EX-F1 RACER CAFFI STARS IN MONACO
Alex Caffi gave Ensign victory in the 10th Monaco Historique last weekend
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.
Caffi won, while Assegai (inset) finally appeared