The stated aim of the European Minardi F1x2 programme is "to bring Formula One closer to the people", and at the conclusion of Sunday's second annual Minardi Day, it was clear once again that the aim had been accomplished. An enthusiastic ...
The stated aim of the European Minardi F1x2 programme is "to bring Formula One closer to the people", and at the conclusion of Sunday's second annual Minardi Day, it was clear once again that the aim had been accomplished. An enthusiastic crowd, estimated at in excess of 5,000, was treated to a day of non-stop Formula One action at the famous Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, near Imola.
A fleet of four European Minardi two-seater Formula One cars provided the core of the day's programme, drivers Alex Yoong, Matteo Bobbi, Giorgio Pantano, and team boss, Paul Stoddart, taking a total of 39 passengers for the ride of a lifetime around the high-speed twists and turns of the 4.927-km circuit that is home to the San Marino Grand Prix.
In addition to the sensory feast provided by the F1x2 cars, fans were able to enjoy the sight and sound of a European Minardi PS01 Formula One car lapping the Imola track at high speed and, to the obvious delight of the crowd, taking part in a series of spectacular Grand Prix pit-stops. Handling the driving duties were Stoddart and Russian driver, Sergey Zlobin, enjoying his first experience of the challenging Italian circuit. Further on-track entertainment was provided by the Minardi Formula Renault Junior Team.
In between the on-track action, fans could take part in pit-lane walkabouts, participate in a Formula One pit-stop competition, and view a collection of classic cars, including the original Minardi MG 75 race car of 1948. The Faenza squad also took the opportunity to pose for a group photograph to mark its final European appearance of the 2002 season.
Thanking the legion of fans who flocked to Imola for Minardi Day, Team Principal, Paul Stoddart, said, "What a great way to end a memorable year! I don't think I've enjoyed myself so much since the team scored those two World Championship points back in March. This week really has been a special one for two-seater Minardi cars in Italy!"
"It was a pleasure to see several thousand of our loyal fans able to enjoy what has been a wonderful day here in the sunshine of Imola. I want to express my sincere thanks to the drivers and sponsors, as well as to each and every one of the members of the KL Minardi Asiatech, European Minardi F1x2 and European Minardi F3000 teams. Quite simply, without their expertise, enthusiasm and commitment, none of this would be possible."