Report by Marco Zanello and photos by Giacomo Zanello
The Monza Coppa Intereuropa 2012 was held 1-3 June at the 3.6 mile, 11-turn Autodromo Nazionale Monza in Italy. On the weekend marked by the Pope’s visit to Milan, only a few kilometres north was staged the 60th edition of the Coppa Intereuropa, the event of speed experience on the main track organized in the “belpaese”. Rain was a concern going in, but, on the contrary, after a hot sun on Saturday, the weather also held well on Sunday, except for some occasional clouds, which from time to time covered the sun.
After the disappointment of the 2011 edition, organizers decided to replace some categories, trusting in the major show which could offer some possible novelties. In particular they decided to include the Boss GP instead of the Historic F1 Championship, that by now has been suffering for many years a drop of entrants, as also proved during the Spa Classic, where only nine single-seaters participated.
Another novelty has been the 1000 KM Challenge, already seen last year but for 2012 organized as a four-hour race which took place on Saturday, with the participation of the prototypes built before 1972 and the GT cars built from 1968 to 1972. After recording the best time in practice, the pair of Coplowe-Stretton, at the wheel of a Lola T70, made a bad start which caused the car to go down to the fifth position, whilst Hadfield-Voyazides rapidly imposed their rate, to run to the final win with 8 laps lead over Dutoya-Dutoya, at the wheel of one of the numerous Elva cars entered. On Sunday there were also the same winners in the sprint race of eight laps, this time followed by the other Lola T70 of Wright-Gans and the Chevron B16 driven by Benedini-Benedini.
Among the hardest fought races we cannot omit two races reserved for Formula 3 Classic, where the double win of Leone, in a Ralt RT3 arrived after a close fight. Behind him there were Notari and Arbeit always at the wheel of a Ralt, in Race 1, and D’Aubreby and Androuard, also with a Ralt, in Race 2, while the other favoured from the eve, Chateaux, got only the fourth place.
We saw an always-charming GTSCC, with AC Cobra, Jaguar and Mustang cars competing for the win. After an hour and a half of race the specialists Hart and Van Der Lof got their own way, with 40 seconds lead over Voyazides-Hadfield, the favoured and previous authors of pole position. Monteverde-Pearson arrived third after an epic fight against Lynn-Haddon, which ended up with just one second of margin. It’s worthy of remark that the first four crews were at the wheel of an AC Cobra 289.
It was less fought the category reserved for the Pre-1963 GT Cars, where there was a great number of Aston Martin cars, DP212 and DB4 versions, and with Ferrari cars unexpectedly missing. After an uncertain start of the race the pair Friedrichs-Clark, at the wheel of a beautiful DB212, got their own way with wide advantage over Naismith and Monteverde-Pearson in a DB4.
Same expected performance as in the past editions for the race reserved for touring cars with engine lower than 2 litres, with the early flight of the Alfa Romeo driven by Furiani-Stippler and the new return of the Ford Lotus Cortina with Voyazides-Hadfield, who dominated with more than 20 seconds lead over the others. The third place was gained by the other Alfa Romeo with Roschmann-Roshmann, who got the better of the extemporaneous winners of the past edition, Shaw-Oliver in a BMW 1800 Tsa.
It was decidedly disappointing the race reserved for the single-seaters of Boss GP, where the absence of some of the leaders of Monza appointment made Dutchman Zwart, former champion in 2010 and 2011, defeat all competitors thanks to a run of 6 seconds faster than the second classified. Thus the Jaguar R5 dominated both races being ahead of Austrian Herndlhofer and Swiss Berg, both at the wheel of a Dallara Formula 3000.
There was always a numerous presence in the category “Tutto Alfa,” organized by the “Scuderia del Portello.” In Race 1, Fabio Sordi confirmed his previous good performance in the past editions, winning with wide margin at the wheel of his GTAm 1750, while on Sunday Dieter and Dominik Roschmann left everyone behind, gaining first two places in order of arrival at the wheel of a GTAm 1750 and Giulia Sprint.
As usual the exhibition was crowded by numerous clubs, with parades on the track and a trade exhibition of spare parts and memorabilia, set up in the open spaces of the village. The 2012 running of Monza Coppa Intereuropa was devoted, in particular, to remind two icons of the motor racing, two drivers who have lost their lives, more or less recently: Giampiero Moretti and Jean Sage to whom have been dedicated the two trophies delivered to the winners of the two rounds of the 1000 KM Challenge.
Monza Coppa Intereuropa 2012 – Photo Gallery (click image for larger picture and description)