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Thousands turn out to see Minardi at Kyalami 07 Jun 2004

Zsolt Baumgartner (HUN) Minardi takes passengers for a ride through the streets of Budapest in the Minardi 2-seater. Minardi in Budapest, Budapest, Hungary, 15 February 2004.

An enthusiastic crowd of 12,500 people attended the AA Kyalami Grand Prix circuit on Sunday as the Minardi team introduced South African motor racing fans to the unique spectacle of their two-seater Formula One cars.

In the course of an action-packed day, Minardi drivers Zsolt Baumgartner and Bas Leinders, and up-and-coming South African International F3000 Championship racer, Alan van der Merwe, took 20 passengers for high-speed rides of the challenging 4.30 kilometre track that was home to the South African Grand Prix until 1993.

Sunday's activities concluded with a dramatic, side-by-side, standing-start run involving both the Minardi F1 two-seater chassis appearing at the Johannesburg circuit. The purpose of the event was to publicise the forthcoming two-seater race to be held at Kyalami on Monday, August 9, featuring the full Minardi F1x2 fleet of eight cars. Proceeds from that event will directly benefit the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and Unite Against Hunger charities. All three drivers also took the opportunity on Friday to visit Soweto in order to see the work being done by these world-famous organisations.

"The whole day has been really well organised and was good fun,” said Baumgartner of Sunday’s experience. “I think the drivers and passengers all enjoyed themselves, and I'm sure the spectators particularly enjoyed the start with both cars at the end of the afternoon. I'm sure the August event, though, will be even more exciting. All in all, it has been a great weekend."