The KL Minardi F1x2 team, in partnership with BSA International Berhad, announced in Beijing today that motorsport history will be made on December 8, when a pair of Minardi two-seater Formula One cars run for the first time in China. Among the...
The KL Minardi F1x2 team, in partnership with BSA International Berhad, announced in Beijing today that motorsport history will be made on December 8, when a pair of Minardi two-seater Formula One cars run for the first time in China. Among the VIP guests present for the significant press conference at which details of the event were revealed were Shi Tianshu, President of the Federation of Automobile Sports of the People's Republic of China (FAS) and Dato' A K Majid, Malaysian Ambassador to China.
The KL Minardi F1x2 cars, which are part of an eight-strong fleet maintained at the team's base in Ledbury, England, will give motor racing fans in Beijing the chance to experience the sight and sound of modern Formula One machinery in action. Thunder in China will provide the high-profile centrepiece of launch activities for the impressive new Goldenport Motor Park facility, situated 6 km from Beijing International Airport. Adding to the interest, a number of lucky individuals will gain first-hand experience of Formula One performance when they have the chance to ride in one of the Minardi F1x2 cars.
The Chinese two-seater event is the brainchild of Dato' Dr Cam Soh, the founder and Chairman of BSA. The Malaysian-based company ("BSA" stands for "Bold, Stylish and Successful Automotive"), which has been a valued Minardi technical and commercial partner during 2002, has risen rapidly in the seven years since its inception to become one of the world's largest manufacturers of after-market alloy wheels. Significantly, the company is to open a new manufacturing plant, in Shanghai, next year.
Dato' Cam Soh, who is a keen motorsport enthusiast and former competitor, is excited at the prospect of China hosting its first-ever Grand Prix in 2004, and wanted to find a suitable way of helping to build awareness about Formula One among the Chinese population ahead of the event. The use of Minardi's exciting F1x2 cars, which have provided more than 600 passengers with the "ride of a lifetime" in just over two years, was the obvious way to accomplish this.
"The possibility of staging this ground-breaking event in China has come about as the result of the enthusiasm and commitment of BSA Motorsports management, and the experience and adaptability of KL Minardi F1x2 personnel," says Paul Stoddart. "Our aim from the outset of the programme has been to bring F1 closer to the fans, in order that they come to understand and share the passion we have for the sport. We are both honoured and proud to be able to bring the Formula One two-seater experience to the people of China, as we have to motor racing fans in many other countries. It's an exciting prospect for everyone involved."
There will be extensive promotion prior to the event, and a large, enthusiastic crowd, anticipated by local organisers at between 20,000 and 50,000, is expected to turn up for the official opening of the Goldenport Motor Park. The programme is supported by the Federation of Automobile Sports of the People's Republic of China, China International Trade Promotion, the Beijing Central Government, Beijing media, and the Malaysian Ambassador to China.