2016 Monaco Grand Prix Historiqueby Paul Lawrence on 16th May 2016
Monaco Grand Prix Historique
The Monaco circuit was not kind to Italian Alex Caffi during his Formula 1 career but 25 years later he won on the streets of the Principality during the Grand Prix Historique.
Caffi was one of the high-profile winners during the 10th running of the GP Historique when he guided the Kessel Racing Ensign N176 to victory in the Pre 1977 3-litre F1 race.
Caffi was fortunate to survive a huge accident on his last visit to the track when his Porsche-engined Footwork was broken in two in a violent impact during free practice in 1991. This time there was no such drama and the 52-year-old kept the newly restored Ensign ahead of the March 761 of Japanese historic ace Katsu Kubota.
The 3-litre F1 entry was split at 1973 and the race for the earlier cars provided a clear win for British sports car ace Stuart Hall in the ROFGO McLaren M19A.
The 1962 Monaco Grand Prix was not a good race for Team Lotus, but 55 years later Andy Middlehurst put the record straight by winning the Pre ’66 Grand Prix car race in the ex-Jim Clark Lotus 25 from Classic Team Lotus. Dan Collins joined him on the podium after taking the team’s 21 to third, sandwiching the very rare Ferrari 1512 of US racer Jo Colasacco.
Julian Bronson’s ambition of guiding his front-engined Scarab to Pre ’61 spoils was thwarted by an inspired performance from Tony Wood in the Tec-Mec Maserati, while Chris Ward added to his ever-growing reputation by winning the Pre ’56 sports car race in the C-type Jaguar from JD Classics. Top of the front-engined Formula Juniors was the Lola Mk2 of Jonathan Hughes.
As ever, Sir Stirling Moss was a star attraction at Monaco on behalf of Credit Suisse and was re-united with two cars that he drove to victory on this ultimate street circuit. Friday May 13 marked 60 years to the day of the 1956 race, when Moss led every one of the 100 laps in his Maserati 250F, while Saturday marked 55 years since his famous Lotus 18 victory. Fittingly the Stephen Bond-owned car was also on hand to make tribute to this racing legend.
While the streets of Monte Carlo resounded to Grand Prix cars, the weekend’s other major historic racing was at Spa where Peter Auto races packed out the Spa Classic.
Martin O’Connell/Sandy Watson (Chevron B19) and Dominique Guenat (Lola T286) took the race wins as an impressive total of 70 cars contested the pair of CER races.
The Monaco clash did the Group C grid no favours and just a dozen cars gathered to witness Mark Sumpter take a dominant double in his Porsche 962.
In the Heritage Touring Cup former Touring Car ace Pierre-Alain Thibaut, who is now the director of the Spa circuit, shared victory in the opening race with Eric Mestdagh in their BMW CSL.