Sporting talent runs thick in the Mansell family’s blood and Leo is no exception. Of course he is Nigel’s son but he is also Greg’s elder brother and the three of them are simply amazing at what they do – car racing. It is a real privilege to be able to ask Leo a few questions about himself, his life here in Jersey and of course about the Mansell Collection which opened in March and is fast becoming a visitors’s favourite.
The Collection hosts an incredible array of trophies, awards, helmets and even a few cars, all kept in pristine condition in the restored art deco building which once was St Helier’s Garages.
What are you first Leo, a racing driver, a sportsman or a business man?
Up until 2011, I was a racing driver first, now a businessman. The Mansell Collection has taken a great deal of time and work by all involved to get it off the ground. We are extremely proud of the finished product and look forward to welcoming many more visitors.
We love the Mansell Collection which celebrates your father’s amazing career – Have you got a favourite story to go alongside any of the trophies on show?
One of my favourite pieces has to be the giant Arai replica helmet; I have great memories hiding in it as a kid!
When you are not training, racing and running the Collection, where do you like to relax here in Jersey?
On days when the sun is shining it has to be the beach, paddle boarding, surfing or boating. Or cycling around the island. Also Jersey has so many great restaurants. There is always something good on the menu!
Is there anywhere in the Channel Islands that you are eager to discover and haven’t been to yet?
I have heard great thing about The Minquiers (pronounced “Minkies” by locals), the little islands just south of Jersey. I hope to pay them a visit soon.
We also know that you are a keen cyclist. Do you race as well?
Up until opening The Collection I was riding quite a bit and doing a little bit of racing. Unfortunately at the moment I am finding it hard to find the time to keep race fit! It is an extremely tough sport.
Any preferred training grounds locally?
The local roads are great for cycling. The drivers here are generally very courteous. Jersey has some very tough short but steep climbs that can test the legs.
Food is essential to most islanders; do you have any fitness diet tips to share?
Quite simple really. Eat less train more. And make sure every calorie you eat is actually going to benefit your body.
There seems to be a strong emphasis on working with charities throughout the Mansell Group, are you involve in any project here in the Jersey?
We are involved in a few different projects at the moment. St Brelades Youth and Disabled drivers being the main two at present in Jersey. However we do have strong link to many charities on the main land. UK Youth, IAM, Dream away to name a few.
Please tell us more about the Track Day on 28th August? Will you, your brother or your Dad be racing?
The Track day will take place in Loheac in France and hopefully will be the first of many. We hope it will give people a unique experience as I know what a rare opportunity it is to have an ex F1 champion drive you around a circuit as well as share the track with them in your own car. The day will be relaxed and no doubt all involved will have a great time.