Monaco historic Grand Prix revived for 2000

Aganst the odds, the second Monaco historic Grand Prix will descend on the principality on May 28th 2000. Despite having lost a million francs on the 1997 event, the Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM) vows the race will become a fixture every two years from 2000 forward. Timed to precede the Monaco Grand Prix, the historic meeting will encompass six separate class races starting with pre-1934 two-seat GP cars, proceeding to pre-1966 rear-engine GP cars, Formula One or Tasman.

The 1997 Monaco Historic Grand Prix was a rare opportunity to see some of this century’s greatest cars being driven up to — and beyond — the limit. Running over the 3.367 km street circuit, competitors like Martin Stretton driving a Maserati 4CM against Willie Green in Carlos Monteverde’s Alfa Tipo 158 put on a fabulous show. Power slides and opposite lock were the order of the day.

While the 1997 event was a massive success for participants, it drew just 16,000 spectators over three days. The ACM is keen to attract far more — and their cash — to the 2000 Monaco Historic; organisers say there is room for up to 60,000 spectators. Entry fees are 100Ffr for the Saturday qualifying sessions and 200Ffr for Sunday’s race day.

For participants, though, the charge is 14,000Ffr per car. Drivers must hold a valid international license for 2000 and the car must be accompanied by its FIA historic vehicle identity form. The ACM is taking applications for entry up until the end of February and cars will be judged on originality and appropriateness for the period.

Of the six race categories — each with up to 30 cars — only the category for pre-1934 two-seater Grand Prix cars is under subscribed. But Jean Sage, special advisor to the ACM, reckons all categories will be filled before the deadline. “We expect just about everybody who came last time to be back,” says Sage. “I have even had people asking if a car will be accepted for Monaco before they buy it.”

To help cover costs, the ACM is also looking for sponsors. Michel Ferry, president of the ACM’s Historic Cars Commission says the organisation has been talking to American auction house Barrett-Jackson and corporate giant DaimlerChrysler. “We wouldn’t mind a big title sponsor, but we would also be very concerned about losing control of the event,” says Ferry. “It might be better to have ten or twelve smaller sponsors.”

As well as a class for pre-1952 single-seat GP cars, there will be classes for pre-’61 front-engine GP cars and 1958-’63 Formula Junior cars. And there will be no fewer than three classes for pre-1959 cars fitted with drum brakes. Gavin Conway

The ACM can be called on: 00 377 93 15 26 00; Fax: 00 377 93 25 80 08 or email: [email protected]