MINARDI SWEEPS THE BOARD FOR CHARITY Watched by a crowd approaching 60,000 people, the Minardi F1x2 team yesterday staged what was, without a doubt, its most spectacular event ever. The Altech South African F1x2 Charity Grand Prix featured ...
MINARDI SWEEPS THE BOARD FOR CHARITY
Watched by a crowd approaching 60,000 people, the Minardi F1x2 team yesterday staged what was, without a doubt, its most spectacular event ever. The Altech South African F1x2 Charity Grand Prix featured a "double-header" programme with three hours separating the two 10-lap races.
It marked the first time this format has been employed in a Minardi two-seater event, and judging by the reaction of the hugely enthusiastic South African crowd, it won't be the last.
The first race was won by regular Minardi F1 driver, Gianmaria Bruni, with passenger, Patrick Wharton-Hood on board. The Italian stormed to the front after leader, Johnny Herbert, spun, and second-placed Christian Fittipaldi lost a small amount of time with a gear selection problem during his pit stop.
Second place went to Minardi test driver, Bas Leinders, with Jason Evans in the passenger seat, while the final place on the victory rostrum was claimed by F3000 star, Patrick Friesacher, and his passenger, Robby Wray.
At the conclusion of the second race, it was up-and-coming young South African star, Alan van der Merwe, who claimed a convincing win with Ruben Goldberg sitting behind him. He was chased to the chequered flag by Herbert and passenger, Gugu Zulu, with Bruni again scoring a podium finish, this time taking the chequered flag in third place with an ecstatic Colin Moss aboard.
"Over the years, the Minardi F1x2 team has staged a lot of events at various high-profile venues around the world," commented Minardi F1 Team Principal, Paul Stoddart at the conclusion of the Kyalami programme. "Nothing but nothing, however, comes anywhere close to the fantastic weekend we have just experienced here at Kyalami."
"Performing to a capacity crowd approaching 60,000 people in stunning weather, the Minardi F1x2 team staged two fantastic races to thrill the enthusiastic South African fans, who clearly love their F1 racing. All nine drivers deserve the highest praise for performing faultlessly throughout the event, which drew a total crowd of nearly 100,000 over the three days."
"My heartfelt thanks go out to the entire team of nearly 200 people who made this event happen, many of whom gave up their summer break to be here. Today, F1 did return to South Africa!"