IndyCar ace Darren Manning used to be a driving instructor at Silverstone: now he’s returning to make his prototype sports car debut there.
The Silverstone round of the 2007 Le Mans Series will see Manning swap his open wheel machine for Embassy Racing’s LMP2 Radical entry, teaming up with fellow Briton Warren Hughes and New Zealander Neil Cunningham.
“I have great memories from the early days at Silverstone when I worked there as a driving instructor, I really can’t wait to get back there,” Manning said.
It gives the versatile Manning the opportunity to race one of the few types of car that he hasn’t yet proved himself in.
“This will be my first run in a Le Mans prototype and I am really looking forward to it. A prototype sports car is about the only type of car that I haven’t raced before.
“Everyone I talk to says they are fantastic to drive. I’m actually going to get the chance to do the Spa round prior to Silverstone – that will give me plenty of miles in the car before I get to race at home.”
It’s a move fully supported by his IndyCar boss: “My team-owner AJ Foyt used to race all sorts of cars in his day – so he is really supportive for me to do the same as long as it doesn’t compromise our IndyCar programme,” said Manning.
“With our busy schedule in the US, I don’t get a lot of time to come home as often as I would like so this is an extra bonus about doing this race.”
Manning is a former winner of the All Japan Formula 3 Championship and the Macau Grand Prix, was a Formula One test driver for BAR Honda, competed in the Daytona 24 Hour, and drove in A1GP and Champ Car before his successful IndyCar career.