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Gene and Herbert to race Minardi two-seaters 22 Jul 2004

Marc Gene (ESP) Williams.
French Grand Prix, Rd 10, Preparations, Magny Cours, France, 1 July 2004 Johnny Herbert (GBR) Benetton B195, takes his first GP victory. British Grand Prix, Silverstone, 16th July 1995. World © Sutton 
Marc Gene (ESP) Williams BMW FW26. Formula One Testing, Silverstone, England, 27 April 2004. World © McNeil/Sutton 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.

Williams’ Marc Gene and former Grand Prix star Johnny Herbert have been confirmed for next month’s charity two-seater Formula One race to be staged by Minardi at Kyalami in South Africa.

Herbert and Gene are just the first of what is expected to be an impressive array of drivers to announce their participation in the Altech South African F1x2 Charity Grand Prix at the Kyalami International Raceway, on August 7, 8 and 9.

The unique event, which will culminate on the Monday, with the first ‘double-header’ Formula One two-seater race programme ever staged, will help to raise funds for the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and Unite Against Hunger charities.

Both Herbert and Gene were moved to become involved in the South African F1x2 Charity Grand Prix as a result of the personal invitation extended last month by Nelson Mandela to Formula One heroes, past and present, to participate in this glittering event, which will also include an international extreme sports competition and a variety music spectacular.

Herbert is a vastly experienced, and hugely popular driver, who scored three Grand Prix victories in an illustrious Formula One career that included stints with Benetton, Lotus, Sauber, Stewart and Jaguar. The Briton is also a former winner of the famed Le Mans 24-Hour race.

Spain's Gene is currently test and reserve driver for Williams, and did an impressive job standing in at short notice for the injured Ralf Schumacher during last year's Italian Grand Prix, and most recently, at this year's French and British rounds of the World Championship. Like many of the current stars of Formula One, he started his Grand Prix career with Minardi.

In fact, the current Minardi team will be turning up in strength in South Africa, with 2003 race driver, Nicolas Kiesa, 2004 race driver, Gianmaria "Gimmi" Bruni, and 2004 test and reserve driver, Bas Leinders, all scheduled to appear.

In addition, reigning British F3 champion and current F3000 International Championship competitor, Alan van der Merwe, who proved to be very popular with the Kyalami crowd when he drove one of a pair of F1x2 cars that appeared at the Johannesburg circuit in June, will be back for more on-track action at the August event.