Mark Blundell was a popular member of the McLaren squad, first as a test and development driver and latterly as replacement for Nigel Mansell on the race team in 1995 after the deal with the ’92 world champion petered out following a handful of undistinguished races.
The cheerful and breezy Blundell started with motocross in 1980 and pursued a career on two wheels until switching to cars in 1984 with dramatic and immediate success in Formula Ford and FF2000. He moved into F3000 in 1987 and impressed watching F1 team managers with a strong drive to second place in the Belgian GP supporting race at Spa. Then in 1988 he finished sixth in the International F3000 championship and expanded his racing experience by being recruited to drive for Nissan in Group C as well as being recruited as a test driver for the Williams F1 team in 1990.
Mark’s best placing in 1991 was a strong sixth place at Spa, but financial pressures on Brabham meant that he was replaced the following year by a sponsored driver. Nevertheless he was kept extremely busy in 1992 as chief McLaren test driver which helped steer him back into the racing mainstream with Ligier and Tyrrell over the next two years.