Charade to celebrate 60 years of its GP circuit

Road rallies and parades on the old track will honour 60 years of the circuit once described by Stirling Moss as ‘the most beautiful in the world’

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The 60th anniversary of the Circuit de Charade, four-time host of the French Grand Prix, will be celebrated with a road rally and series of track parades later this year.

Built around an extinct volcano, construction of the original 8km circuit took a year. Its first-ever race was held in July 1958. Grand prix victor Innes Ireland won this inaugural event in a Lotus Eleven, with 1954 Le Mans winner Maurice Trintignant taking the spoils in a Cooper T43 for the supporting Formula 2 race.

To celebrate the 60th year of a circuit once described by Stirling Moss as ‘the most beautiful in the world’, a series of exhibitions and parades will be held throughout September.

Until September 15, Cassin Hall in nearby Clermont-Ferrand will host an exhibition looking at the circuit’s creation, evolution and current use. A range of previously unpublished documents will be on show. Meanwhile, the town’s Office of Tourism will display a photographic and video collection of the first competitions held at the circuit.

A two-day road rally will take place on local mountain roads over the weekend of September 15-16 – and from 15-19 of the same month the town centre will host a large car and motorcycle exhibition along with film screenings.

Tributes will be paid to local motorsport figures including 1978 Monaco Grand Prix winner Patrick Depailler, eponymous team founder Guy Ligier, motorbike racer Jean-Louis Tournadre and two-time Dakar Rally class winner George Groine. Across the weekend of September 22-23, parades will take place on the old circuit.

Notable guests and cars are still to be announced, but in the meantime Charade Hereos website is still taking entries for the rally, as well as the parades for cars and bikes that would have raced on the circuit during its 1954-1978 active lifespan.

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