EX-F1 RACER CAFFI STARS IN MONACO

Alex Caffi gave Ensign vic­tory in the 10th Monaco His­torique last week­end

Motor Sport News - - Historics - By Paul Lawrence

For­mer Ar­rows and Foot­work F1 driver Alex Caffi was one of the stars of the Monaco Grand Prix His­torique when he made a win­ning de­but in the Ensign N176 of Kes­sel Rac­ing.

Caffi’s pre­vi­ous visit to Monaco ended in a mas­sive ac­ci­dent dur­ing free prac­tice in 1991, when his Foot­work was bro­ken in two by a vi­o­lent im­pact just af­ter the swim­ming pool com­plex.

How­ever, last Sun­day the Ital­ian, now 52 years old, drove the freshly re­stored Ensign to a nar­row vic­tory over the March 761 of Katsu Kubota in the Pre ’77 three-litre F1 race. The Ensign was only just ready in time for the event and the Swiss GT squad drafted in per­son­nel from Frank Lyons’ team to help.

Sev­eral other F1 cars were re­stored in time for the big event on the his­toric rac­ing cal­en­dar, in­clud­ing the unique 1961 1.5-litre Alfa Romeo-en­gined Assegai, which its re­storer Iain Row­ley raced to 12th in the race for Pre ’66 Grand Prix Cars.

Fifty-five years af­ter it was built, the South Africa F1 car fi­nally made its in­ter­na­tional rac­ing de­but at Monaco. The Assegai was de­signed and built by Tony Kotze, and was due to con­test the 1962 Rand Grand Prix in Kyalami but did not qual­ify.

Af­ter sev­eral changes of own­er­ship, the car was bought by en­thu­si­ast and for­mer F1 team mem­ber John Car­pen­ter from Ox­ford­shire and en­trusted to Row­ley at Delta Rac­ing for a com­plete restora­tion.

Kotze died just three weeks ago so was not able to see his car, named af­ter a Zulu spear, fi­nally race in Europe.

Pho­tos: Paul Lawrence and Eric Sawyer

Caffi won, while Assegai (in­set) fi­nally ap­peared

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