The Golden Age of Racing Showcased in France
Photography by Rémi Dargegen for Petrolicious
Held about two weeks ago, the Grand Prix de l’Age d’Or (Grand Prix of the Golden Age) in Dijon-Prenois was recently reorganized. It was formerly run by the famous Quiniou family but has now come under the umbrella of the Peter Group (check out another of their events here). This was the historic Grand Prix’s first test and first success since the reorganization. And it featured some of French historic racing’s usual grids: U2TC (Under two-liter Touring Cars), 1960s Endurance, Classic Endurance, Trofeo Nastro Rosso (Red Ribbon Trophy, dedicated to Italian racers of the late ’50s and ’60s), and the new Heritage Touring Cup. In addition, three other grids raced in Dijon: FIA Lurani Trophy (Grand Prix cars with smaller engines, mainly Formula Junior), and the highlights of the week-end, which were provided by the Historic Grand Prix Cars Association (HGPCA): pre-’61 front-engined Grand Prix Cars, and pre-’66 rear-engined Grand Prix cars.
Always an important meeting for French collectors and enthusiasts, this year’s Grand Prix de l’Age d’Or proved it once again: three packed days with racing, about 11,000 spectators, nine grids, 256 race cars, and more than 700 auto club member’s cars. Held annually, it’s an appetizer for vintage racing fans before the Le Mans Classic, and practice for racers looking to improve their setup before the big weekend in Le Mans! It was a very exciting weekend, but also a very hot one, which led had an effect on the racing!
As mentioned, the high temperatures affected some of the cars, like Mr. Dion Kremer’s Lotus Cortina (U2TC) that caught fire while in the pit lane. The Shelby Cobras were dominant in ’60s endurance racing winning seven of the top eight spots (fourth was taken by a Mid-Year Corvette). The Nastro Rosso races saw a mixed podium, with a Ferrari 250LM coming in first, Bizzarini 5300GT second, and a Maserati Birdcage in third for both races. Finally, in the pre-’66 Formula One racing class, Coopers dominated most of the weekend with a Lotus and Heron fighting for the scraps.
Some complained that the event had lost something from previous years. Perhaps the heat affected them too. We had a blast though, and thought the on-track action was thrilling and compared to the mobs at some other vintage racing events, there really is no comparison.