Following the resounding success of the previous edition, the Organizing and Selection Committee AT Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM) has decided to retain the same 8 series and classes unchanged for 2024. The event will culminate in tributes and anniversaries in the form of real races in the authentic and majestic setting of the Principality’s circuit. This 14th edition of GP de Monaco Historique is set to turn several pages in motor racing history. Here is an almost idyllic flashback, by decade since 1924, on cars and drivers who will be in the spotlight in 2024!
– 100 years ago (1924), the iconic Bugatti 35 was unveiled in Lyon, then winning the first two editions of Monaco Grand Prix in 1929 and 1930 in its compressor version. In 1984, Automobile Club de Monaco organized a Bugatti race to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the legendary Bugatti 35.
– 90 years ago (1934), the Mercedes single-seaters that won the last three pre-war Monaco Grand Prix, in 1935, 1936 and 1937, appeared. Also appearing on the circuits in 1934 was ERA (winner of the first Prince Rainier Cup in 1936, monopolizing the podium). ERA was again on the starting grid in 1950 for the 1st edition of Monaco Grand Prix, counting for the brand-new Formula 1 World Championship.
– 70 years ago (1954), Mercedes was still at the top of the bill, with the appearance of the W196 which crushed the Grand Prix scene in 1954 and 1955, Juan-Manuel Fangio winning World Championship titles in the same two years. Also in 1954, the appearance of the Maserati 250F left no one indifferent. The Italian cars were present in Monaco from 1955 to 1959, winning twice: in 1956 with Juan-Manuel Fangio, and in 1957 with Stirling Moss at the wheel.
– 60 years ago (1964), John Surtees, already a multiple Moto World Champion, also became one in Formula 1 with Ferrari. The Englishman was always present at the start of Monaco Grand Prix from 1960 to 1971, making 12 appearances. Later, Surtees became a full-fledged brand and manufacturer in the discipline, his single-seaters taking part in Monaco Grand Prix between 1971 and 1978.
– 50 years ago (1974), the short-lived Hesketh brand entered the discipline. A young and flamboyant Lord, Thomas Alexander Fermor-Hesketh, along with his driver James Hunt, gave F1 a glamorous image in keeping with that of the Principality. It was also the year of the revelation for engineer Harvey Postlethwaite, who not only designed the first Hesketh, but also the Wolf WR1 which won three Grands Prix in its very first season in 1977, including the Monaco GP with the experienced Jody Scheckter at the wheel.
– Finally, 40 years ago (1984), Ayrton Senna‘s already proven talent, in his modest Toleman-Hart, shone through when he took 2nd place in the rain, behind Alain Prost, at the 5th Grand Prix of his F1 career, held under torrential downpours in Monaco.
Save the date! The next edition of the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique will be held from Friday 10th to Sunday 12th May 2024. This nostalgic and exciting event for motorsport fans will preserve its assets and its magic: real races between legendary cars organised in the authentic and majestic setting of the Principality’s circuit. The Grand Prix de Monaco Historique is also an opportunity to retrace and relive the golden age of motorsport through tributes and parades held over the weekend.
For 2024, the Automobile Club de Monaco’s Organising and Selection Committee has approved the presence of 8 series that will be competing and entered in the regulations. Entries will open this summer.
Race A1 – Louis CHIRON
Pre-war Grand Prix cars and Voiturettes
Race A2 – Juan Manuel FANGIO
Front-engine Grand Prix cars built before 1961
Race B – Graham HILL
Rear-engine, 1500, F1 Grand Prix cars from 1961 to 1965 and F2
Race C – Vittorio MARZOTTO
Front-engine Sport Racing cars from 1952 to 1957
Race D – Jackie STEWART
F1 Grand Prix cars 3L from 1966 to 1972
Race E – Niki LAUDA
F1 Grand Prix cars 3L from 1973 to 1976
Race F – Gilles VILLENEUVE
F1 Grand Prix cars 3L from 1977 to 1980
Race G – Ayrton SENNA
F1 Grand Prix cars 3L from 1981 to 1985
Long before Jacky Ickx became the great motorbike and car champion we all know, his father, Jacques, wrote sports columns for the Belgian daily newspaper “Les Sports” under the title “Tout autour de nous”.
His sharp style, his pen dipped in vitriol and even curare earned him the title of journalist-writer in France.
He was also one of the five European automobile journalists of the post-war period.
And he knows motor sport rather well!
