14 Feb, 2012 @ 11:45
1 min read

Nigel Mansell’s ‘lucky mascot’ killed in Granada fire

british man dies in granada fire

AN expat – known as Nigel Mansell’s lucky mascot – has died in a fire in Granada.

Michael Greenhalgh, a professional racing driver, was struck down in the blaze after an electric heater caught fire.

The Briton, who helped his dad Clive run the racing circuit at Guadix, had been flat-sitting an eighth floor apartment in the Zaidin area.

The multilingual 30-year-old, who normally lived in Lecrin Valley, was found just three metres from the front door after trying to escape.

His father told the Olive Press: “Michael was extremely valiant on the race track.

“He won a lot of races and lived life on the edge. Damon Hill and many Formula One champions have even paid tribute.”

He continued: “He was Nigel Mansell’s lucky mascot as he said Michael looked like ‘a smiling buddha’. He’d buy him a hotdog and drink after a win.”

Originally from the Midlands, Michael had moved to Spain in 1997 with his family.

He is credited with making the Guadix track a success by getting manufacturers like Aston Martin and Porsche  to use it.

He also raced professionally for a number of teams including the Ronda-based Ascari GT3 team, as well as coaching up-and-coming drivers.

He was even also able to find time to help his Taiwanese mum Dao and sister Natasha run Thai Elephant restaurant in Restabal.

“Mike was one of the nicest people I ever had the fortune to meet,” said family friend Adrian Day.


Wendy Williams

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  1. Stefano, I have no smoke alarm in Spain as my log burner or open fire would be setting it off all the time, especially when i have them both going as I think they are both drawing the air in opposite directions and the place is a nightmare.

  2. He was using a heater that caught fire – what was the heater – parafin/unlikely – gas bottle fed/then it would have exploded.If it was an electric fire, then the fire almost certainly started in the wiring because all Spanish properties are built with inferior gauge wiring for the ampage being drawn.

    None of that makes sense – can’t the Olive Press get more specific info?

    The question to ask is why was he using a fire when the apartment would almost certainly have central heating.

    Easy answer that one – the Spanish either give lip service to insulating c/heating pipes or more likely none at all – meaning that we like most Spanish rarely used c/heating simply because the pipework was just warming up the reinforced dense concrete floor otherwise he would’nt have been using an independant fire would he.

    Sadly this happens most weeks in Spain in the winter, either carbon monoxide poisoning or burning to death trapped behind the rejas.

    Reap – if you introduced an under floor air supply you would’nt have a problem at all and you’d have more oxygen to breathe as well.

  3. Reap: Sounds like the fumes are affecting you mate. If your heating sets off smoke alarms, then there’s more smoke in the air, than is good for your health. What you’ve got there is, a lovely cocktail of carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and particulates of whatever you’re burning. Stuart is right, try and supply each fire or stove with its own, dedicated air-supply. ‘Er indoors was outraged when I punched a hole in the wall behind our woodburner, “so it could breathe”. But we can close the living-room door and not die now.

  4. Instead of harping on about smoke detectors and dodgy heating regulations wouldn’t it have been a little more tactful to post a message of condolence? This is a terrible tragedy which has robbed the world of an extremely popular and talented young man. My thoughts are with his family.

  5. For those who did not know Mike; he was more than just a racing driver. He was also good engineer/mechanic and driver coach; who helped many drivers. He worked at Guadix Circuit or the resturant whenever he could. He should have been a world champion!

  6. Stuart – what part of Spain don’t you understand. This tragedy occurred because central heating isnt installed as part of the design as in the UK. To cut costs wiring points are installed for electric fires (as stated in the second paragraph of the article) but it is left to the tenant to fit as required, removing when they leave. In fact it is common for tenants to have to fit the kitchen when they move in, removing when they leave.
    So for those who can remember the pre CH days of the UK, just remember how easy it was to have clothes too close to an electric bar fire.
    This is Spain not the UK

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