Last week, the Classic Racing School was at the Paul Ricard circuit, home of Formula 1 in France, for the 2023 French Historic Grand Prix. An event to celebrate old-school racing.
With its position on the calendar, the 2023 French Historic Grand Prix marked the great return of motor racing to France. On the circuit of Le Castellet, no less than six categories were involved in epic races, from the Boss GP with F1 cars from the 1990s to 2000 to the Formula Ford 1600.
For the Classic Racing Team, our Crosslé 90F lined up for free practice sessions, a first for the French Historic Grand Prix. It was an opportunity for us to register our cars at the major historic event in France and to offer a unique experience to our drivers, who were able to drive on the same tarmac as the Formula 1 champions a few months earlier.
Some came as customers to enjoy an unforgettable experience, driving a historic single-seater on a legendary track. For others, it was also a driving session to perfect the settings at the wheel of their cars. Nicolas Leblond, driver of the Classic Racing Team competing in the French Historic Tour, didn’t miss the opportunity to get back into his Dulon LD4 and to complete a series of laps, as did Jean-François Comte in his Crosslé 20F. Philippe Veber, who only had one racing experience with us, drove for the first time in an official competition. The road from our school to competition is not that long!
With more than 50,000 spectators counted over the whole weekend, the 2023 French Historic Grand Prix was a great success. The loss of the French Formula 1 Grand Prix did not discourage car enthusiasts, who gathered in the grandstands of Le Castellet to celebrate old-fashioned racing.
In a warm and festive atmosphere, the public was able to get closer to the drivers, with easy access to the podium and the parc fermé. Théo, mechanic of the Classic Racing Team, felt this enthusiasm throughout the weekend, especially when he was moving our cars from the paddock to the parc fermé.
There are many reasons for this success. The different categories made this event a must-see, with vehicles as varied as they were powerful. The Ferrari F2008, the 2008 constructors’ champion with Felipe Massa and Kimi Räikkönen at the wheel, was alongside legendary prototypes designed for endurance racing as well as our Crosslé 16F, 20F and 90F, Formula Ford cars which tour France every year for the Historic Tour.
The cast of this 2023 French Historic Grand Prix also attracted a lot of people, with notably the presence of former Formula 1 drivers such as Jean Alesi, René Arnoux or Jean-Pierre Jarier. Endurance legends also answered the call, in particular Henri Pescarolo (record holder of Le Mans participations and four-time winner of the event), Yannick Dalmas (also four-time winner) or even Éric Helary, winner in 1993.
You missed the 2023 French Historic Grand Prix but would like to see our historic cars in action? Here is the calendar of the competitions where the Classic Racing Team will compete: