Prost Sets Pace in 'Legends' Test

Nigel Mansell and Alain Prost showed every intention of taking this weekend's 'Race of Legends' DTM event seriously, when they were separated by just one tenth of a second after a series of test sessions at the Norisring today

Prost Sets Pace in 'Legends' Test

With the six Champions on call getting a run each in a Mercedes-Benz, Opel and Audi DTM car ahead of Saturday's race, Prost and Mansell seized the initiative to quickly establish themselves as the pace-setters.

Prost, who has already tested the DTM cars at Oschersleben in Germany last month, showed that his knowledge of the machinery was an advantage as he headed the run in the first session in an Opel - as Mansell was left one second off the pace in a Mercedes-Benz.

But in the following two sessions, Mansell made his intentions clear as he closed down on the benchmark set by Prost. In the second test, with Mansell in an Audi, Prost was six tenths clear in the Mercedes-Benz. But in the final run, with Mansell in an Opel and Prost in an Audi, the gap between them was just one tenth.

And Mansell, speaking exclusively to Autosport-Atlas, warned his former F1 rival that he was not going to readily accept being second best.

"I expected Alain to be quickest today because he has already tested the cars," declared the 1992 Champion. "He also weighs 30 kilogrammes less than me, so to be just one tenth behind is fantastic.

"I'm having a lot of fun out there, and it is great to drive these cars, but the thing I have got to understand a little bit better are the tyres."

Mansell headed off after the final session to work on his seat at Opel, while Prost was witnessed studying telemetry data at Audi.

Former German touring car champion Johnny Cecotto emerged as the nearest challenger to Prost and Mansell in the final session, with Jody Scheckter fourth quickest and Emerson Fittipaldi fifth - despite a gearbox problem. Mick Doohan was sixth, not far off the pace considering his lack of experience in racing cars.

Fittipaldi said: "I need a bit of practice. I think I need about another two years..."

The Race of Legends will raise more than half a million US dollar for charity - a factor that has enticed the former Champions to the event. They will get a run in each of the DTM cars and the driver with the lowest aggregate times from the sessions will be declared the winner.

Mansell added: "What DTM has done is fantastic. And the fact that this is all for charity is the most important thing."

TEST 1 Prost Opel 51.098 Cecotto Mercedes 51.265 Fittipaldi Audi 51.698 Scheckter Opel 51.849 Mansell Mercedes 52.037 Doohan Audi 52.918 TEST 2 Prost Mercedes 50.296 Mansell Audi 50.815 Cecotto Audi 51.223 Fittipaldi Opel 51.253 Doohan Opel 51.583 Scheckter Mercedes 52.587 TEST 3 Prost Audi 50.669 Mansell Opel 50.758 Cecotto Opel 50.845 Scheckter Audi 51.388 Fittipaldi Mercedes 54.566 Doohan Mercedes No Time 
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