The first Belgian Motocross Champion, Jacques Ickx also distinguished himself by winning the toughest car endurance event in 1951: the Liège-Rome-Liège Road Marathon.
“Our father’s past as a competitor allowed him to know all the movements of the soul that motivate a sportsman and the emotions that could sweep his heart”, remembers Jacky’s elder brother Pascal.
These sports chronicles written between 1948 and 1951, full of information but also rich in adventures, exploits, human feelings and unexpected moments, Jacky only discovered them recently: “I was blown away by their actuality, more than 70 years after they were written! And this is not a son admiring his father talking to you, but a reader seduced by a writer.
Compiled in a book entitled “Tout autour de nous, hymne au sport et aux valeurs humaines” (All around us, a hymn to sport and human values), the chronicles of Jacques Ickx are naturally prefaced by his two sons Pascal and Jacky.
In the name of the Father.
Tout autour de nous, by Jacques Ickx, Éd. MOLS is available in paper version
– 29,90 €, ISBN 978-2-87402-272-2 – and in digital version – 20,99 € – ISBN 978-2-87402-282-1
The royalties will be donated to the SOLIMEDA Foundation for Olympic medallists in financial need.
Scriptwriters could not have done it better: this 2022 edition, marked by a tribute to the death of Colin Chapman, in 1982, ended with a victory for German poleman Marco Werner in a Lotus 87 produced in… 1982, and even by a hat-trick for the mythical brand founded by the most brilliant engineer in all of Formula 1 history. Since Friday, this G Series carried the label of Ayrton Senna, the Brazilian who offered Lotus a 7th and last triumph in Monaco, in 1987, before joining McLaren to win three world crowns despite fierce competition from Alain Prost. This final race of the weekend involved 3-liter engine F1 cars produced between 1981 and 1985, since turbo engines are too tricky to manage on such a track for an historic race weekend. A three-time winner of Le Mans 24 Hours of Le Mans, Werner finally beat Briton Michael Lyons, hands down winner of Race E an hour earlier, who had swapped his Hesketh for a 1983 Lotus 92. On the last step of the podium, another Brit, Nick Padmore, entered in the famous double-chassis Lotus 88B produced in 1981 but never allowed to race. A radical and innovative car, just like its designer. Honored all weekend, Colin Chapman would have been overjoyed by this one and only victory in the 13th Grand Prix de Monaco Historique, in the last race of the weekend. Perfect timing.
Michael Lyons has now won 7 times in a Grand Prix de Monaco Historique, including four times (2012, 2014, 2021 and 2022) in the beautiful Hesketh 308 E (ex-Rupert Keegan) carrying the livery of Penthouse magazine, which he drove to perfection again to win Race F on Sunday. His task was made easier by the last-minute withdrawal of poleman Miles Griffiths, who parked his Fittipaldi in the pits after the formation lap.
The podium was monopolized by British drivers since Michael Cantillon took 2nd place, in his Tyrrell 010 (ex-Michele Alboreto), and a Lotus 78 completed the picture, thanks to Lee Mowle. Monaco’s Frédéric Lajoux finished at the foot of the podium, 4th in his black and gold Arrows although he had started at the back of the grid after a collision in qualifications.
Coming down from the podium, Lyons was rewarded, like the other winners of the day, with a figurine of a legendary F1 driver. For him, one of Canadian Scuderia driver Gilles Villeneuve autographed by Yvon Amiel, creator of Antoine le Pilote, a popular cartoon series.
The demonstration was announced in the program of the 13th Grand Prix de Monaco Historique, but the content of the event had been kept secret.
Jacky Ickx‘s presence in the paddock throughout the weekend, as well as the visit of Charles Leclerc planned for this Sunday, should have served as clues for the spectators. To the delight of enthusiasts, both drivers, the Belgian with an XXL résumé, and the Monégasque from the Scuderia, offered a real journey through time, for a few minutes, at midday, as the sun shone again over the port of Monaco.
Leclerc took charge of the Ferrari 312B3 (ex-Niki Lauda) entered in the E Series for Claudia Hürtgen by the Methusalem team. In 1974, this single-seater triumphed in Spain and the Netherlands, allowing the Austrian to claim his first two F1 wins, then Clay Regazzoni won in Germany and the Scuderia finished second in the Constructors’ World Championship, behind McLaren.
