LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA, April 17, 2007 -- Minardi F1x2 Team personnel realised a long-held ambition this past weekend, after successfully completing the second of three consecutive programmes in support of the Champ Car World Series -- this one at the 2007 Toyota Grand Prix of Long Beach. After making their North American debut at the Las Vegas Grand Prix, just over a week ago, the Minardi two-seaters, and drivers Zsolt Baumgartner and Patrick Friesacher, once again played to a highly enthusiastic audience, as they provided 24 lucky individuals with truly memorable rides around the famous Southern California street circuit.

As befits an event held close to Los Angeles, and therefore Hollywood, the passenger list included actor, Djimon Hounsou, Oscar-nominated for his recent roles in the films Blood Diamond and In America.

In addition, the Mayor of Long Beach, Bob Foster, former President of Champ Car, Dick Eidswick, Dubai businessman, Salem Dasmal, and Troy Lee, of Troy Lee Designs, along with Lauren Gardener, the Face of Champ Car 2007, and Melissa Paz, this year's Miss Grand Prix Long Beach, were among those to experience high-speed laps of the Long Beach track.

"This was another highly successful event for the F1x2 Team, and once again, it was very gratifying both to see and to hear the response of the fans when Zsolt and Patrick were on track with their passengers," commented Minardi two-seater boss, Paul Stoddart. "We now move to Houston, Texas, for the third of this opening trio of Champ Car races, and look forward to introducing another new audience to the excitement of the two-seater programme.

"Following these first two events, I would particularly like to thank the staff of Champ Car's Official Pace Car Team, who have been extremely helpful and supportive of the two-seater activities at the venues where we've appeared. I'm also pleased to say that we will be making several more exciting announcements in the near future about the F1x2 programme in North America."

-credit: minardi