MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA, March 5, 2002 - The European Minardi F1x2 two-seater Grand Prix cars today made their final Australian appearance in a schedule that has been almost as hectic as that of the KL Minardi Asiatech F1 Team, still revelling in its points-scoring performance in Sunday's Australian Grand Prix.
During the last week, the unique F1x2 cars, in the hands of team owner, Paul Stoddart, and Belgian Formula 3000 star, David Saelens, have taken part in a pit-stop challenge on the streets of central Melbourne, appeared twice in front of enthusiastic Grand Prix crowds at the Albert Park circuit, and blasted round a temporary course laid out on the 3-km runway of Avalon Airport. As a result, 22 intrepid passengers, including famed Australian broadcaster, Eddie Maguire, and cyber-queen, Sarah Jane King, can now boast first-hand experience of the breathtaking performance of a Formula One car.
Next stop for the F1x2 cars will be the Sepang International Circuit, near Kuala Lumpur, where they will be running Saturday, March 9, prior to the second round of the Formula One World Championship, the Malaysian Grand Prix.
Still ecstatic from his Formula One team's outstanding performance in Australia, Paul Stoddart also expressed himself extremely proud of the reception his two-seater F1 cars have received everywhere they appeared during their short visit "Down Under".
"It has given me the greatest pleasure to put smiles on the faces of so many fellow Australians this past week and to give a little bit back to the fantastic city of Melbourne, which has been the scene of the most memorable nine days of my life," he commented at the conclusion of Tuesday's programme at Avalon Airport.
"The runways here at Avalon Airport are wide, smooth and long, so you can easily simulate race track conditions and put the passengers through their paces. The next stop for us is Malaysia, where the team's' title sponsor, a number of its commercial partners, and our driver, Alex Yoong, will be enjoying their 'home' Grand Prix in 12 days' time. It should be another wonderful occasion."