It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!
[Edited on 26/11/2004 by Clown]After two days of testing potential drivers and developments aimed at next year's Formula One world championship, the Minardi team interrupted its Misano schedule to focus on its increasingly-popular F1x2 two-seater programme.
During the course of the day, Christijan Albers, Patrick Friesacher, Zsolt Baumgartner and Nicolas Kiesa took some 45 passengers for high-speed tours of the 4.060km Autodromo Santamonica circuit and, by the end of the day, the cars had covered a combined total of 550km. The majority of the guests were present at the behest of tyre supplier Bridgestone and commercial partners Superfund and Global Group, and more will be on hand to sample F1 power when the two-seaters return to action at the same venue on Friday.
"It has been another successful day for the F1x2 programme and, once again, it seems a lot of excited and happy individuals have stepped out of the cars at the end of their rides," commented programme manager Richard Salisbury, "As usual, the drivers all did an excellent job, and I'd like two thank them for their efforts. We will be back in action on Friday, which will mark our penultimate two-seater date this year ahead of the Bologna Motor Show in ten day's time."
For both Albers and Kiesa, the chance to drive the F1x2 marked a return to the Minardi fold, with the Dutch DTM frontrunner using his time on track to reacclimatise ahead of a scheduled run in the Cosworth-powered PS04B competition car this morning [Thursday]. Kiesa, meanwhile, was making a more regular appearance in the two-seater.
"This is my sixth time driving the F1x2 this year, but it's the first time I've driven at Misano," the Dane, who raced for Minardi in the 2003 F1 championship, "I have to say that I liked the circuit. There are quite a few corners where you can really accelerate on the exit and, combined with very good grip and traction from the chassis, it gives the passengers an accurate sense of what F1 performance is all about."
Albers is due on track this morning, with promising Venezuelan Pastor Maldonado taking over in the afternoon session. The pair are the last of this week's 'newcomers;, following on from Patrick Friesacher, Chanoch Nissany, Will Power and Will Davison, who all tested on the first couple of days. Regular test driver Tiago Monteiro was also in action.
Whilst the F1x2 programme will be put to bed after the Bologna Motor Show next month, it could make an unexpectedly early return to action in 2005, with a possible appearance at the Clipsal 500 V8 Supercar meeting in Adelaide.