Stoddard takes over Minardi

FAENZA, ITALY, January 30th, 2001 - Minardi Team today announces that Paul Stoddart, head of the European Aviation Group of Companies, has acquired the Italian Formula One organisation. With immediate effect, Minardi's Faenza operation will be...

FAENZA, ITALY, January 30th, 2001 - Minardi Team today announces that Paul Stoddart, head of the European Aviation Group of Companies, has acquired the Italian Formula One organisation.

With immediate effect, Minardi's Faenza operation will be "dovetailed" with European's extensively equipped Formula One manufacturing facility in Ledbury, England. The intention is to operate the Italian and UK facilities in tandem and not to relocate the team to England.

After a five-year association with Minardi, Gabriele Rumi, former Chairman and majority shareholder, hands over to UK-based Australian businessman Stoddart, 45, who becomes Chairman and Team Principal. Gian Carlo Minardi continues as a director of the team he founded in 1979. Using his extensive Formula One experience and wealth of contacts in the sport, he will focus particularly on formulating a young driver development programme for the team.

The team's first 2001-specification PS01 chassis is currently nearing completion and will be powered by a European V10 engine. This is an uprated version of the Fondmetal unit used by the team last season.

"Minardi and European fit like a glove", observes Paul Stoddart. "The companies complement one another superbly, and together we will be able to achieve more than either one could individually. European has a number of highly experienced Formula One personnel on staff already. It really is only people of this calibre who could join with the Faenza workforce at this late stage in order to ensure there will be a pair of Minardis on the grid for the first Grand Prix of the season, in Melbourne. It is undoubtedly a huge challenge, but everyone is up for it. That said, we do not underestimate the enormity of the task ahead of us, but the logistical issues involved in operating factories in two different countries are eased considerably by the ffact European has its own airline and can do things at a pace other companies would find impossible".

Commenting on the sale of the team, Gabriele Rumi says, "For quite some time, I have been stating the necessity for a group to take over the team in order to provide the resources required to compete in today's Formula One, which is becoming more and more competitive. After several ups and downs, this agreement now represents the ideal solution to all Minardi's existing problems. I wish the new ownership, and the whole team, a successful future".

Gian Carlo Minardi adds, "I firmly believe that the co-operation with Paul Stoddart's European Aviation Group will lead to important results, because what he is doing for the present is nothing compared with what he is planning for the future. I will be providing all my experience to let the team show its true value".

-Minardi

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Paul Stoddart
Teams Minardi