VALENCIA, SPAIN, September 18, 2001 -- Following on from the overwhelming success of the "Thunder in the Park" day at the Donington circuit in the UK on August 21, it was the turn of Spanish motor racing fans today to see the exciting European ...
VALENCIA, SPAIN, September 18, 2001 -- Following on from the overwhelming success of the "Thunder in the Park" day at the Donington circuit in the UK on August 21, it was the turn of Spanish motor racing fans today to see the exciting European Minardi two-seater Formula One cars in action for the first time. Three of the unique machines, which are designed to allow passengers to experience the full performance of a modern Grand Prix car in the safest possible conditions, were present at the Valencia circuit, near Spain's southern Mediterranean coast.
Behind the wheel at this, the fourth stop on the F1x2 programme's three-country, six-stop 2001 "tour", were European Minardi drivers Fernando Alonso and Tarso Marques, plus team boss, Paul Stoddart. In the course of an action-packed, five-hour session, they provided 27 passengers, including sponsor representatives and VIP guests, with the ride of a lifetime around the challenging Spanish circuit, which includes a main straight where Formula One cars can reach 200 mph. The activities concluded in dramatic fashion with the two-seaters staging a simulated racing start for the 200 guests who were in attendance.
Away from the on-track action, one of the highlights of the day was the presentation of special awards to Gian Carlo Minardi and Paul Stoddart by the President of the Spanish motorsport federation (RFEdeA), Carlos Gracia, for the team's ongoing support of Spanish drivers.
"It has been another excellent day for the European Minardi F1x2 programme here at Valencia," comments Paul Stoddart, "and we were especially pleased that Fernando was able to drive in front of his 'home' fans -- in fact, he was in huge demand everywhere he went. As we found at Donington, and more recently, Imola, the response from passengers and fans alike to the two-seaters continues to be overwhelmingly positive. It gives everyone on the team enormous satisfaction to be able to bring Formula One closer to the fans and it's great to know they appreciate what we're doing."
The European Minardi two-seater cars will make their final UK appearance of the year at Donington Park, before their 2001 "curtain call" at the European Minardi Day, scheduled for Misano, Italy, on October 31. All eight F1x2 chassis will be joined on this occasion by the European Minardi F1 and Formula 3000 cars and their drivers in a season-ending celebration of the team's hopes, aspirations and achievements.