Sebastien Loeb, David Piper's lurid sportscar stable and more at LGHA Montlhery
Held in bright sunshine last weekend at the famous banked Linas-Montlhery Autodrome circuit, just south of Paris, the third edition of the annual Les Grandes Heures Automobiles (LGHA) attracted a record crowd of enthusiasts from all over Europe.
Highlights of this year’s LGHA included multiple World Rally Champion Sebastian Loeb wowing spectators with his extreme antics on the Montlhery banking at the wheel of his wild Pikes Peak-winning Peugeot 208 T16, with ex-Group B rally driver Bruno Saby also thrilling the crowds in the car. The T16 was joined by the ex-Works Peugeot 307 WRC, 306 F2 and 308 Cup cars, all running at flat-out on the banking, running into the night and spitting huge flames.
The 2017 LGHA also staged a special celebration of the life and motor racing career of the ex-Formula 1 and sports car British privateer driver and team owner racer David Piper. This tribute at the Linas-Montlhéry Autodrome was fitting given Piper's many great memories successes there over the years. A special display of Piper’s cars including his famous green Ferrari 250 LM, as well as his Lola T70 MK 3B, Ferrari 365 P2 and Porsche 917K took to the Montlhery banking.
Riders Tom Dickie and Paul Smart – the winners of the 1970 Montlhery Bol d’Or bike race – also entertained the LGHA crowds as they were reunited with their racing Triumph 750 motorcycle, with Smart returning to the circuit for the first time in more than 40 years.
Other LGHA vehicle highlights included the dominant 1927 Delage 15 S-8 grand prix racer, plus the 1927 Voisin Montlhery record-breaking car, as well as the Sebring 12 Hours-winning Jaguar D-Type, the extraordinary ex-Le Mans 1966 CD-Peugeot LM66, plus a strong selection of Group B rally cars, plenty of Ferraris, Formule France single-seaters, and a wide cross-section of competition cars and motorcycles from all ages and motorsport disciplines.
Away from the historic competition machines at the LGHA, a large display of vehicles from many classic car and bike clubs were also in attendance, supported by a special supercar and performance GT display, plus a dedicated area for new cars and motorcycle manufacturers.
Local Paris-based auction house Maison Aguttes held its inaugural LGHA historic vehicle auction in the heart of the Autodrome, with mixed results, selling the 2003 Maserati 4200 Trofeo Light ‘Spirit of Houston’ competition racer for £242,000, almost £80,000 over its top estimate. A sticking 1958 Lotus Eleven S2 sold for £116,000, with a competition Lancia-Autobianchi Y10 Turbo making just under £16,000! The LGHA also added a new-for-2017 autojumble, with numerous elusive parts to be found.