Stoddart's celebrity races a possibility

Stoddart's celebrity races a possibility

Minardi boss Paul Stoddart's idea of celebrity races in two-seater cars is gaining cautious approval from the other teams, although not all have agreed to it yet. Ten cars, each painted in the colours of one team, would be driven by the teams'...

Minardi boss Paul Stoddart's idea of celebrity races in two-seater cars is gaining cautious approval from the other teams, although not all have agreed to it yet. Ten cars, each painted in the colours of one team, would be driven by the teams' third drivers, with a celebrity passenger on board. The plan is to give the fans something to see on Sunday mornings, filling the gap left by the absence of warm up.

Eight Minardi F1x2 and two Minardi F1 cars lined up in the garage.
Photo by Minardi Formula 1.
"It's hard to find the downside," said Stoddart, according to Reuters. "You would have celebrities on a Sunday when all the world's media and the spectators are there. The pluses are endless really. Celebrity anything is very popular at the moment and it wouldn't be too hard to imagine an entire TV programme based around this."

An extension to the idea is a competition for one lucky fan to win a ride in the two-seater race. "Imagine what it could do to Friday ticket sales if you had one punter who could win a ride," Stoddart added. "I'm confident that it should go ahead. No-one else has come up with a better idea."

Of course, not only is it good for the fans: there's also the chance for extra publicity for the teams and sponsors. The idea of Celebrity Grand Prix was tabled at the team bosses meeting in London last week and reports indicate that four teams have agreed to the idea, two have provisionally agreed and two have yet to voice an opinion.

Stoddart has previously had great success with two-seater races at Minardi's annual summer events, this year held at Rockingham, with famous names from F1 and other celebrities, as well as fans as passengers. If all the teams fail to agree to celebrity races, Stoddart said the plan could work with just five taking part, with two cars each painted in their team colours. A verdict is expected from all concerned in the near future.

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Paul Stoddart
Teams Minardi