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Montlhéry Hosts Les Grandes Heures

The third edition of the annual Les Grandes Heures Automobiles (LGHA), held last weekend, September 23-24, at the legendary banked Linas- Montlhéry Autodrome circuit just south of Paris, was unanimously declared to be the best one yet by both the hundreds of participating competitors, and the record number of attendees from all over Europe.

Nine-time World Rally Champion Sebastian Loeb wowed the LGHA spectators with his extreme antics on the Montlhéry banking in his wild Pikes Peak-winning Peugeot 208 T16, while ex-Group B rally driver Bruno Saby also thrilled the crowds in the 208 T16. The record-breaking Pikes Peak machine was joined by the ex-works Peugeot 307 WRC, 306 F2 and 308 Cup cars, all also demonstrated at full chat.

 Also on the docket was a special celebration of the life and motor racing career of the British ex-Formula One and sports car privateer driver and team owner David Piper, the very first time that his racing career has been marked in such a way. This LGHA tribute at the Linas-Montlhéry Autodrome was fitting, as it’s a circuit from which Piper (left, Arnaud Bachelard photo for Les Grandes Heures Automobiles) has many great memories, having raced and enjoyed success there on numerous occasions. A special display of David Pipers cars, representing many of the models he drove, included his famous green Ferrari 250 LM, as well as his Lola T70 MK 3B, Ferrari 365 P2 and Porsche 917K in action on the Montlhéry banking.

Other vehicle highlights at the 2017 LGHA included the presence of the dominant 1927 Delage 15 S-8 Grand Prix racer, plus the 1927 Voisin Montlhéry record-breaking car, the Sebring 12 Hours-winning Jaguar D-Type, the ex-Le Mans 1966 CD-Peugeot LM66 and a strong selection of Group B rally cars as well as a good cross-section of competition cars and motorcycles from all ages and motor sport disciplines.

Away from the historic competition machines at the LGHA, a huge array of vehicles from many classic car and bikes clubs were also in attendance, as well as a special supercar and performance GT display. New cars and motorcycle manufacturers also participated, including Peugeot, Alfa Romeo, Land Rover, Tesla, Nissan, Smart, Mercedes-Benz, Subaru and Volvo, plus Honda, Yamaha and BMW Motorrad on two wheels.

French auction house Maison Aguttes held its inaugural LGHA historic vehicle auction in the heart of the Autodrome, selling the 2003 Maserati 4200 Trofeo Light “Spirit of Houston” competition racer for £242,000, almost £80,000 over its top estimate. A 1958 Lotus Eleven S2 sold for £116,000, with a competition Lancia-Autobianchi Y10 Turbo bringing in just under £16,000! On Sunday the LGHA held its first autojumble too, with many elusive parts and bargains to be found.