The 11th edition of the “Grand Prix de Monaco Historique” was held last weekend, marked by a record attendance of approximately 40000 spectators in 3 days and by an extraordinary line-up of racing cars, alongside a new ‘F1 Heritage’ parade.
We look at the highlights of last weekends races:
Race A – Pre-War Grand Prix Cars.
Michael Gans (#22) was unbeatable during the practices in his ERA R1B, but in the race he missed his start and gave the lead to his immediate rival, Paddins Dowling (#26) followed by Nicholas Topliss (#24). The Swiss Nicholas Sinopoli (#32) followed just before a spectacular Lukas Halusa with his powerless Bugatti35C. Paddins Dowling in an ERA R5B went on to win the race widening the gap lap by lap. On Lap 7, Topliss, after a stop in the pits, gave the third rank to Sinopoli. In the last lap Sinopoli «jack-knifed» in Mirabeau, bringing back third rank to Topliss. Michael Gans finished in second, 20 seconds away and Topliss, 3 ERA cars. The Bugatti of Halusa took a beautiful 5th rank just behind the unlucky Sinopoli.
Race B – Pre-1961 F1 and F2 Grand Prix Cars
23 cars lined up for the first of the Pre-61 F1 race with Julian Bronson (#50) in pole position in his Scarab, Nick Padmore (#30) Lotus 16, and Joaquin Folch-Rusinol (#34) Lotus 16, and Barry Wood (#48) Tec Mec F415 followed. False starts were recorded for Bronson and Padmore who lead after lap 1. Bronson escaped with Padmore right behind. On lap 4, a chasing Padmore recorded the best lap time in the race and overtook Bronson. Behind them, Wood , Floch-Rusinol and Fierro-Eleta (#42) followed. Penalties (« drive through ») for the 2 leaders handed the win to Wood in his Tec-Mec F415, Padmore was 2nd and Folch-Rusinol 3rd.
Race C – Sports Racing Cars 1952 – 1957
The rain arrived for the 50s Sports cars race, something our British sports car drivers are used to! Pole sitter Chris Ward in the Cooper Jaguar T33, got away to a good start, ahead of fellow Brits; Ben Short – Lister Maserati (#44), Martin Hunt – HWM-Jaguar (#30) , Tony Wood – Lister Bristol (#42), Frederic Wakeman – Cooper Jaguar T38 (#14) and Patrick Blakeney-Edwards – Frazer Nash Le Mans Replica (#22). Ward, unbeatable on the wet track, had already more than 22 seconds in front of Short and 55 of Wood at the mid-race went on to a convincing win. The Lister Maserati of Ben Short finished second and Tony Wood in third. Martin Hunt and Patrick Blakeney-Edwards finishing 4th and 5th rounded out the top 5.
Race D – F1 Grand Prix Cars – 1961 – 1965
It was a good start from the Poleman, Andy Middlehurst – Lotus 25 (#9) already 3 times winner in Monaco, followed by Jo Colasacco – Ferrari 1512 (5#), James King – Braham BT7 (#4) and Charles Nearburg – Brabham BT11 (#16). As soon as 1 lap, the 2 leading cars escaped with a 3 sec. gap between the followers. A tremendous battle ensued with 10 seconds gap between the 2 leaders and King who struggle against Nearburg. Lap #8, Colasacco tried to overtake Middlehurst. Spectacular racing with suspense until the end. Middlehurst won, four times in a row, on the second rank, Colasacco and then King on the Brabham.
Race E – F1 Grand Prix Cars 1966 – 1972
A lights to flag victory for poleman, Wirdheim Bjorn (#21), former F3000 Intercontinental Champion struggled with Stuart Hall (#15). After the first lap, Max Smith-Hilliard (#12), Katsuaki Kubota (#6) and Paolo Barilla (#3) are already 3 seconds behind. Lap #5, the safety car was deployed due a stopped car in the tunnel closing up the leaders.Then followed an intense battle! On Lap #8, Smith-Hilliard jack-knifed, leaving the third rank to Kubota followed by Michael Lyons (#1). Kubota made a mistake in the penultimate lap, Lyons became third ! Last lap action between the 2 leaders saw a photo-style finish with a 3 tenth of second gap on the finish line, then finished Lyons, Philippe Scemama (#11) and Charles Nearburg (#7).
Race F – F1 Grand Prix Cars 1973 – 1976
Rain stopped but the track was still wet. Good start by Stuart Hall (#8) ahead of Michael Lyons (#7), the veteran Alex Caffi (#22), Marco Werner (#11) and Nick Padmore (#25). At the end of the tunnel, Lyons overtook Hall, Caffi was 1’’7 seconds behind. A crash involving Roald Goethe (#4) brought out the safety car at the end of lap One. The race was restarted at the beginning of lap 3. The 3 leaders, Lyons, Hall and Caffi are in the same second. Werner and Pastorelli (#19) are 10 seconds far behind. Lap #9, Pastorelli left the track. Pushing hard, Caffi overtook Hall in lap #11 and try to take the lead on Lyons. Hall is 7 seconds behind, Werner is 8 seconds far. Hard battle between Lyons and Caffi. Unfortunately, Caffi made a mistake in la chicane and didn’t manage to finish the race. Lyons took a fully deserved victory ahead from Hall and Werner.