The Raduno Europeo Montecarlo 2004 was arranged by the Lancia Montecarlo Consortium from the UK. Focussed around the second LeMans Classic, a classic racing event that utilises the full LeMans 24 hours circuit, it was a great opportunity to meet Monte fanatics from other countries. The hardest part for us was to get there, which meant almost 800km incredibly boring driving on French motorways with their 130km/h speed limit.

 

 

 

 

Finally in the late afternoon we arrived at the country hotel near LeMans, that should be our base for the next two days. The number of cars participating was around twenty, most of the teams from the UK but also from Austria and France and of course our two german Montes. Never seen such a Monte crowd before, and amongst all the nice cars the most remarkable one was the red 'monster' with an Alfa V6 engine.

 

 

 

 

 

Next day we started with a wild run for the track in LeMans. As a club our cars had a special parking area inside the circiuit so the show wasn't far away. In the club parking area were hundreds and thousands of cars - Porsches, Renaults, Alfas, Ferraris, Lotus, Morgan and lots of other ones. I had even the opportunity for a round on the circuit in a Monte's passenger seat (thanks Sean, hope you like the video). In the late afternoon the LeMans Classic 24 hours race started with the typical running to the cars of the vintage class. The race cars were divided in 6 classes from the very old ones to the 70ies monsters, each of the groups running for an hour one after the other until the 24 hours were over.

 

 

 

 

 

As we had paddock passes included it was really fascinating to see all that great race machines standing around, partly disassembled for repairs or maintenance. We saw  about ten Ford GT40 and lots of other rare racer. Ferrari had two Enzos running as demo cars between the classic car races and they had also one car with a complete carbon fibre body as an eyecatcher, but the classic cars interested us more. In the evening a barbecue restored our energies so we could watch some of the night racing and on Sunday the finals. As the race drivers took they job serious there were real fights for the best places and the engine sound was pure pleasure. It was definitely one of the best events we ever participated!