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Until now, the only people able to enjoy a ride in one of Minardi's famed two-seaters, were the very rich, rather famous, F1 insiders and competition winners, the rest of us could merely dream on.
Speaking earlier today, however, former Minardi F1 Team owner, Paul Stoddart, revealed that he is offering 'rides of a lifetime' to members of the public at prices that shouldn't break the bank.
On August 23 and 24, members public will be able to take a one, two or three-lap ride around the challenging Hungaroring circuit, alongside - or rather behind - 'chauffeurs' such as Zsolt Baumgartner and Patrick Friesacher, as well as former Minardi tester, Chanoch Nissany, while Stoddart is also offering his services.
The Minardi F1x2 project has to cover a portion of event costs, as well as nominal charges for such essentials as operating staff, tyres, fuel and engine mileage, therefore, the prices aren't within everyone's budget, however, we are talking once in a lifetime.
Specifically, a one-lap passenger ride is priced at 2,000 Euros, two-laps at 3,500 Euros, and the ultimate, three-lap ride, at 4,500 Euros. Beyond this, passenger programmes can be personalised to individual requirements, although this will be reflected in the final cost.
In order to ensure all customers receive the level of individual attention required by the Minardi F1x2 Team, the maximum number of passengers will be restricted to 50 per day, with places allocated on a first come-first served basis.
Prices are on an 'arrive-and-ride' basis, although plans for a travel package, including overnight stay in Budapest, are currently being evaluated, with further details to be announced in due course.
It has often been stated that the overriding aim of the Minardi F1x2 programme is to make Formula One more accessible to fans of the sport. Now, for the first time, Paul Stoddart's two-seater team is taking the ultimate step, and offering members of the general public the opportunity to experience Formula One performance from the passenger seat of one of its fleet of eight F1x2 cars.
"Over the six years the F1x2 programme has been in operation, the team has received a huge number of enquiries from individuals wanting passenger rides," revealed Stoddart. "It's taken awhile to organise, as our primary focus has been on corporate events, but we have decided the time is now right to provide rides to individuals, as this represents the ultimate expression of our philosophy of trying to bring Formula One closer to the fans.
"We're very excited by the prospect," he continued, "and if previous public interest in two-seater passenger rides is anything to go by, we are going to have a sell-out event on our hands."
Further details can be found on the Minardi F1x2 website.
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