Monza is a very fast, slipstream-ready circuit split up by a couple of chicanes and some very fast corners at either end right? Wrong. Monza is that, but it’s also a super high-speed banked oval, or in the main, a mixture of both.
Video: Watch the final banked race at Monza in 1969
OK, so I’m using a little artistic licence here, that hasn’t been true since 1969, but as we arrive here at Monza for the 2019 Historic we find the banking very much still there and, although it’s decayed, it’s very much still there. But back in 1969 they held one final race on the combined circuit.
Yes, that’s right, I said the combined circuit. For back in the day Monza wasn’t just a road course or a banked oval. They ran on both at the same time. It’s hard to imagine how that worked, but basically a line of cones separated the start finish straight down the centre, guiding cars that had just come from the Parabolica onto the oval, and those who had come off the oval down the Curva Grande.
Amazingly some stunning amateur footage of that is on YouTube, and it really brings home how amazing this place is, even today. This footage features amazing P3s, early Porsche 917s, and Ferrari 375 GTBs, and the likes of Pedro Rodriguez, Mario Andretti and more. It’s truly dreamy stuff, and the perfect setup for our weekend at Monza with Peter Auto.
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