

2

Current page

3

Current page

4

Current page

5

Current page

6

Current page

7

Current page

8

Current page

9

Current page

10

Current page

11

Current page

12

Current page

13

Current page

14

Current page

15

Current page

16

Current page

17

Current page

18

Current page

19

Current page

20

Current page

21

Current page

22

Current page

23

Current page

24

Current page

25

Current page

26

Current page

27

Current page

28

Current page

29

Current page

30

Current page

31

Current page

32

Current page

33

Current page

34

Current page

35

Current page

36

Current page

37

Current page

38

Current page

39

Current page

40

Current page

41

Current page

42

Current page

43

Current page

44

Current page

45

Current page

46

Current page

47

Current page

48

Current page

49

Current page

50

Current page

51

Current page

52

Current page

53

Current page

54

Current page

55

Current page

56

Current page

57

Current page

58

Current page

59

Current page

60

Current page

61

Current page

62

Current page

63

Current page

64

Current page

65

Current page

66

Current page

67

Current page

68

Current page

69

Current page

70

Current page

71

Current page

72

Current page

73

Current page

74

Current page

75

Current page

76

Current page

77

Current page

78

Current page

79

Current page

80

Current page

81

Current page

82

Current page

83

Current page

84

Current page

85

Current page

86

Current page

87

Current page

88

Current page

89

Current page

90

Current page

91

Current page

92

Current page

93

Current page

94

Current page

95

Current page

96

Current page

97

Current page

98

Current page

99

Current page

100

Current page

101

Current page

102

Current page

103

Current page

104

Current page

105

Current page

106

Current page

107

Current page

108

Current page

109

Current page

110

Current page

111

Current page

112

Current page

113

Current page

114

Current page

115

Current page

116

Current page

117

Current page

118

Current page

119

Current page

120

Current page

121

Current page

122

Current page

123

Current page

124

Current page

125

Current page

126

Current page

127

Current page

128

Current page

129

Current page

130

Current page

131

Current page

132

Current page

133

Current page

134

Current page

135

Current page

136

Current page

137

Current page

138

Current page

139

Current page

140

Current page

141

Current page

142

Current page

143

Current page

144

Current page

145

Current page

146

Current page

147

Current page

148

Current page

149

Current page

150

Current page

151

Current page

152

Current page

153

Current page

154

Current page

155

Current page

156

Current page

157

Current page

158

Current page

159

Current page

160

Current page

161

Current page

162

Current page

163

Current page

164

Current page

165

Current page

166

Current page

167

Current page

168

Driving an old Benetton at national level could be Scott Mansell’s ticket to GP glory as Damien Smith finds out

You are an ambitious 18-year-old with your sights locked on Formula One. But you are one in a thousand racing drivers, all of whom are clambering for a foothold on a slippery slope. There is more than one route to the top, but which one do you take? You could choose an obscure path: it might lead to a dead end, but then again it could bypass the junior single-seater frenzy completely and leave you within reach of the pinnacle.

Yes, the EuroBOSS series for pre-1998 F1, Indy and F3000 cars, is well off the beaten track for career drivers. These spectacular cars are usually the preserve of rich amateurs, but Scott Mansell insists it could be his ticket to the top.

“At the start of the season I did have my doubts that I was doing the right thing,” he says. “Now I’m sure it’s right.” Mansell — who is no relation to his famous namesake — had planned to be more conventional this year and compete in Formula BMW. He had already raced and impressed in the Benetton B197 run by his father Kevin, an established car builder and historic racer. When they realised a season in a 700bhp F1 car was only slightly more expensive than a year in a 140bhp one-make series, a plan formed. “This experience has got to give me an advantage,” says Scott.

For his father, 2004 will not be a year of great profit. Mansell Snr makes his living running these cars for customers, but has sacrificed a season to run his son, with financial support from Zig-Zag, a cigarette rolling paper company.

The ex-Jean Alesi racer, which finished second in the 1997 British Grand Prix, is a long way from its original spec. A 4-litre Judd V10 sportscar engine has replaced the Renault V10, and the complex electronic hardware and software is gone. The paddle gearshift has been replaced by a conventional sequential unit and now there’s no power steering or fly-by-wire clutch and throttle. The hydraulic differential has survived, but the compact six-man Mansell Motorsport team does not have the high-tech programme to map the variable limited slip that created the effects of traction control, designed to sidestep F1’s ban on driver aids back in ’97.

“It’s better this way,” says Kevin Mansell. “To have over 700bhp with no driver aids is great for Scott’s experience. It does create problems, though. For example, braking distances are superior to the speed a driver can get down the gears without the paddle shift. Scott has no time to heel and toe.”

Even without the electronics, the Benetton is still high maintenance. “We can’t ‘life’ parts like they do in F1, we have to rebuild everything after every race,” says Kevin. “We are lucky to be situated just off the M42 with lots of companies around us who can test components for us.” Driver and team have to be really very careful when there is so much at stake. When a new Judd costs £55,000, a season for a lower-budget set-up like this can soon be cut short.

But the care has paid off. “We’ve only had one failure in a race, and even then Scott stopped before any significant damage could be done,” says Mansell Snr. So the bill for an eight-race season? Around £200,000 — that’s half of a contemporary Formula Three budget.

F1 driving experience is all very well, but Scott Mansell needs to get noticed if he is to achieve his aim of graduating to the new GP2 grand prix support series next year. Four wins and five outright circuit lap records (see above) should help.

Mansell Snr claims that people are taking notice. He even reports interest from other young drivers hoping to follow in Scott’s footsteps next year. But the jury remains out on how he will stack up against his peers. An answer to that question could be on the horizon, and if it is a positive one, that unlikely EuroBOSS path to the top might not be obscure for much longer.

FACT FILE Mansell’s outright lap records

Brands Hatch* 38.032sec (116.06mph)

 Silverstone** 47.407sec (124.47mph)

Donington** 55.859sec (126.14mph)

Zolder 1min 20.068sec (111.11mph)

Lausitz 1min 32.059sec (110.23mph)

*Indy circuit          **National circuit

You may also like

Related products