Darren Manning bigraphy, stories - British racing driver

Darren Manning : biography

30 April 1975 -

Darren Manning (born 30 April 1975 in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire, England) is a motor racing driver, most recently racing in the IRL IndyCar Series for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing.

Career history

Early career

Darren began his racing career at the age of 10, competing in British and International karting events. In 1992, he took part in the Brands Hatch Formula First Winter Series, finishing second after recording two wins. His SpeedSport team took him in 1993 to race in the Formula Vauxhall championship again recording 2 victories en route to a second place finish in the championship. He was also a finalist for the McLaren Autosport Young Driver of the Year award. He continued in Formula Vauxhall in 1994 and 1995 and moved up to Formula 3 in 1996 and 1997. Budget constraints meant that he only raced a limited F3 schedule in 1998, but he did achieve two wins including at Silverstone for the British Grand Prix support race.

International career

In 1999 Darren won the All-Japan Formula Three championship, and was the first driver to achieve the "perfect victory" at the Macau Grand Prix since Ayrton Senna by winning from pole position, leading every lap and setting a lap record. He also tested with the Williams F1 team. In 2000 he began working for the BAR Honda F1 team as a test driver while also racing in the FIA International Formula 3000 championship for Arden Team Russia.

In 2002 he competed in the ASCAR (now SCSA) championship. He also made a one off drive at Rockingham in the CART series for Team St George, leading 18 laps on the way to 9th place. This led to a full-time drive for Walker Racing in 2003, taking one top-3 finish and 9th overall in the championship.

He joined Chip Ganassi's IRL team for 2004, finishing 11th in the championship having achieved 8 top-ten finishes but he was released from his contract in the middle of 2005 after 24 starts, including the 2004 and 2005 Indianapolis 500.

He raced at the last round of the 2005/6 A1 Grand Prix series at Shanghai, because main driver Robbie Kerr had other commitments and Darren helped secure A1 Team Great Britain third place in the overall standings. During 2006 he also drove a Nissan 350Z in the FIA GT Championship for RJN Motorsport.

For the 2006-07 A1 Grand Prix season he moved into a permanent role in the Great Britain A1GP team, alongside Robbie Kerr and Oliver Jarvis.

On 14 November 2006, Manning was named the driver of the A.J. Foyt Enterprises #14 car in the IRL IndyCar series for the 2007 season, marking his return to the league after a one-year absence. www.grandprix.com Manning also drove in the 2007 24 Hours of Daytona and led his team to a second-place finish, leading the race during a long overnight stint in the rain. He finished 13th in IndyCar points in 2007, capturing 5 top-tens in what was widely considered a significant step forward for the previously struggling Foyt team. In 2008 he finished second at Watkins Glen, with six further top ten finishes en route to 14th overall.

In 2009, he was racing for Dreyer & Reinbold Racing in IndyCar, but left after two races. No reason has been given by either driver or team.

In 2010 Manning drove for Spirit of Daytona Racing in the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona in the number 90 Daytona Prototype.

Motorsports career results

Complete International Formula 3000 results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position) (Races in italics indicate fastest lap)

Year Entrant 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 DC Points
2000 Arden Team Russia IMO12 SIL2 CAT7 NURRet MONRet MAG8 A1R3 HOC13 HUN8 SPARet 8th 10
2001 Arden Team Russia INT8 IMO2 CAT20 A1RRet MONRet NUR7 MAG5 SIL6 HOCRet HUNRet SPARet MNZRet 11th 9
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