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Historics: 2014 Historic Grand Prix of Monaco starts off

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The ninth biennial historic motor racing meeting at Monaco started off on Friday May 9, with qualifying practices held on the iconic road circuit in Monte Carlo. According to the Automobile Club de Monaco (ACM), Friday's schedule at the Grande Prix de Monaco Historique involved four groups of cars from pre-war through 1978, inclusively.

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Taking the best time in the Pre-war group on Friday was British driver Matthew Grist in a 1934 Alfa Romeo TIPO B (P3) with 11 laps and best posted time of 2:06.299. Second was Swiss driver Michael Gans in a 1935 ERA B; Irishman Paddins Dowling took third position Friday in that group driving a 1936 ERA B.

In the second group of the day, "Pre-1961 F1 Grand Prix cars and F2," the leader was British driver Roger Wills in a 1959 Cooper T51 (Climax), posting a best time of 1:57.632. Second place for the day in this group was nabbed by German driver Frank Stippler in a 1958 Maserati 250F ("Piccolo"), according to ACM. Third in placement for the day was Brit Gary Pearson driving a 1958 BRM P25.

Group G ran today as well. Placing fastest for the day in this group for "2-litre, F3 cars from 1974 to 1978 inclusive" cars, was Italian driver Paolo Barilla driving a 1976 Chevron B34 (Toyota). Barilla drove 12 laps with a best time of 1:43.179. Coming in second was British driver David Shaw in a 1978 Ralt RT1 (Toyota); third place for the day went to Italian driver Valerio Leone driving a 1978 March 783 (Toyota).

Group E is made up of cars "F1 Grand Prix cars from 1966 to 1972 inclusive" and featured the only American in the top 10 of the day, according to ACM. Duncan Dayton of the U.S. drove 12 laps of Monaco on Friday in a 1970 Brabham BT33, coming in fourth in the day's standings with a best time of 1:39.736. The top spot in this group went to Andrew Smith of Great Britain, who posted a best time of 1:37.536 driving a 1970 March 701. Second in position was Japanese driver, Katsuaki Kubota in a 1971 Lotus 72; third was Stuart Hall of Great Britain driving a 1969 Brabham BT26.

Other Americans competing in the group above on Friday included: John Goodman, Steven Tallack, Richard Griot, Chris Mac Allister, and Ray Langston.

According to ACM, the fastest lap record at Monaco is held by Finnish Formula 1 driver, Kimi Raikkonen with a time of 1:13.532, set while qualifying for the 2006 Monaco Grand Prix driving for McLaren.

This year marks the ninth edition of the biennial historic race meetings at Monte Carlo. The event takes place two weeks prior to the Formula 1 Monaco Grand Prix, a popular race on the Formula 1 calendar, both with spectators and racers.

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