Monza Historic Festival – May 29-30
With Le Mans getting in the way of faster reporting, Gabriele
Tosi forwards this report from Monza at the end of May.
This year the
entry list in all classes (F2, F1, Touring, F1 pre-'61 and GT/GTS)
was very disappointing. Every class struggled to top 20 cars on
the grid. In 2001 we had two Touring classes with 40+ cars and in
GT/GTS a ‘mere’ 35 and also we had a wonderful race
for Sportscars with 30 cars (such as 917, GT 40, Chevron, Lola etc…)
year only 23 cars took part in the two qualifying session for the
two 1 hour races with combined result at the end. Between the 20th
and 40th minutes, the cars had to pit and change drivers, if there
were two, or stop for a little longer if there was only one man
at the wheel.
The pole was taken, surprising everyone, by the Elva Buick 160 of
Rosina / Vairo, in front of another surprise the Bizzarrini 5300
GT of Paul Koppenwaller. The pair was ahead of the ever-fan-favourite
AC Cobra of Bernard Perus and Philippe Harper. This trio almost
immediately broke away from the pack (almost 2-3 seconds per lap,
sometimes more) and had a great battle until the pit-stops. It was
very good to see such different types of cars battling nose to tail,
with the AC Cobra passing the other two on the straight only to
be out-braked by the very light Elva in the chicanes.
At the pit-stop
the Bizzarrini dropped back, due to a slower driver, while the Elva
emerged some 15 seconds in front of the Cobra. But Perus, now driving
the Cobra, was taking about 1.5 seconds per lap off the Elva, then
passed the little sportscar and eased away…only to drop back
in the last three laps, due to unknown problems.
But in the meantime
the Bizzarrini was ripping into the gap to the two front runners
and thanks to the Cobra’s problems, passed the muscle car
and installed itself in second…but there were dramas on the
last lap: the Elva was slowing and the Bizzarrini took a very unexpected
win, in front of the Cobra and the Elva. A lap back was the 911
of Marzatico / Marzatico, always sideways, and a marvellous black
Jaguar E-Type of Baldi (Mauro?).
In the break on Sunday, as usual, we had a monster parade of Historic
registered cars, both racing and road ones: it was a monster field
of cars, three wide, starting on the main straight and ending only
at the exit of the Ascari!!! Many types of cars were present from
the early ‘30s to the Hot Rods, the Corvette (all models)
and even a GT40.
After the three-way
battle in race 1 the fans (quite a large number) expected at least
an equal battle in race 2. Only 14 cars took the green flag (no
Jaguar, sadly) owing to technical problems and insufficient time
to make repairs.
The same trio rocketed
away from the slim pack behind them, but this time the Cobra was
the strongest, in front of the Bizzarrini and then the Elva. The
second race saw the “slower” drivers to take the start
and clearly the Cobra driver was faster than the Elva one. Behind
these three, the tiny pack is led by the two 911s of Marzatico /
Marzatico (in rally style mode at the Ascari, but I suspect all
round the track) and the other identical car of Chiminelli / Bordignon.
Remember this second
race will be aggregate to the first one… anyway the Cobra
was gaining a little time on the Elva and the Bizzarrini, and after
the pit-stops was still gaining some time on the other two. After
two-thirds distance, the Cobra was slowing a little (tyre problems,
and a little excursion at the Ascari) while the Elva wasn’t
able to gain time and the Bizzarrini established itself (on the
aggregate time) on the top of the list.
until the end so on the final result saw the Bizzarrini win in front
of the AC Cobra then the Elva and the two ‘rallying mode’
It was a very
disappointing w/end in some respects, with very few cars and a rather
empty paddock: it seems the lack of money also strikes the Historic
World… perhaps next year we will have a better calendar. But
at least we had the historic cars at the LMES round at Monza.
Also in the
photo collection, some exciting moments from the Touring races and
the usual Tyrrell P34 as well the Jackie Stewart Tyrrell.