After Indianapolis….a little bit of the Minardi Team even at Le Mans

The 90th edition of the 24H of Le Mans, the most charming competition of covered-wheel- motorsport has started. Along with the Montecarlo F.1 GP and the Indianapolis race, the 24H of Le Mans is the most expected event of the year by car racing enthusiasts. It’s a thrilling and stressful weekend for drivers, teams, engineers, mechanics, cooks, as it’s like running a whole season. The event is arranged in details. At Le Mans nothing is left to chance.

I remember with pleasure that many of my drivers won this eminent race”, says Gian Carlo Minardi. It is just like this. In the history of motorsport, the Minardi Team was able to launch many drivers into F.1. Many of them achieved great success also outside F.1, it’s the case of Paolo Barilla (1985 with a Porsche 956), Michele Alboreto (1997 with a TWR-Porsche WSX-95), Pierluigi Martini (1999 with a BMW V12 LMR) and Marc Gené (2009 with a Peugeot 908-HDI FAP).

Among the 56 contenders for the win, 9 ex-Minardi Team drivers will try to cross the line in the first positions: Davidson Antony, Fisichella Giancarlo, Gené Marc, Lamy Pedro, Nakano Shinji, Sarrazin Stephan, Garcia Antonio and Kristensen Tom.

 The first seven drivers took part in the F.1 Championship alongside the Minardi Team, while Tom Kristensen drove the Minardi M197 as a tester in 1997, with the aim of taking part in the 1998 F.1 season. Because of some financial issues he didn’t manage to fulfill his dream.

GOOD LUCK to these 9 excellent drivers!

WDW ’98 and the Minardi-Ducati twinning event

The 8th edition of the Ducati World Week, the Ducati community international meeting, has started today at the “Marco Simoncelli” World Circuit in Misano. In the past season, more than 65.000 enthusiasts celebrated the passion, faith and love for the Ducati and the famous “Rossa from Borgo Panigale”.

The WDW first edition was held in 1998 and, it was on that occasion that Ducati twinned with the F.1 Minardi Team “I still remember with joy the affection of the Ducati enthusiasts, who took a liking to our team. It was a wonderful and unique union between two constructors, whose headquarters were only 50 km far from each other”, remembers Minardi “The event attracted many enthusiasts even at that time. The event was rich in stunning performances.”

Alongside the Minardi official driver Esteban Tuero, there were also those bikers who achieved great success alongside Ducati: Paolo Casol (n.1), Carl Fogarty (n.2), Pierfrancesco Chili (m.7), and Troy Corser (n.11).

Canadian GP – Preview

After a short staying in Europe, F.1 is no ready to leave our continent to move to Canada. The European part of the Championship has been featured by arguments about Pirelli-Mercedes tyres test at Monte Carlo and some extra sport gossip. Contrary to what was stated in the last few weeks, Pirelli is going to bring to Montreal the same tyres used until now. Teams will have the chance to test Pirelli’s new tyres only during free practice 1. The new tyres will make their debut at Silverstone.

In Canada, teams and drivers will use Medium and Super-Soft tyres.  There’s a big difference between the two compounds in terms of degradation, so tyre management will be a key to success and the driver who will manage Super-Soft tyres at best will make the most of it. It will be a very interesting weekend even if it won’t be easy at all, as the Canadian track is a mix between a street circuit and a permanent one and it’s also full of pitfalls. There’s a long straight where drivers can make use of the DRS (even if for a shorter stretch). The straight leads to the last famous chicane, characterised by the “wall of Champions”. Brakes will play a key role, as cars will have a higher fuel load because they will burn more petrol than in any other circuit of the world. North wind can change conditions so quickly.

We’re entering the “hot stage” of the season; Red Bull is the leader, even if it hasn’t demonstrated to be unbeatable, Mercedes will have to demonstrate to be able to maintain the same strong performance displayed in Monaco. In that case the German team will become a troublesome rival. Ferrari demonstrated to feel comfortable on Medium tyres, but the Italian team still doesn’t feel comfortable on Super-Soft. The team will have to recover and shorten the gap with Vettel.

Obviously we don’t have to forget about Lotus. The team is taking strong performances since the beginning; the car demonstrated to feel comfortable on all tyres and maximized its performances on a single lap. Given the difficult financial situation, it twill be difficult for them to keep the pace of top teams, carrying out 2013 development work and beginning to develop 2014 new turbo project at the same time.

Thinking about my past experience in F.1, I have some regrets relative to the Canadian gp. We never managed to finish in the zone points (top 6), but we finished in the top 10 ten times out of 20, thanks to Martini, Fisichella, Badoer, Fittipaldi, Marques, Verstappen and Baumgartner’ strong performances in 2004. In such a demanding GP, finishing in the top 10 was certainly an excellent result for a second-tier team. Unfortunately at that time only the first six drivers finished in the zone points.


Canadian GP Schedule
Friday June 7th
16:00 – 17:30, Free Practice 1
20:00 – 21:30, Free Practice 2
Saturday June 8th
16:00 – 17:00, Free Practice 3
19:00 – 20:00, Qualifying Race
Sunday June 9th
20:00 Race

A bit of Minardi even at Indianapolis

In concomitance with the GP in Monaco, spotlights will be focused on one of the most expected motorsport events overseas and all over the world: the 97th edition of the 500 Miles of Indianapolis.

Among the 33 drivers to line up in the 11 rows which compose the starting grid of the world’s most famous American race, three drivers who made their debut into F1 with the Minardi Team between 2003 and 2005 will also take part in the competition: Justin Wilson, Will Power and Katherine Legge. Drivers will be competing for almost 800 km.

The English driver Wilson competed in the F.1 Championship in 2003 behind the wheel of the PS03, while the Australian driver Will Power, who is in contention for the win and the then-25-year-old English driver Katherine Legge had an exciting experience in F.1 in 2004 and 2005 behind the wheel of the PS04 and PS05 on the tracks of Misano and Vallelunga.

I’m so glad to see three Dallaras driven by three ex-Minardi Team drivers. The 500 Miles of Indianapolis is a historical race which made the history of car racing, especially overseas. The race has been hard-fought till the end over the last few years. It’s a very tactical race, where no mistakes have to be made and drivers have to make the most of the different safety cars.

Justin Wilson raced with us the entire 2003 F.1 racing season. His debut into F.1 was related to a very particular episode: supporters and friends invested on the Englishman, buying some shares from him. He drove a dignified season and I will always remember with pleasure his first test at Imola before leaving to Australia. Despite the car was making his debut in the competition and its tyres were borrowed from Ferrari, he managed to set a time which could be compared to the 6th or 7th time of official free practices. Unfortunately we didn’t manage to get the same performance throughout the season, even because of a troubled relationship with Bridgestone” says Gian Carlo Minardi.

Katherine Legge was the fastest driver at that moment and the racing day was so interesting. He displayed good performances at Vallelunga, even if her standards didn’t fit F.1 so much. Although it was clear that her performance level was above the average, just as Will Power’s who tested the Minardi in 2004 on the track of Misano. Unfortunately the Australian driver didn’t have enough financial resources to run even the following year. This week end will be full of important motorsport events. After the GP in Monte Carlo we’ll enjoy the show of Indianapolis”, ends the manager from Faenza.

Giancarlo Martini passed away

Gian Carlo Minardi painfully announces Giancarlo Martini’s death. The 66 year-old Giancarlo Martini was not only a great sportsman and businessman, but, above all, a very generous and kind friend of mine. We shared success and the passion for motor sport. A hearty hug to his wife Paola and his sons Jacopo, Benedetta and Donata.

Bye Giancarlo !!!!!!!!

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