“When I was four, we were playing with toy cars in a friend’s apartment, that’s my first memory of Monaco Grand Prix,” Charles Leclerc said after this very special parade lap. “I took these streets on a bus to go to school when I was a kid and I always dreamt of winning this race. It’s really exceptional to see all these old cars today, at Grand Prix de Monaco Historique, it’s fun and it’s beautiful to see“, the Scuderia driver added.
For his part, Ickx recalled some good memories at the wheel of his 312B2, registered in the D Series and entrusted this weekend to Jürgen Boden. With this car, the Belgian was on the second step of the podium in the Principality in 1971, before winning in the Netherlands and Germany later in the season.
The demonstration lasted about ten minutes, the Ferrari engines roared and many spectators were moved. Then Leclerc and Ickx posed for the official photo on the starting grid. A snapshot for history, with Charles and Jacky, worthy representatives of two generations of drivers, to the delight of many photographers.
It was the one and only race for Sports Cars of the type authorized to compete in the streets of the Principality in 1952, 70 years ago, a Monaco Grand Prix on Saturday (cars with more than 2 liters of displacement) or a Prix de Monte-Carlo on Sunday (less than 2 litres).
So it was a bit of a different race, with two-seaters with great lines, gleaming bodies wrapping their wheels. Some were in total slide mode when they arrived on Place du Casino, the noise of their engines was tremendous, the fight was fierce and the spectators were ecstatic. Eventually, a British driver won in the person of Frederic Wakeman, embarked in a 1955 Cooper Jaguar T38 Mk2. He started from pole position in this “Vittorio Marzotto” series and he managed to beat two Maserati 300S driven by Austria’s Lukas Halusa and Spain’s Guillermo Fierro-Eleta, who slightly rubbed the barrier in the closing laps. The leading quintet was completed by Niklas Halusa, Lukas’s brother, in a 1954 Jaguar D-Type, ahead of Germany’s Claudia Hürtgen, victorious of Race A2 in the morning. She had swapped her Ferrari Dino 246 for a Maserati 300S and again she did a superb job. Well done, Madam.
Starting from pole position, Hall resisted until the chequered flag te black and gold Lotus 76 (ex-Ronnie Peterson) driven by German Marco Werner, a treble winner of Le Mans 24 Hours. Placed on the front row, Roberto Moreno, the former Benetton F1 driver, slightly jumped the start, in his 1974 Lola T370 carrying the livery of Graham Hill‘s Embassy team, then he was penalized by ten seconds
The podium was therefore completed by the inevitable Michael Lyons, who had passed Moreno any way, in a McLaren M26 (ex-James Hunt). In the pack, the show was provided by the superb Shadows of Max Smith-Hilliard, Gregor Fisken and Jean-Denis Delétraz (ex-Jean-Pierre Jarier) fighting throughout the race (17 laps) with a Lotus 77 ( ex-Peterson) driven by Nick Padmore and a Penske PC3 (ex-John Watson) by Matthew Wrigley.
This superb single-seater had already won in the streets of the Principality in 2016, at the hands of the same Stuart Hall. It has not aged a bit and was only overtaken at the first corner by Jordan Grogor‘s Matra MS120C. But the South African based in Dubai was then penalized ten seconds for having anticipated the start, which did not prevent him from reaching the podium at the end. The main beneficiary of this penalty was Michael Lyons, 4th on the grid, who finished 2nd in his Surtees TS9. The young Briton also profited from the retirement of the BRM P153 (ex-Pedro Rodriguez) of Mexican Esteban Gutierrez, which brutally stalled at the tunnel exit chicane, for a purely mechanical reason.
After quickly getting familiar with the front-engined Ferrari 246 dating back to 1960, she caused a sensation by achieving the best qualifying time. Starting on pole on Sunday, she resisted Tony Wood‘s Tec-Mec F415, a 1959 car, throughout the race, until it was stopped by a red flag, one lap from the finish, following a “pile-up” of three Lotus cars and a Connaught at the Antony-Noghès corner. The podium was completed by Spaniard Guillermo Fierro-Eleta (Maserati 250F).
Mrs Hürtgen had already won at the 2nd Grand Prix de Monaco Historique, in 2000. A very experienced and eclectic driver, she won the German touring cars series twice (DTM Challenge 2003 and 2004) and the 24 Hours of Dubai in 2011. She has just relaunched her career by joining the Abt-Cupra team in Extreme E, the new category for electric SUVs racing in remote areas. What a driver!