Monte Carlo Rings to Grand Prix Greats

Packed grids and new races added to the spectacle as historic F1 machines took to the streets of Monaco.

All the glitz and the glamour of the world’s most exclusive historic motorsport event returned to the Côte d’Azur from 13-15 May for the 13th Grand Prix de Monaco Historique. After just 80 cars competed in last year’s event, postponed from 2020 due to the pandemic, entry numbers were back up to more than 200 cars for 2022. With practice on Friday, qualifying on Saturday, and eight fantastic grids lining up on Sunday to race around the iconic Monte Carlo street circuit, the scene was set for a memorable weekend.

Monte Carlo Grand Prix

Each of the groups celebrated drivers from the featured period, from Louis Chiron for the pre-war cars to Ayrton Senna for the 80’s era- the Brazilian legend had so impressed the paddock on his debut in F1 at Monaco, driving a Toleman TG184 in appallingly wet conditions, when he nearly beat Alain Prost in the McLaren MP4-2 before the race was abandoned.

Monaco Race Winners

  • PRE-WAR GP CARS&VOITURETTES
    Mark Gillies ERA R3A
  • PRE-’61 FRONT-ENGINED GP CARS
    Claudia Hürtgen Ferrari Dino 246
  • 1961-’65 F1 & 1956-’60 F2
    REAR-ENGINED 1.5-LITRE GP CARS
    Joe Colasacco Ferrari 1512
  • 1952-’57 FRONT-ENGINED
    SPORTS-RACING CARS
    Frederic Wakeman Cooper-Jaguar T38
  • 1966-‘723-LITRE F1 GP CARS
    Stuart Hall McLaren M19A
  • 1973-‘763-LITRE F1 GP CARS
    Stuart Hall McLaren M23
  • 1977-‘803-LITRE F1 GP CARS
    Michael Lyons Hesketh 308E
  • 1981-‘853-LITRE F1 GP CARS
    Marco Werner Lotus 87

Monte Carlo Grand Prix

New for 2022 was a race for Formula One cars from 1981-’85, covering the end of a dominant era for the Ford DFV, which was first introduced in 1967. Some 10 constructors were represented by 30 cars, from the 1981 Williams FW07C through Tyrrell 011 and 012, McLaren MP4, Arrows, Alfa Romeo, and Lotus- with no fewer than six examples of the latter.

A walk through the harbourside Monaco paddock was a race fan’s dream, featuring an amazing 14 World Championship-winning machines among F1 and sports cars from 37 teams in the simple tented garaging. As at previous events, there was also a sports car race, this year to mark the 70th anniversary of the decision by the FIA to abandon the International Formula for 1952 and introduce new regulations banning single-seater racers in favor of two-seaters.

The opening grid on Sunday morning, however, was for F1 cars raced from 1961-to ’65.On pole for the 10-lap event was Joe Colasacco in the gorgeous,ex-John Surtees Ferrari 1512, more than a second ahead of Mark Shaw in the ex-Jim Clark Lotus 21. Off the line the Ferrari struggled to get its power down, spinning its tires and allowing Shaw to draw alongside, but it was Colasacco who led out of Sainte Dévote as they powered up towards Beau Rivage.

Shaw made a challenge into the Fairmont Hotel Hairpin, but Colasacco closed the door before Chris Drake joined the party in his Cooper T71/73 and the top three started to pull clear. After racing nose-to-tail, Shaw squeezed past Colasacco into turn one on lap eight, but it wasn’t to last: as he defended on the following tour, the Lotus drifted wide and struck the wall at Sainte Dévote. Colasacco won from Drake, with Andrew Beaumont third in a lotus 24.

Pole for the first of the pre-war races for Grand Prix cars and voiturettes went to Mark Gillies in ERA R3A, taking the top grid spot after Nick Topliss came into the pits in R4A duringared-flag incident in qualifying, only for it to be immediately cleared. Topliss got his revenge with a brilliant start, beating Gillies into the first corner, and the two managed to break away from the pack. Behind them, there was a great tussle for third between Patrick Blakeney-Edwards in his monoposto Frazer Nash and Anthony Sinopoli ina’36 Maserati 6CM/4CM. Sinopoli edged the battle, and third became second behind winner Gillies after Topliss suffered a puncture from a clash of wheels with the Dobbs Riley.

