Monaco Grand Prix 2013 road trip

In case you were wondering why there’s been no updates for nearly a month, it’s because I’ve not been flying but instead have been “low flying” around France in my homebuilt Lotus Seven replica (Tiger Cat E1 for those in the know) to take in the Monaco Grand Prix with a few friends.

Nothing like driving in the Alps

The trip down was rather damp to say the least. I did question why I opted to do this trip in a car with no roof, doors and only a 100 mile fuel tank range but once we got to the southern Alps the sun appeared and the roads scythed their way over the ridges and into the valleys. My little car was in heaven!

Bit wet on the way down through mid-France
Somewhere north of the Côte d’Azur, France

Our base for the week leading up to the Grand Prix was in the lovely little town of Juan-les-Pins. The weather remained pretty much perfect with sunshine almost all day long, although the temperature did take a bit of a dive in the evenings.

Entering Juan-les-Pins, France
Normade statue of letters, Antibes
Yachts and Italian cars galore in Antibes, France
Cocktails on the French Riviera

On the Friday we opted to drive across to Monaco as part of the reason for driving down in the first place was the thought of getting to drive around the famous circuit in our own cars. Luckily after all the racing was finished for the day, they opened most of it up for the general public to cruise around.

It was a pretty special lap, driving a car I’d built over ten years ago around this circuit. I think the spectators appreciated it too judging by the huge number of people taking photos of the car as we drove around. Don’t think I’ve ever seen it getting more attention than a Ferrari or Lamborghini!

Monaco harbour
Lined up on the Monaco Grand Prix circuit start/finish line

One happy chappie
Driving round the circuit
Casino Square, Monaco

We watched the qualifying from one of the main grandstands (Tribune L) but chose to watch the race from La Rocher which is the hillside to the west which overlooks the whole town. Positioned right above one of the large TV screens we had a great view of the race including both the Caterham and McClaren who retired with smoking engines.

So, whilst I’m sure you got a better view of the race on TV, nothing quite beats being there and soaking up the atmosphere with some good friends (and good wine!). I’m going to miss driving my car but I think flying the rather more sedate Pilatus Porter will do for now.

Matt Dearden

Matt Dearden

English born professional pilot, writer, blogger and columnist. Currently flying the Pilatus PC-6 Turbo Porter in Papua, Indonesia.

You may also like...

4 Responses

  1. GEOFF says:

    next time you around;
    just e-mail me. I am living in toulon; a military harbour close to monaco.
    c u

    Geoffrey (a reader)

  2. Great post Matt, looks like a lot of fun…definitely on the ‘bucket list’!

    YYC Dispacher

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *