INDIANAPOLIS -- Former Indianapolis 500 champion Eddie
Cheever will drive in South Africa in the inaugural Grand Prix
Masters against other former Formula One drivers.
The IRL team owner and driver, who appeared in 132 Formula One
races from 1978 to 1989, will compete at Kyalami International
Raceway from Friday through Sunday. He'll be racing for the first
time since 2002.
"I thought that book had been closed," said Cheever, the 1998
Indy champion. "Now here we are again, with many of the same
people, nearly 20 years later."
Other former F1 drivers scheduled to participate are Emerson
Fittipaldi, Stefan Johansson, Jacques Laffite, Nigel Mansell,
Riccardo Patrese, Hans Stuck and Patrick Tambay.
"We are all older, fatter and wrinkled, but I expect we will be
the same drivers on the track with the same character traits," the
47-year-old Cheever said. "I am just hoping that the race is not
the full length of a Grand Prix. If it is, I am going to have to
stop and drink an espresso midway through the race."
The Grand Prix Masters is being contested in identically
prepared cars built by Delta Motorsport and powered by V8 McLaren
Cosworth engines that produce more than 600 horsepower.
Cheever's last race was at Texas Motor Speedway in the Indy
Racing League's final event of the 2002 season.
"I haven't done anything in racing other than turn left, at
very high speeds, for more than 10 years," he said. "It has been
a long time since I have driven on a road course."