Race three was a tribute to Juan Manuel Fangio and featured no fewer than five Maserati 250Fs, although it was German Le Man’s ace Claudia Hürtgen who led away from pole ina1960 Ferrari Dino 246. Starting third, Joaquín Folch Rusinol’s Lotus 16 got the jump on the second-placed Tec-Mec Maserati of Tony Wood, but they traded placesalap later before the race ended early following a four-car crash on lap nine.

Jackie Stewart Career

Jackie Stewart’s career was the theme for race four, for3-liter cars from 1966-72, and Stuart Hall took pole in a McLaren M19A from the gorgeous V12 Matra MS120C of Jordan Gregor. A poor getaway by the McLaren allowed Gregor into the lead, but Hall retook it at Tabac and quickly built a comfortable lead. Esteban Gutiérrez was pressing the Matra hard in the 1970 BRM P153 before he stopped due to a mechanical problem, bringing out a full-course yellow, after which Hall sprinted away to win with the Surtees TS9 of Michael Lyons pipping Gregor to second.

Race five featured Grand Prix cars from 1973-’76 and celebrated the late, great Niki Lauda. Hall was quick off the line from pole once again in the evocative Yardley McLaren M23, with second-placed Brazilian driver Roberto Moreno’s Lola T370 being passed by Marco Werner in the JPS Lotus 76. Hall soon settled into the groove, lapping in a very fast1min 31 secs, while further down the field Gregor Fisken had a battle on his hands in the ex-Jean-Pierre Jarier 1975 Shadow DN5 as the DN3 of Jean-Denis Delétraz and the Tyrrell 007 of Roald Goethe gave chase. Werner managed to hold on to second behind winner Hall, with Lyons rounding out the podium in a McLaren M26.

Monégasque 2022 F1 title contender

Monégasque 2022 F1 title contender Charles Leclerc was on hand to drive Niki Lauda’s historic 312B for the lunchtime Ferrari demonstration, but lost the brakes at Rascasse and clipped the wall, bringing the session to an early end.

The afternoon kicked off with the biggest grid of the weekend, as 31 sports cars from 1952-’57 lined up for a rolling start. Polesitter Fred Wakeman led through turn one in the Cooper-Jaguar T38, ahead of the pair of beautiful Maserati 300Ss of Lukas Halusa and Guillermo Fierro-Eleta, with Niklas Halusa fourth in a very original JaguarD-type. Despite an exciting race, there were few opportunities to pass, so the order remained unchanged at the flag.

Race seven was for F1 cars that competed from 1977-to ’80, including the start of the ground-effects era. Miles Griffiths took pole in the bright-yellow Fittipaldi F5A ahead of Lyons in the Hesketh 308E and David Shaw aboard Williams FW06. After the formation lap, ever, the Fittipaldi failed to reappear on the grid having taken to the pits with a gearbox problem, and following his two-second places Lyons wasn’t taking any chances as he roared away from the rest of the field. He’d soon built a large lead over second-placed Michael Cantillon’s Tyrrell 010 and Philip Hall in the Theodore TR1, while behind there was a clash of wheels between the two Williams of Mark Hazell(FW07B)and Shaw (FW06), but both managed to continue. Lee Mowle then passed Hall into third in the Classic Team Lotus 78, before Theodore clipped the wall and suffered suspension damage, dropping it down to 14th. That promoted Mowle to third behind Cantillon and deserving winner Lyons.

The weekend’s finale was, appropriately, the new-for-2022 Ayrton Senna tribute, with a grid consisting of 1981-’85 Formula One machinery. It was a lotus front-row lockout, with the 87B of Marco Werner on pole from that man Lyons again, this time in a 92. At the end of the first lap, there was a train of Lotus black-and-gold holding the first three places, with Nick Padmore in the dual-chassis 88B passing David Shaw in the Arrows A4 off the line. Sadly, Dan Collins was forced to retire the Lotus 91 following a clash with Jonathan Holtzman’s Lotus 87B at the chicane on lap four, while further down the field American Ken Tyrrell(no relation)in the Tyrrell 011 enjoyed a good battle with Katsuaki Kubota in the Lotus 91. In the end, however, they finished in the order they completed the first lap, with Werner clinching the final victory from Lyons and Padmore.

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Henry Brown

About the Author: Henry Brown

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