It was an edition of the Historic Minardi Day that showed itself stronger than the weather. Not even the rain managed to dampen the enthusiasm of the five thousand passionate fans that went to Imola’s Enzo and Dino Ferrari Circuit to live a full weekend dedicated to motorsport and the team from Faenza.
On Saturday and Sunday more than twenty five Formula 1 racing cars which included not only historic Minardi cars but also Ferrari, Williams, Dallara, Fondmetal and about thirty F2, F3 and GT cars took turns at racing around the track that was the stage for more than forty years of racing history. The paddock and the pits were invaded by passionate fans from all around Italy together with Team founder Gian Carlo Minardi and racing drivers who wrote important pages of motorsport history such as Pierluigi Martini, Luca Badoer, Gaston Mazzacane, Roberto Moreno, Giovanni Lavaggi, Alessandro Nannini, Emanuele Pirro, Andrea Montermini, Gabriele Tarquini, Nicola Larini and Riccardo Patrese who were also protagonists of the Golf match on Friday that was the prologue to the weekend.
A weekend of motorsport, music and show business with the presence ontrack of the Roman singer songwriter Max Gazzè who was the protagonist of the Live Music Show on Saturday evening who shared with Gian Carlo Minardi one of the event’s most emotional moments at the wheel of a Lamborghini powered M192. At 11.30am the manager from Faenza made his debut at the wheel of a Minardi racing car owned by Dutch collector Fritz Van Eerd and completed a lap at low speed of the whole Imola circuit accompanied by the warm applause.
“I think I made an Imola track record with the slowest ever lap by car,” joked Gian Carlo Minardi as soon as he left the car, “I must thank my friend Fritz who made everything available for me from the car to the helmet, It was a beautiful and emotional gift. At 70 years of age and with slicks on a wet track I realized a dream that I had delayed for too long. I must thank all the collectors and drivers for all the affection and warmth they showed, together with that of the fans. One aim of the Historic Minardi Day was to bring families back to the track and to bring them closer to what for me is the most beautiful sport. The aim was achieved in spite of the bad weather and rain.”
“Thanks too to the presence of my friend Max Gazzè who despite the terrible weather conditions entertained us with great music on Saturday evening and who shared the atmosphere of the pits for the whole weekend.”
“Of all my concerts, I will always remember Gian Carlo Minardi’s congeniality who, in a surreal ambiance, moved to the rhythm of the music under an umbrella,” was the Roman singer songwriter’s comment.
“Despite the weather not helping the event there were really many enthusiasts who took part in the second Historic Minardi Day. It’s a sign that when we speak about Formula 1, whether historical or current, the Imola circuit brings back memories that always live in the minds and the hearts of those who love this sport. I want to thank the Minardi family for having made us live these emotions and I hope that this event will become even more an irrevocable appointment on the calendar of the Enzo and Dino Ferrari circuit,” said Pier Giovanni Ricci (Circuit Director).
There were positive reactions from the protagonists “I waited 55 years to drive a Minardi and I finally managed to do it. We are celebrating the story of a man and a team that wrote pages of motorsport history, a history of passion, tenacity and challenging difficulties. It was an incredible weekend. I hope it becomes a permanent appointment in the future,” said an enthusiastic Emanuele Pirro.
After 17 years Gaston Mazzacane, a protagonist of the 2000 season together with Marc Genè once more took to the wheel of a Minardi M02. “It was a dream to come back to Imola and drive a Formula 1 car. I had the same emotions as then. Congratulations to the Minardi family. It was a sensational event. The quality and numbers of cars were incredible,” said the Argentinean driver.
“I love Gian Carlo Minardi. I raced for him seven years,” said an unmistakeable and sarcastic Alessandro Nannini who was also the protagonist of the Golf match at Faenza’s Le Cicogne Golf Club. “Last year I could not be here but I have already booked a place for the 2018 edition,” concluded the ace from Siena.
“With Gian Carlo Minardi I experienced fantastic years and I am tied to him and the team in a special way. I owe him a lot. It was a great event which not even the rain ruined or stopped. I came as a guest but next year it would be fantastic to come back in a driving suit and helmet,” declared Luca Badoer who is now committed to following his son in his first steps in kart racing.
The Historic Minardi Day also invaded the hills and medieval towns surrounding Imola and Faenza with a caravan of over thirty historic road cars in the Minardi Classic.