Coupes de Printemps 2016

Last weekend, Montlhéry hosted the Coupes de Printemps (Spring Cups). It’s a really enjoyable event that gathers a lot of remarkable cars. It was a real show on track, even if the weather was a little cold.

Even if the weather was not as shiny as expected, it was still better than last year. It didn’t rain, allowing all cars to get on the track, mechanical issues apart. The first contenders arrived early, and the access to the circuit is a first meeting point.

The whole circuit was open, allowing the audience could access everywhere, and get close to the cars. The classic car part was partly filled, but the cars were quite interesting and their owners ready to answer any question. You could access to the paddock as well, and there was no restriction to get close to the cars racing.

The cars were split into three grids, gathering exotic and racing cars. Several cars caught our attention : two Ford GT40, a rare Maserati 8CM, a nice group of DB Panhard including the DB HBR5 “Camionnette” that ran the 1959 24 Hours of Le Mans, or several beautiful Bugattis.

The event began shortly before 10 am with the parade of the Bugatti Club. Even if led by a safety car, this stream of exceptional cars is a perfect overture for the Coupes de Printemps. However, some members forgot to bring their Bugatti…

Then, the three grids came one after another, until noon break. The first grid gathers the oldest cars engaged in the Coupes de Printemps : Ac Aceca Bristol, Bugatti Type 51, Allard J2, Jaguar Xk120 et Xk140, MG TA, Frazer Nash BMW 320, Aston Martin, and 3 little single-seaters. Despite their age, the cars are not here for a lazy ride !

The second grid gathers the Panhard armada. These cars are far from ridiculous with their small engine, compared to their opponents. They are obviously slower than the two Lotus, an Elan and an Elite, which fly over the other cars. You could also see several Porsche 356, Alpine A110, a Roné Bonnet, or a Matra Djet…

The last grid gathers a lot of Austin Healeys, even if the queens of the track are a Jaguar E-Type, a Chevron B8 and a Ford GT40. The BBM Simca that ran the Coupes de l’Avenir is quick despite its small engine, the Peerless GT brings a touch of exoticism, along with the BMW 3.0 CSL.

After lunch, every one is gathered for the award ceremony. Muguette Demantes, driving the Panhard Dyna Z from the first grid, gets the women’s cup and the overall cup goes to the owner of the “Camionette”, it was a good performance for the Panhard cars.
The awarded people also get prizes from Motul and Chapal, who helped to organize the event.

The afternoon doesn’t get any warmer, but the cars are still fast. A few mechanical issues though, like the Frazer Nash BMW which loses oil, smokes a lot and doesn’t start again, or the Mini that hit a wall, losing oil as well.

It’s an event you should not miss in the future.

More pictures in this gallery, and others to come !

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