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Michael Lyons, humble hero of a very special Grand Prix de Monaco Historique!

The 12th edition of Grand Prix Historique de Monaco, with seven high-octane races between all the major brands that made the event famous, is now part of the remarkable heritage of Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM). It also had the merit of crowning, on Sunday, a rather humble hero: British driver Michael Lyons, who raced and smiled through three outstanding wins in a row …
This was an historical event because it was the first since 2018, as 2020 had to be postponed because of the Covid-19 pandemic. And the quality of the field surpassed the worries created by a limited quantity of competitors, for obvious reasons: a hundred cars altogether, perfectly renovated and prepared, instead of 200 or so for previous editions. The show had to go on, and it was a success.

Alesi and Arnoux, two guest stars for Ferrari…
For his come-back on the Monaco track, the former Scuderia driver was the star of the show and should have won Race F, as in Ferrari, after jumping in the lead from his 2th place on the grid and then leading for 15 laps out of 18. However, a race incident with poleman Marco Werner, who was then penalized, changed the outcome of a magnificent race. But the mission had been accomplished: for three days in a row, Alesi and another former F1 driver back behind the wheel of a Ferrari, René Arnoux, pleased the fans around the track, on TV and social networks. They also chatted in the paddock with current F1 stars such as Charles Leclerc and Nico Hülkenberg.

Maserati and Lotus, shining as usual…
If we look at the long list of mythical brands that wrote the legend of Monaco F1 Grand Prix, two of them were in great shape during this 12th edition : Maserati first, because Guillermo Fierro-Eleta won both Races B and C in superb manner, at the wheel of two prestigious and glamorous models of the Italian firm, the 250F and the 300S; Lotus as well, because the English brand founded by Colin Chapman put four different cars in the Top 4 of Race D, and then when Marco Werner’s Lotus 77, in Race F, challenged Jean Alesi’s Ferrari until both cars collided. Other brands also brought back great memories to the most nostalgic fans, such as Talbot-Lago and Bugatti in Race A, Jaguar in Race C, Surtees, McLaren and Hesketh in Races E, F and G for the most recent F1 cars, built between 1970 and 1980.

Lyons roared three times…
In these three very intense races, at speeds that should be unconceivable for 50-year-old cars, the 30-year-old Anglo-Irish driver with red hair, as humble as he is fast, showed all the facets of his huge talent: a perfect start in Race E, to take the lead from poleman Stuart Hall’s McLaren and never look back, formidable pressure in Race F to push Jordan Grogor (Arrows) at fault, and last but not least, absolute wisdom in Race G, in 3rdposition, waiting patiently for something that was meant to happen between Alesi and Werner. This was done in the matter of hours and aboard three very different single-seaters: a blue Surtees TS9, an orange McLaren M26 once driven by James Hunt and a blue Hesketh 308 E, dating back to 1977, that Lyons had set-up perfectly during a testing session at Anglesey, a short and demanding circuit in the north of Wales.

Perfect tarmac, modern tyres…
Lyons will never become a Formula 1 World Champion, but he could not care less. He is happy racing and winning Historic races in cars that he needs to “preserve”, while “setting them up as well as possible for them to be competitive”, he smiles. It was the case this weekend in Monaco, on brand new asphalt, with excellent Avon or Dunlop Racing tyres (depending on the category entered). With these modern tyres on ancient cars, the lap times were incredible and the races outstanding, as it was often the case during the golden age of F1, at the end of the last century.

See you in May 2022!
This was such an historical Grand Prix de Monaco, on all levels, that many actors and spectators will remember it for long. And the good news is: they will not have to wait too long until the 13th edition takes place, from 13 to 15 May, 2022.

Podiums of the 12th Grand Prix de Monaco Historique:

Race A

  1. Christian Traber (SUI/Talbot-Lago)
  2. Niklas Halusa (AUT/Bugatti 35B)
  3. Ewen Sergison (SCO/Maserati 6CM)

Race B

  1. Guillermo Fierro-Eleta (ESP/Maserati 250 F)
  2. Max Smith Hilliard (GBR/Lotus 16)
  3. Alex Birkenstock (GER/Ferrari Dino 246)

Race C

  1. Guillermo Fierro-Eleta (ESP/Maserati 300S)
  2. Niklas Halusa (AUT/Jaguar Type D)
  3. Nicolas Bert (BEL/Jaguar Type C)

Race D

  1. Mark Shaw (GBR/Lotus 21)
  2. Nick Taylor (GBR/Lotus 18)
  3. Philipp Buhofer (GBR/Lotus 24)

Race E

  1. Michael Lyons (GBR/Surtees TS9)
  2. Stuart Hall (GBR/McLaren M19)
  3. Jamie Constable (GBR/Brabham BT37)

Race F

  1. Michael Lyons (GBR/McLaren M26)
  2. Julien Andlauer (FRA/March 761)
  3. Marco Werner (GER/Lotus 77)

Race G

  1. Michael Lyons (GBR/ Hesketh 308 E)
  2. Mike Cantillon (GBR/Tyrrell 010)
  3. Matteo Ferrer-Aza (ESP/ Ligier JS11/15)
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