FAENZA, ITALY, November 1, 2001 -- European Minardi yesterday brought its 2001 campaign to a spectacular conclusion at the Santa Monica (Misano) circuit, near Italy's picturesque Adriatic coast. The inaugural European Minardi Day saw the team...
FAENZA, ITALY, November 1, 2001 -- European Minardi yesterday brought its 2001 campaign to a spectacular conclusion at the Santa Monica (Misano) circuit, near Italy's picturesque Adriatic coast. The inaugural European Minardi Day saw the team field 15 of its cars in one place for the first time, the impressive line-up including seven F1x2 two-seater chassis, four of this year's PS01 Formula One cars and a further four F3000 machines.
The finale to the day's action-packed programme was a high-speed, multi-car demonstration run involving six of the European Minardi two-seaters. These were driven by Fernando Alonso, Tarso Marques, Alex Yoong, Christijan Albers, David Saelens and Team Principal, Paul Stoddart. Each car carried a passenger and was obliged to make a 10-second "pit stop" during the course of the 10-lap event. Adding to the atmosphere, an estimated crowd of 2000 European Minardi fans showed up to take in the day's attractions, which included F1x2 passenger rides, a pit walkabout, Grand Prix-style grid formation, demonstration runs by the Formula One and Formula 3000 cars, action-packed pit stops, and a full-on race paddock featuring the team's transporters, support vehicles and spectacular, double-decker motorhomes.
In total, the European Minardi cars completed over 200 laps during the course of the day's activities, thrilling sponsors, fans, spectators and staff in equal measure, and continuing the theme, established at August's memorable Thunder in the Park day at the Donington circuit, of bringing Formula One closer to the fans.
At the conclusion of the day, a tired - he had driven the 2001 European Minardi PS01 Formula One car for the first time at Misano as well as acting as an F1x2 "chauffeur" - but obviously very pleased Paul Stoddart commented, "My thanks go today to my fellow drivers for a splendid performance that culminated in an action-packed, 10-lap, six-car finale to what has been a wonderful year. I hope all of those who attended this event thoroughly enjoyed themselves. We now look forward to the future and building on the clear progress made by European Minardi in 2001. I can't think of a more enjoyable way of bringing the curtain down on the season."