GP return for Mansell

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Jersey resident Mansell (52) will be pitted against many of his old adversaries in the Altech Grand Prix Masters in South Africa – the first of four or five races in the new Masters calendar.

Also racing will be many great names from the motor racing past including Emerson Fittipaldi, Alain Prost and Ricardo Patrese.

Between 14 and 16 cars are expected on the grid at the Kyalami circuit on 13 November with a prize fund of $500,000.

The minimum age for the drivers is 45 and more big names are expected to be announced soon.

Mansell won the FIA Formula 1 world championship with Williams in 1992 and retired from full-time racing in 1995.

He is understood to have signed a long-term contract as a driver and an ambassador for the event.

It will also give him and the other drivers their first taste of the modern 600 bhp, 200 mph Grand Prix car.

The 2006 championship races are expected to be held at both European and non-European venues.

Said Mansell this morning: ‘The idea of a Grand Prix Masters has been muted for years and at last it’s become a reality.

‘Since I retired I’ve spent valuable time with my family.

But the hunger to go racing never leaves you – the right opportunity has never really come along until now.

‘It should be very special – the rivalry between us all will be no different from back in the 1980s and 90s – but the demands will be tougher for everyone.’

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