Monaco, city of racing
Monaco, a tiny European city-state on the French Riviera, has always been able to garner a disproportionate slice of the world’s attention. One of the reasons for this is its deep association with motorsports, as it is the home of the Monte Carlo Rally and the ultra-famous Monaco Grand Prix. Monaco is a city of racing like no other.
Small country, big name
Most people would probably not be able to show you the location of the Principality ofMonaco on a map, but would be probably instantly associate the name of this tiny city-state with glamour, celebrities, casinos, and importantly, automobile racing. This is almost certainly due to the prestige associated with the Monaco Grand Prix, a Formula One competition that has been held here since the year 1929. It is not the only high-profile racing event to be hosted here, however, as it is joined by the Monte Carlo Rally and the Historic Grand Prix, among others. Over more than a hundred years, Monaco has been the world epicentre of high-profile, high-velocity competition. The streets of the city are steeped in the tradition and excitement of motorsport in a way that no other city can match.
From two wheels to four
The organization behind these competitions is the Automobile Club de Monaco, which was actually founded in the year 1870 as a club for bicycle racing enthusiasts before entering the world of motorsport in the year 1907. Their first big event in this sector was the Monte Carlo Rally, upon request of the then-monarch of Monaco, Prince Albert I. This race, which has taken various forms and routes throughout its history, is known for its high skill cap and list of prominent winners. By far the most famous event held in Monaco, however, is without a doubt the Monaco Grand Prix, held since 1929. It is one of the most important automobile racing events in the world, and forms part of the “Triple Crown,” along with Le Mans and the Indianapolis 500. With a single hiatus during the Second World War, the event has been run continuously since its founding, by tobacco administrator Antony Nòghes.
The past and present glory of motorsport
In addition to the surrounding prestige (the event gathers a viewership of over four million people), the Circuit de Monaco is a brutal and demanding course for the driver, featuring the urban setting of the city of Monte Carlo, with tight corners and even a tunnel. Only the most skilled can succeed here, and the course has been the setting for a number of near-disasters. The most successful driver of all time at Monaco is the Brazilian Ayrton Senna, who piloted his vehicle to victory here a staggering six times, five of them consecutively. The list of famous winners here, however, doesn’t cease to impress, containing names from five-time winner “Mr. Monaco” Graham Hill to its last winner, Lewis Hamilton. Two weeks before the Monaco Grand Prix main event, the “Historic Grand Prix” of Monaco takes place. This unique event, divided into seven “time periods,” revels in the glory of past ages of motorsport., along viewers to experience the rich racing history of Monaco in person.
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