The Monza Historic 2019 was staged 20-22 September at Autodromo Nazionale Monza in Northern Italy. Organised by Peter Auto, the third edition of the Monza Historic races brought the past back to life on this track where some of the greatest pages in the history of motorsport have been written.
Built in 1922, Monza is the world’s third purpose-built motor racing circuit after those of Brooklands and Indianapolis. The Monza Historic 2019 featured nearly 300 historic racing cars, divided up among Classic Endurance Racing One and Two, The Greatest Trophy, Heritage Touring Cup, 2.0-Litre Cup, Endurance Racing Legends, Group C Racing, Euro F2 Classic and Coppa Geki Russo. Participants battled over three days on the demanding 11-turn, 3.60-mile layout, which puts engines and brakes under extreme stress as drivers are full throttle for most of the lap due to its long straights and fast corners.
The Monza Historic 2019 saw the fifteen Ferrari entrants hold pride of place to the joy of the tifosi. The Ferrari 512 S entered in Classic Endurance Racing 1 by Pierre Mellinger and Tommaso Gelmini was one of the stars of the Italian weekend, as this car serial number 1004 took part in the 1970 Monza 1.000 km in which it finished third driven by John Surtees. In Classic Endurance Racing 2, the three big Ferrari 512 BBLMs had a worthy rival in the form of the Lancia Beta Montecarlo. The latter, the circuit version of the 037, won the 2-litre class in the 1980 and 1981 sports car world championships in the hands of Ricardo Patrese.
Other notable entries included the 1963 Ferrari 330 GTO (s/n 4561SA) and 1970 Porsche 917 K (s/n 917-025) of Carlo Vogele and a model of the last sports prototype built by Ferrari, the 333 SP (s/n 034) driven by Michel Lecourt and Raymond Narac in the Endurance Racing Legends. Shaun Lynn was on track with his iconic Bentley Speed 8 that won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2003 in the hands of Tom Kristensen, Guy Smith and Rinaldo Capello, ending a 73-year drought for the British marque at the endurance event.
The long straights of the Autodromo di Monza suited the characteristics of the Group C Racing prototypes down to the ground. Spectators were able to catch a glimpse of the rare Jaguar XJR-14, only three of which were produced, powered by an F1 Ford V8 engine. It was driven by Gérard Lopez and Eric Helary, who was victorious in the 1993 24 Hours of Le Mans. Of note, Helary won his title in a Peugeot 905, the rival of the Jaguar XJR-14 in period. Spectators saw this rivalry renewed at the 2019 Monza Historic thanks to the presence in this grid of a 1993 Peugeot 905 EV1B driven by Dominique Guenat. Once again the Peugeot 905 overtook the Jaguar XJR-14 during the race weekend.
Monza Historic 2019 – Photo Gallery (photos: Photo Classic Racing, Fotorissima, Julien Hergault)
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[Source: Peter Auto; photos: Photo Classic Racing, Fotorissima, Julien Hergault]