It may be more than a decade since he was Formula 1 world champion, but Nigel Mansell proved he still has what it takes when he returned to Oxford.

Mansell was at Unipart in Cowley with sons Leo, 20, and Greg, 18, who have signed a sponsorship deal with the company as they embark on their driving careers in the Formula BMW UK Championship.

Their father raced with Unipart during his Formula 3 years before going on to Formula 1.

Mansell said: "It is an advantage for Greg and Leo having me involved as I know a lot of the pitfalls.

"It's no secret that their mum and I were against them going into racing at first, but they decided that it was what they wanted to do.

"I told them if they could persuade their mum then I would back them, so the rest is history."

The Mansell boys will enter the 20 Formula BMW Championship events with two identically branded Formula BMW single-seater cars.

Their father said: "Without Unipart I wouldn't have made it as far as I did, I couldn't think of a better sponsor.

"The boys have the right stuff. At 130mph they still try to knock me off the track."

Son Leo said: "Dad is still quicker than us, but we hope it won't be long before we are ahead of him."

Unipart marketing director Andrew Daly said: "It's wonderful to extend our motorsport sponsorship portfolio by supporting Leo and Greg.

"Nigel Mansell raced with us in his Formula 3 years and we are very excited to be a part of the Mansell family again and to be sponsoring the second generation of motorsport talent.

"In 1979, Unipart backed a young talented driver and look what happened to Nigel Mansell's career. We are now proud to be able to support Nigel's sons as they embark on an equally exciting journey.

"The 2006 Formula BMW UK Championship seeks the best young drivers to make their mark in motorsport, and we are delighted to be sponsoring Leo and Greg as they prepare for a successful career in international motorsport."