Manning targets Brands Champ Car race

British single-seater star Darren Manning has not given up on a Champ Car drive in the 2003 series, despite testing a Japanese GT Nissan over the Christmas period, and has expressed his desire to be on the grid at Brands Hatch on May Bank Holiday weekend

Manning targets Brands Champ Car race

"It would be great fun to drive at Brands Hatch on the Indy circuit in a Champ Car," he said on stage at the AUTOPORT International Show this morning (Friday). "Paddock Hill Bend will be fantastic - 180mph no problem!"

Manning was praised highly by CART boss Chris Pook yesterday who expressed his desire to see the Briton driving a Champ Car this year.

"We are still looking hard," said Manning. "We want to be out there for the full championship next year. But if not the full thing then maybe some of the other European races.

"I was speaking with Chris Pook yesterday and we are in constant communication with the people at CART and quite a few teams. I haven't signed anything with anybody and we are keeping our options open."

Manning hasn't ruled out a return to Japan where he won the domestic Formula 3 championship in 1999 with Toyota where he would run a two-pronged campaign of Formula Nippon and Japanese GTs.

"I still have strong base of teams from Japan that are still interested in me from when I raced there in '99," he said. "At least I could earn some money there as well.

"The GT 500s are very hi-tech pieces of kit. They are restricted in power to about 500bhp, but because they are turbo-charged engines you have got no torque until about 4000rpm but then it just goes to maximum, so they are a bit tail happy when you first get in them.

"Formula Nippon will be part of my deal if I do that. My heart is still firmly fixed on Champ Cars or Formula 1. I want to be still racing in single-seater categories."

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