We're ready to go - Stoddart

NEW Minardi owner Paul Stoddart has said the team's 2001 car is finished and ready to go in the opening race of the season in Melbourne, Australia on March 4th.

Australian Stoddart, who owns the European Aviation company and ran the European Racing F3000 team last season, bought Minardi last week and although he is still to confirm the team's drivers he has said the new car is ready to roll.

"This year's car is finished and ready to go," said Stoddart in British newspaper The Sun. "It looks lovely and there will be a very special feeling seeing it roll onto the grid for the opening race.

"Minardi may not have enjoyed much success but they are one of the best liked teams in the pit-lane. It's a friendly family team I will not be doing anything to destroy that atmosphere."

Stoddart is expected to name his first driver on Tuesday, with young Spaniard Fernando Alonso a favorite to earn a seat with the team.

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