It seems unthinkable, but Monza’s fabled banking, not used for racing since 1961 and under threat of demolition, may have been used for the last time during last month’s 50th Coppa Intereuropa race meeting.
Competitors in the AC di Milano’s big Historic event jumped at the opportunity of driving the `anello di velocita’ (ring of speed), and despite grey weather, enthusiasts cheered them on as they pounded the twin 180-degree banks beneath the trees.
Briton Chris Balfe is campaigning to preserve the banking, with support from Stirling Moss, John Surtees and Jody Scheckter among over 3000 people who feel that history should not be destroyed. He can be e-mailed at [email protected]
First out was the V8-engined Maserati Eldorado Special, built for the 1958 Race of Two Worlds, but cars ranged from a Stanguellini sportscar and Formula Junior single-seaters to two BMW CSL ‘Batmobiles’.
Racing was fast and spectacular. Bob Berridge extended his unbeaten record in the FIA Thoroughbred Grand Prix Car Championship to a year, with Lotus 91 drivers Joaquin Folch and Steve Hitchins giving chase once second qualifier Martin Stretton’s six-wheel Tyrrell P34 broke its gear linkage. Dice of the event saw Duncan Dayton (Brabham BT33) pip Michael Schryver (Lotus 72) for Pre-71 honours and eighth overall.
A sensational field of 1600cc Formula Two cars entertained the tifosi with a magnificent display of slipstreaming, Peter Stobinski scoring a superb double over Briton Bob Juggins (Lola T240) and Dayton in a Brabham BT36. Nick Amey took Group 4 honours in his Lola T70 after Joe Nastase’s musical Alfa Romeo T33/3 had engine problems.