The magic of the Pau Grand Prix by day, by night and in the rain !

16.05.2018

The Pau Grand Prix is one of the jewels among city circuits in motor sport. If the F3s again topped the bill, the GTs left their mark on the public in a thrilling night-time display.

 

 

The Pau Grand Prix is one of the jewels among city circuits in motor sport. If the F3s again topped the bill, the GTs left their mark on the public in a thrilling night-time display.

The first car race that started and finished in Pau goes back to the 19th century! Then in 1900, the Circuit du Sud-Ouest was held over a 300-km route with the Béarn capital as the hub. The designation “Pau Grand Prix” was used there for the first time to reward the winner of the category with the most powerful cars. Thirty years later Pau hosted the French Grand Prix, but on a very different circuit to the current one. The event held in 1933 in the town centre closely resembled it and the layout used today was inaugurated two years later in 1935.

 

Pau is one of the oldest circuits in the world and drivers who have taken part in current modern or historic races in the city have the honour of following in the footsteps of former winners Juan-Manuel Fangio, Alberto Ascari, Jack Brabham, Jim Clark, Jochen Rindt, Jackie Stewart and Lewis Hamilton!

 

 

 

The magic of the Pau Grand Prix by day, by night and in the rain !

Between 1950 and 1963, the Pau Grand prix was run to Formula 1 regulations eight times even though it never counted towards the drivers’ world championship. Formula 2 was the halo event in 26 out of the 77 races held there. Drivers of the calibre of Graham Hill and Henri Pescarolo are among those who flew the Motul colours in the Pau F2 Grand Prix in the 1970s. Oldtimers will certainly remember Tim Schenken’s third place at the wheel of his Motul-Ford M1 in 1973, the same year that Bob Wollek and Jean-Pierre Jaussaud, who were also members of Ron Dennis’ Motul Rondel Racing team, finished in the top 6.

 

1979 was marked by a partnership between Motul and the prestigious March works F2 team. Marc Surer made a name for himself in Pau with pole position and a top-3 finish. The brand with the red and white logo achieved consecration in 1980 when Richard Dallest in his AGS won the feature race held in the city dear to Henri IV.

 

The Pau Grand Prix has had its ups and downs with the halcyon days of Formula 3000, the F3 years, the WTCC (World Touring Car Championship) interlude, the last-minute Formula Renault grid in 2013, and cancellation in 2009. Let’s hope that the evolution that Formula 3 will undergo in 2019 will not jeopardise this icon of motor sport.

 

 

 

The magic of the Pau Grand Prix by day, by night and in the rain !

While awaiting future decisions it’s worth celebrating the success of the night-time event, which is free for the Pau spectators, and reinforces the festive spirit of the meeting. For drivers it’s a marvellous challenge especially when it rains as was the case this year. In these conditions the Porsches, BMWs, Mercedes, Ginettas, Audis and Aston Martins in the GT4 category put on a mind-boggling spectacle. The FFSA GT French Championship in Pau had a touch of Saturday Night Fever about it!.

 

The magic of the Pau Grand Prix by day, by night and in the rain !

Motul is a partner of the FFSA GT French Championship. Pau winners Speedcar and CD sport, as well as Cool Racing, CMR, IMSA Performance, Orhès Racing and M Racing – YMR are Motul’s technical partners in the series.

 

 

Pictures © Pro-Photos-Sport

 

 

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