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Monaco: A Car Lover's Paradise. Image by Dan Fador.

Monaco: A Car Lover's Paradise
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Whatever your favourite type of car, chances are you will find it in Monaco. Whether it be a classic sports car like a Jaguar E-Type, a modern hypercar like the Lamborghini Centenario or something more elegant like a Rolls-Royce Phantom, odds are it'll turn up in Monaco. Instead of "people watching" in Monaco, people are "car watching" from the restaurants of Monte Carlo.

The high concentration of sports cars, hypercars and luxury cars in Monaco comes from two sources. Firstly, the concentration of wealth in Monaco makes it a given that some of this wealth will be spent on expensive toys like cars. Secondly, Monaco has a long tradition in motorsports. And despite its size, Monaco hosts two of the most famous and prestigious events on the international motorsports calendar. Namely, the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix and the Monte Carlo Rally, both of which are organised by the famous Automobile Club de Monaco.

Formula One Monaco Grand Prix

In Monaco, perhaps the most famous event of the year is the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix, run through the tight and twisty streets of Monte Carlo. The race also attracts many celebrities, with the 2018 race attracting names like Hugh Grant and Bella Hadid. In addition to the big names, top brands also get in on the action, with many running competitions to win trips to the Monaco Grand Prix for fans to witness the speed, thrill and glamour first hand.

As well as the cutting-edge Formula One cars and other cars from the supporting race series like the Formula Two and GP3, the Formula One race weekend attracts car enthusiasts from around the world. Such can make the car spotting away from the circuit as exciting as the racing itself.

Monte Carlo Rally

Officially known as the Rallye Automobile Monte Carlo, the Monte Carlo Rally has existed for over 100 years, with the first event held in 1911. Although the format of the rally has changed significantly since its inaugural running, the event keeps its original spirit. Prince Albert's initial aim of the Monte Carlo Rally was to demonstrate the innovation and development of the motor car, which was in its infancy at the time. Held in January, with conditions that include snow, ice and wet surfaces, the Monte Carlo Rally places significant tests on the vehicles and drivers that partake, allowing manufacturers to demonstrate their cars' dominance in challenging conditions.

eRallye

While the Monte Carlo Rally may be over 100 years old, a 21st-century version launched a couple of years ago. The Monte Carlo eRallye takes a similar format to the original, but only allows entrants in electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles. The 2017 eRallye winners were Didier Malga and Anne-Valerie Bonnel of France, who drove a Tesla Model S. The third running of the event takes place between October 24 - 28. The race will again likely include entrants in Teslas, BMW i3s and Toyota Mirais, as well as several other all-electric and all-hydrogen vehicles.

Monaco's long history with the car is no secret. This history is what makes it unique, so much so that several Formula One drivers described winning the Formula One Monaco Grand Prix as the same as winning half a World Drivers' Championship despite it only representing five per cent of a whole season. It's a winning cycle for Monaco, with the glamorous cars and history attracting more owners of these vehicles, which, in turn, attracts more.



Article provided by Angela Carter - 2 Oct 2018








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