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Last Updated: Wednesday, 9 November 2005, 17:31 GMT
Grand masters
Grand Prix Masters
Sunday, BBC Two, 1600

This weekend Grandstand will be at the Kyalami circuit in South Africa as the Grand Prix Masters makes its debut.

The only requirements are that the drivers must be over 45 and skilful enough to handle a single seat race car with a V8 Cosworth engine generating 650BHP.

The Masters series boasts some of the top names from Formula One's recent past, including Nigel Mansell, Alain Prost, Ricardo Patrese and Emerson Fittipaldi.

Will they be able to shed the years and push themselves to new levels, and how excited are they ahead of Sunday?

We asked some of the competing drivers for their predictions ahead of the inaugural race.

Nigel Mansell OBE
Nationality: British
Age: 52
Record: 1992 F1 champion, 1993 Indy-car champion

I think it is a fun opportunity for all the GP Masters to have a race together on a level playing field.

The car is very quick and you have to be very quick and aware. It's the next best thing to Formula One - 650HP is a lot of power.

Hopefully we'll all be part of a great event and provide some enjoyment for all the spectators in South Africa and watching from home.

It's also an opportunity for people to touch the cars, meet the drivers and find out what racing at this level is all about.

It's all been quite friendly so far but once all the teams get out to South Africa I think the competitive spirit will come out between all the drivers.

Rene Arnoux
Age: 57
Nationality: French
Record: 7 wins in F1

The car is very good and very easy to drive - a lot better on the road than when I was racing in Formula One!

It should be competitive and I think the ones to watch out for are Nigel Mansell and Ricardo Patrese - they're very quick and I'm expecting the races to be very competitive.

Emerson Fittipaldi
Age: 58
Nationality: Brazilian
Record: 1972 & 1974 F1 champ, 1989 Indycar champion

I think the idea of the Masters is superb.

The cars and the tracks we'll be racing on are great.

Hopefully it should be incredible for the public but you shouldn't underestimate the difficulties all the drivers will face.

It's all very well comparing this with the golf or tennis masters but if you make a mistake in those events then it's not necessarily a problem.

Here it's a big risk - you have to be really careful but I know what these guys are like - they're not really that careful!

Derek Warwick
Nationality: British
Age: 51
Record: 162 F1 starts

It's going to be difficult - there will be a lot of cars who are competitive.

I think that while we're all quite cheerful and friendly at the moment once we get to South Africa all that will change - everyone is going to take this very seriously.

My prediction is that there will be four to five cars that will be at the front and I just hope I will be one of them.

Andre DeCesaris
Nationality: Italian
Age: 46
Record: 208 F1 starts

The Masters will be hard and I'm expecting a tough time in South Africa.

I have not been in this position racing for a long time and it will be fun but tricky.

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