150 F1 cars to contest Monaco Historique

Paul Lawrence
This article first appeared on autosport.com

More than 150 Formula 1 cars will tackle the world’s most famous street circuit on May 11-13 in the 11th edition of the Grand Prix de Monaco Historique.

Unlike previous editions of the biennial event, only one race will feature anything other than period F1 machinery in a seven-race line-up that spans the history of grand prix racing from the Pre-War era right through to 1980.

A race for front-engined sports cars from the mid-1950s will complement five decades of grand prix cars.

Circuit expert Julian Bronson is bidding for his fifth Monaco win and will race his front-engined Scarab against the TecMec Maserati of Tony Wood in the race for Pre ’61 F1 and F2 cars.

Wood won narrowly two years ago, and a reversal of that result would mean a great deal to Bronson, who pioneered the return of the US-built Scarab to racing.

“The thrill of Monaco is just to race there,” said Bronson.

“The historics have the same finishing procedure as the Grand Prix; you line up on the start/finish line, you have the same podium and everything is the same.

“I love the place and it’s a big deal to me.”

The rare sight of five front-engined Lotus 16 cars will bolster the front-engined grid.

At the wheel of the Lotus 25 raced by Jim Clark in 1963, Andy Middlehurst will challenge for another Monaco win in chassis R4.

Clark won seven times in the ’63 season on his way to his first world championship title, but failed to finish the season opener at Monaco when gearbox failure put him out of a comfortable lead.

Some 55 years later, Middlehurst will strive for a second win in honour of his hero.

Two of the leading young guns in historic racing will go head-to-head in two of the seven races.

Michael Lyons already has an enviable record at Monaco and will race the ex-James Hunt McLaren M26 and the ex-Keegan Hesketh 308E from his family’s stable.

In both races he will go up against Nick Padmore, who has a Shadow DN5 and a DN9 from Max Smith-Hilliard’s collection.

On the 1977-80 grid, Lyons and Padmore will also face the hard-charging Martin O’Connell in the rare ATS D4 owned by Marc Devis.

Other notable entries for one of the highlights of the historic racing season include F1 designer Adrian Newey in his Lotus 49, former F1 racer Paolo Barilla in one of three Ferrari 312Bs in the entry and former F2 and sportscar racer Eje Elgh in his March 711.

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