Our magazine for the Hankook 12H MONZA is now available for digital download. This month, we speak with Wolf-Power Racing boss – and namesake – Raphael about developing their second generation Audi RS 3 LMS TCR, we take a look at the series’ debut of the new Porsche 992 GT3 R (with Herberth Motorsport and the distinctively-liveried Modena Motorsport), and we go ‘Head-to-Head’ with Gostner sisters Corinna and Manuela. All that and more in this month’s magazine.
It’s not much of a stretch to say that the Autodromo Nazionale Monza is one of – if not the – most acclaimed circuits on this year’s 24H SERIES powered by Hankook calendar. Opened in 1922, as radioleman.com’s Joe Bradley explains in his monthly column, the Autodromo was the brainchild of the Automobile Club of Milan, both as a 25th anniversary celebrations of the association as well as a proving ground for the Italian motoring industry. Well, until the arrival of World War II, during which the venue was used as offices, safe storage for public Automobile Registry archives, and even overflow for Milan’s zoological gardens.
Unsurprising for any long-tenured racing facility, transformations came and went in the ensuing years. Competitors ran the original 10km, road-cum-oval configuration from 1922 to 1929, with a transition road from the road course to the oval – positioned just before the present day Curva Parabolica – briefly introducing the amalgamated ‘Florio’ course, though this 6.6km layout barely lasted the decade. The loss of Giuseppe Campari, Baconin Borzacchini and Count Stanisław Czaykowski on the oval’s south curve in 1933 – on the same day – led to two artificial chicanes being introduced in the interest of safety (a hilarious concept, given that speeds still brushed 105km). These would be the most significant track alterations until 1938, when a dedicated road course, which demolished much of the original oval banking, was constructed primarily for Italy’s motor industry, the latter buoyed by two years of supremacy over its German rivals.
Post-war, plans for a complete restoration were high on ACM’s to-do list (incredibly, the circuit was back up and running in just two months ahead of the 1948 Italian Grand Prix), and by 1955, plans were in-place to rebuild the oval – albeit with more aggressive banking on reinforced concrete pillars, capable of adhering to faster racing machinery – and remodel the road course with a more ‘parabolic’ final corner. It’s a configuration that, almost 60 years after its construction, remains ingrained in the hearts of motor racing fans to this day. True, the oval, used in tandem with the road course for the Grand Prix in ’55, ’56, ’60 and ’61, was retired for good following the demise of Wolfgang von Tripps and 11 spectators in 1961, while chicanes – namely Variante Ascari and, for 1976, Variantes Rettifilo and Roggia – quickly followed Jochen Rindt’s death in 1970 in an effort to quell speeds. But the track remains the oldest purpose-built racing track still in use in Europe, and is beaten worldwide only Indianapolis. Monza’s is a heritage, of which we’ve barely scratched the surface, that positively seeps through the asphalt.
A history that, in 2020, CREVENTIC was privileged to join with the inaugural Hankook 12H MONZA, the longest endurance motor race the circuit has hosted to-date, and an event that remains one of the closest, and most dramatic, in 24H SERIES history. One our championship contenders could very easily emulate this weekend. Another chapter in the already storied history at Monza.