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Virage de Massenet

Following the steep rise known as the Montee du Beau Rivage, the Virage de Massenet is a relatively quick and tricky left-hander sweeping into Casino Square at Monaco. The scene here depicts Ferrari teammates Tony Brooks and Phil Hill during practice for the 1959 Monaco Grand Prix where they would both occupy the second row of the starting grid. Frenchman Jean Behra, also in a Ferrari, led from the center of the front row at the start of the race but eventual winner Stirling Moss in a rear-engined Cooper-Climax got past him on lap 21 as they both entered the chicane. Behra’s engine would blow four laps later and he was out. Although Brooks had outqualified Hill by three-tenths of a second, the future American World Champion got off to a better start and was in 4th place ahead of his teammate until he spun in Casino Square on lap 36, allowing fellow American driver Harry Schell (BRM) and Brooks to both get past. Bad luck continued to plague Hill as he spun again shortly thereafter but, then the same thing would soon happen to Schell with race-ending consequences for the latter driver. Brooks and Hill managed to bring home their venerable front-engined Ferrari Dino 246’s to remarkable 2nd and 4th place finishes, respectively.

The painting seen here was exhibited in December 2005 at the Biennale Internazionale dell Arte Contemporanea of Florence, Italy (, a prestigious international art show which gathers nearly 800 artists selected from around the world to display their works.

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Gulay Berryman
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