Three decades after his F1 debut in a Lotus, 1992 F1 World Champion Nigel Mansell will take to the track this week in the Lotus Type 125 – the new 640hp Cosworth 3.5-liter V8-powered track car that Lotus is selling to private customers. Mansell has joined former F1 rival Jean Alesi as a Lotus "ambassador" and will try out the car at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi.
“I'm really looking forward to getting behind the wheel of the Type 125," said Mansell. "I can't wait to see how it handles the new circuit in Abu Dhabi.
"Returning to Lotus in this capacity brings back a lot of memories for me. I will always be extremely grateful to Lotus and especially to Colin Chapman, who was so inspirational and almost like a second father to me. I've been watching the developments that have been taking place recently at Hethel with their ambitious race and road car projects with great interest. I'm really delighted to see that Lotus is back where it belongs competing with the best in the top echelons of motorsport.”
Lotus founder Colin Chapman spotted Mansell when he was racing in F3 and signed him up as a development driver, giving the future World Champion his break into the sport.
Mansell's two sons, Leo and Greg, also received their Lotus debut just over a week ago as they formed part of the team that took on the Dubai 24-hour race. The team had a solid first outing in the new Evora GT4 Endurance race car, finishing third in class.
Lotus Director of Motorsport Claudio Berro said: “We're very pleased to have Nigel on board for the test in Abu Dhabi. He brings a wealth of experience to the team and we're looking forward to getting his feedback on the Type 125 experience. In addition to the test, we also have a group of private individuals who will be the first to drive and possibly own this incredible racecar in Abu Dhabi and these guys will be looking to the professional test drivers for advice on how to get the most out of the car.”