The annual event “Coupes de Printemps” which literally translates to the “Spring Cup” took place on Saturday, March 25, 2017 on the Linas-Montlhéry Autodrome and took again the 3.4km circuit that includes an high-speed oval and completed with short 4-chicane circuit.
The Coupes de Printemps is a friendly open track event of sports for cars that were built prior to 1972 and is organised on this historic racing track that traces its originals back to the pre-war days. There is no competition or timing, making it a gathering for automotive enthusiasts who can tackle the racing circuit at their own pace.
For the short story, The Linas-Montlhéry racetrack is a circuit that has hosted motor racing, motorcycling and cycling, located in the French department of Essonne, straddling the municipalities of Linas, Bruyères-le-Châtel and Ollainville, commonly called “Montlhéry autodrome”. Built in 1924 by the architect Raymond (Réne) Jamin while being overlooked by industrialist Alexandre Lamblin the Montlhéry Autodrome was once host to the French Grand Prix back in 1925.
For those of you who might find the oval at the Montlhéry Autodrome familiar is because it is the same speed ring where “Ken Block’s Gymkhana Three” was filmed back in 2010.
The track is no longer homologated since 2004 for any kind of racing and in most probabilty will never ever see another race as it’s now too costly to renovate it without anyone funding it.
I am a regular at this event but unlike previous years, there were very few cars on the runs despite the good weather, only 36 to be exact compared to more than 80 in 2016 even when it was raining.
This is certainly due to the change of organisation that took place this year. Moreover, because of the vetusté of the circuit, the quality of the bitumen has become very bad which would damage the cars.
Nevertheless, some beautiful machines were presented for the 2017 edition. First of all, a very beautiful Maserati 8CM of 1933 a Flat 8 Cylinder engined car that was only ever produced in 18 copies. The Bugatti Type 51 was yet another car present from the same period. I have also seen an Alpine A106 in its original condition as well as its little sister the A110.
1933 Maserati 8CM at Coupes de Printemps 2017
Bugatti Type 51 at Coupes de Printemps 2017
Other interesting cars, a BBM C2 Simca (1972), a BMW 3.0L CSL, a Porsche 356 Pré A and also American beasts like a Chevrolet Corvette and a Chevrolet Camaro.
As always in Montlhéry the atmosphere is at the rendezvous, the participants are available and the public consists mainly of enthusiasts. It was a short, yet really lovely day. Hoping to see the event renew itself in 2018 in order to attract more participants was it faces the risk of disappearing completely off the map.
BMW E9 3.0 CSL at Coupes de Printemps 2017