The Ferrari Owners’ Club
of Great Britain

Postcard from 10eme Monaco Historique

31-05-2016

Report by Ed Brown, images by Jim Houlgrave

Biennially, two weeks before the F1 teams arrive in the Principality, the Automobile Club du Monaco stages the Grand Prix Historique, undoubtedly one of the most prestigious historic events on the European calendar.

Such has become the popularity and accessibility of the event that for the 10eme Historique free practice and qualifying took place on both Friday and Saturday, with racing on Sunday, supported by three collectors car auctions and a harbour-side display of historic Riva monohulls.

Friday dawned warm and sunny with a visit to the paddock, and the Alpine chalet inspired Credit Suisse Drivers Club, for their driver’s forum. Chaired by Henry Hope-Frost of Autosport magazine, this year’s panel were ex F1 racers and Le Mans winners Jochen Mass and Emmanuele Pirro, ‘70s sports-car privateer, racer and broadcaster Alain de Cadenet, constructor, driver and RML CEO, Ray Mallock and celebrating the sixtieth anniversary of his second win around the streets of the Principality, Sir Stirling Moss. The sixty minute discussion explored the passion and competitive elements of motorsport alongside the differing teams and technological approaches prevalent within F1 forty years ago. Additional humour was provided from the audience by former Shadow F1 and Can-Am racer, noted raconteur Brian Redman – who jokingly blamed his Porsche 936/78 team-mate, Mass, for their non-finish in the 1976 Silverstone 1000kms.

Headline sponsor Chopard, in partnership with the Porsche Museum, provided a 1960 718 and 1962 Type 804 for lunchtime demonstrations by six time Le Mans winner Jacky Ickx and fellow brand ambassadors Romain Dumas and Brendon Hartley accompanied by double Monaco Grand Prix winner Mark Webber; the shrill of the 804s flat eight-cylinder air cooled engine created much attention, alongside members of the Automobile Club du Monaco’s collector’s car display all observed from the brand new ACM Race Control building, opposite the pit-lane exit.

Much has been written about the on-track action elsewhere, here were my highlights

  • Tony Wood (TecMec Maserati) and Julian Bronson (Scarab F1) enjoyed a race-long “dice” in Serie B, with the former winning by just 1.7 secs; American Graham Adelman raced the same 1956 Maserati 250F, with which Sir Stirling Moss raced to victory sixty years ago.
  • Chris Ward drove a peerless race in Derek Hood’s Jaguar “C-type” to secure Serie C, for pre-’52 sports-cars.
  • Multiple UK saloon car champion, Andy Middlehurst won Serie E aboard Classic Team Lotus’s 24, his metronomic style making it look very easy.
  • Current GT racer and former FIA WEC LMGTE Am class champion, Stuart Hall gave a peerless performance to win Serie F aboard Roald Goethe’s McLaren M19A. Current F1 designer Adrian Newey was adjusting to his latest addition to his collection, a Lotus 49B and former European F2 and Group C racer, Eje Elgh enjoyed a March 711, as raced in period by his compatriot Ronnie Peterson.
  • Thirty years after he first competed in Formula 1 with Osella, Alex Caffi won Serie G in Kessel Racing’s Ensign N176, 2.6 secs ahead of historic regulars Katsui Kubota and Joe Twyman. Attracting much attention, were former Audi WEC team-mates Emmanuele Pirro and Marco Werner in “shrill” Ferrari 312B3s, complemented by US collector Chris McAllister’s 312T2.

The 10eme Historique was superbly organised, with excellent racing and much to see off-track in the sparkling Cote D’Azur sunshin – roll on 2018!

With the very recent completion of the Mille Miglia retrospective and the Concorso D’Eleganza Villa d‘Este the European collectors car calendar is now in overdrive. Next stop for me is closer to home and the annual Cholmondeley Power and Speed weekend…see you there!