2018 Monaco Historique
This weekend should have been titled “ROFGO at Monaco”! In addition to the static displays of our Porsche 908 at the Tag Heuer private party in the stunning Tops Collection car museum of the Grimaldi family cars and the Brabham BT26 parked on the roof of the Monaco Yacht Club; Rofgo Racing were kept busy on track. Fielding three Formula One cars in the 1966-72 F1 Grand Prix grid and two in the 1973-76 F1 Grand Prix grid it was always going to be hectic. Throw heavy rain on Sunday into the mix and our results are even more impressive.
In the 1966-72 grid, Series E, Stuart Hall was caught out by a red flag in qualifying and the resultant oil strewn track meant he could not improve on P2 on the restart. The race had everyone on the edge of their seats as he fought at every corner of every lap literally dancing all over the leading car’s gearbox only to lose out on the straight. Refusing to give up even on the last corner he eventually had to accept the closest of second places in the Yardley McLaren M19 that was victorious for him two years ago.
Qualifying for our second race, the 1973-76 grid, Series F, Stuart Hall again performed his Monaco magic in the later McLaren M23 and set a new lap record for historic Formula One cars whilst grabbing pole. Rain just before the race on Sunday complicated matters and in the melee of the first lap Stuart lost out under breaking into the Lowes Hairpin and then spent the rest of the race looking to get past the leading car to regain first position. With the track becoming ever more treacherous and continual safety car sessions to clear stranded cars Stuart had to play the long game and again accept second place in a tough and testing race. Post race he realised why the handling was “lively” one broken engine mount meant the engine was, like Stuart at times in the race, hanging on the ragged edge!
In addition to all of this we were honoured to have the legendary Mika Hakkinen take our McLaren M14A for “spirited” demo laps on both race days, just three laps turned into 7 and his post demo grin seemed to show it went well!! On track it all looked like a nice day in the office but in the paddock the team burned the midnight oil – if ever there was an example of good team work paying rich dividends it was this weekend. Two second places in the most competitive grids of the weekend were taken gratefully by Stuart Hall and the team headed up by James Chown.