The Best Classic Cars: Monaco Grand Prix Historique

Historic Monaco Grand Prix

With one of the biggest booms in popularity for motorsport, historic racing has proven to be the category needed to connect the history of the sport, with future generations only recently discovering their passion for it.

The Automobile Club of Monaco has helped take the lead over the decades. Founded in 1890, the club is an ever-present figure in the Principality of Monaco, its most recent venture being the Grand Prix De Monaco Historique which began in 1997.

Last weekend, the 13th edition of the biennial race took place, on the same Grand Prix circuit that Formula 1 has competed on since 1929. The race focuses on “the charming old one” classic cars that offers a journey back in time” according to the Monaco Grand Prix website

With coverage presented by Goodwood Road and Racing Club – another pioneering figure on the historic scene – we get a first-hand look at some of the most important race cars in motorsport history.

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A weekend full of speed, emotion and classic cars

Following a format similar to F1 racing, the drivers will start the weekend with free practice sessions on Friday. After a full day of qualifying on Saturday, the race will take place on Sunday, following the original Monaco Grand Prix schedule. Racers organize themselves into eight separate classes depending on the era their vehicles come in.

Able to please fans of all time periods, classifications start with pre-war and eventually end with the newest class added to the race: 1981-1985. To celebrate the last of the Cosworth-built F1 engines, the latest addition to the race is Race G, featuring “Ayrton Senna”, the Monaco-ever winning driver.

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The racing categories

With approximately 200 cars spread across eight different divisions, drivers will push their multi-million dollar cars to the limit, giving some drivers the chance to reunite their cars on the same track it graced the decades before. While maintaining authentic racing rules and situations, the classes are as follows:

Race A1: “Louis Chiron”, focuses on pre-war Grand Prix cars. The second race of the day resulted in an American victory thanks to Mark Gillies and his 1934 ERA R3A.

Race A2: “Juan Manuel Fangio” represents the pre-1960 front-seat Grand Prix cars. After replacing driver Alex Birkenstock at the last minute, established historic racer Claudia Hürtgen seized the opportunity to take pole position pack on Saturday, and race on Sunday in a 1960 Ferrari 246.

Race B: “Graham Hill”, rear-engined, 1500 and F1/F2 Grand Prix cars. One of the Americans to win on Sunday, Joe Colasacco and his Ferrari 1512 won impressively, finishing more than 30 seconds ahead of second.

Race C: “Vittorio Marzotto” covers the only front-engine racing car event of the day. British driver Frederic Wakeman got the job done on Sunday after taking pole position on Saturday in his 1955 Cooper Jaguar T38.

Race D: “Jackie Stewart” serves the 1966-1972 3.0-litre F1 Grand Prix cars. Another British driver delivers, this time in the form of Stuart Hall and his McLaren M19A.

Race E: “Niki Lauda” drives the second generation of 3.0-litre F1 Grand Prix cars from 1973-1976. Stuart Hall added his second win of the day with McLaren, more specifically a 1973 M23.

Race F: “Gilles Villeneuve” includes 3.0-litre F1 Grand Prix cars of the third generation from 1977-1980. Briton Michael Lyons won the Grand Prix for the seventh time and took home gold in his Hesketh 308.

Race G: “Ayrton Senna” ends coverage with fourth-generation 3.0-litre F1 Grand Prix cars from 1981-1985.

To end the day on a perfect note, three Lotus cars finished 1-2-3 on team founder Colin Chapman’s 40th birthday, at the inaugural debut of the “Ayrton Senna” race, which rose to prominence in the mid-1980s. with Lotus. German driver Marco Werner and his Lotus 87 managed to ward off Michael Lyons and deprived the Briton of his second title of the day.

Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg gives a virtual tour of the Monaco GP circuit

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