Although officially retired from public life, former president Nelson Mandela has voiced his support for the Altech SA Minardi F1x2 Charity Grand Prix and asked the F1 elite to attend the event.

Although officially retired from public life, former president Nelson Mandela has voiced his support for the Altech SA Minardi F1x2 Charity Grand Prix and asked the F1 elite to attend the event.


CARtoday.com reported on Monday that the Minardi Cosworth two-seater F1 team (including F1 driver Zsolt Baumgartner, test driver Bas Leinders and South Africa's F3000 star Alan van der Merwe) wowed a crowd of 12 500 onlookers and 20 breathless passengers at AA Kyalami at the weekend.


In reaction, Nobel Prize winner Mandela called on F1 drivers past and present to support the South African Minardi F1x2 race, which will take place from August 6 to 9 at the Midrand circuit.


This will mark the first time that Minardi's two-seater cars have raced outside of Europe, and the event is bound to attract a huge amount of publicity thanks to Madiba's involvement.


"I am calling on the F1 heroes of the world, past and present, to take time out of their busy schedules to join us in South Africa for the South African Grand Prix," said Mandela. "Not only will this event be a landmark for South Africa, but also we will be able to support the children of my Nelson Mandela Children's Fund and the Unite Against Hunger charity.


Currently, these projects support the most needy of South Africa's children, and through the proceeds from the grand prix, we are set on doing so much more to alleviate poverty and hunger."


Minardi's team bos,s Paul Stoddart, who has agreed to send his fleet of eight two-seater F1 cars to the event, said: "The Altech South African F1x2 Grand Prix has all the makings of truly remarkable event. I'm sure it is going to be hugely successful, and I will be asking all of my colleagues in the F1 paddock to attend and lend their support to this most worthwhile of causes."