Picking just one clip from the British Touring Car Championship to illustrate the 2015 Festival of Speed theme ‘Flat-out and Fearless: Racing on the Edge’ was a tough ask. We pored over at least a couple of dozen examples from over the years which could have done the theme justice.
Then we happened across this edited clip from Donington Park in 1998 and realised it had to be the one. Usually our ‘Flat-out and Fearless …’ videos focus on one or two protagonists and indeed this footage is focused on Nigel Mansell, although to single out ‘Red 5’ as the only driver racing ‘on the edge’ would be to do the others a disservice.
Seven different manufacturers were competing in 1998, which meant lots of room for highly capable touring car drivers. Alain Menu, Rickard Rydell, Anthony Reid, Yvan Muller, John Cleland and former Grand Prix drivers Derek Warwick, Gianni Morbidelli and of course Mr Mansell were all present on this day.
The race started out dry with former Indycar and F1 champion Mansell towards the back of the field, but then as the conditions worsened he began passing cars one-by-one. But this wasn’t your standard fairytale drive. Being the BTCC in arguably its most competitive spell, drivers were re-passing Mansell with much paint and panel damage occurring in the process.
Naturally I won’t spoil the ending for you, but if you’re in the mood for about four minutes of tin-top racing at its very best you won’t be disappointed.