From Monaco to the 24 Hours of Le Mans
June 13, 2018
Patrick Dempsey visited the Monaco Top Cars Collection in the company of the princely family, before hitting the road with TAG Heuer towards the Var track in Le Luc Together with TAG Heuer, the actor and brand ambassador retraced part of the route taken each year by Prince Albert I of Monaco. On leaving the principality, Patrick Dempsey drove to the Var track in Le Luc to take a turn at completing a few laps in some unique cars. The actor had previously attended a cocktail party at the Monaco Top Cars Collection, in the special presence of Jack Heuer, Honorary President of TAG Heuer, HSH Princess Stéphanie of Monaco and her children, Pauline and Louis Ducruet and Camille Gottlieb, descendants of Prince Albert I. It was also a taster of the fiftieth anniversary of the first victory of a Gulf car in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, with the launch of the Monaco Gulf 50th anniversary edition in the presence of Sanjay Hinduja of Gulf Oil International.
Monaco, 13 June, 2018: Today, a few days before the start of the highly anticipated 24 Hours of Le Mans, TAG Heuer welcomed brand ambassador Patrick Dempsey to Monaco for an unusual training session. The actor, who’s also a driver and owner of the Dempsey Racing team– who are due to participate in the 24 Hours of Le Mans this weekend – travelled to the Var track in Le Luc in a viper green Porsche 911 RS from the private car collection of HSH Prince Albert II of Monaco, for whom TAG Heuer has been appointed Official Watchmaker. The evening before his departure, Patrick Dempsey had been joined by distinguished guests for a cocktail party amidst this collection of rare cars: Jack Heuer, Honorary President of the brand and great-grandson of Heuer’s founder; Aurel Bacs, luxury watch expert; Sanjay Hinduja of Gulf Oil International; Roald Goethe, owner of ROFGO Racing; and car world influencer Supercarblondie. They were also joined by special guests H.S.H Princess Stéphanie of Monaco and her children, Pauline and Louis Ducruet, and Camille Gottlieb, descendants of Prince Albert I. A beautiful family portrait that brought together several generations ahead of an intense race in Le Mans to celebrate the unique ties between TAG Heuer and the Principality of Monaco, and to launch the start of a route that takes in the stunning roads of the Côte d’Azur.
This carefully planned route follows part of the journey taken by Prince Albert I of Monaco each year in the early 20th century. The journey was marked out in pencil by the Prince himself on a map dating from 1904, on display at the Monaco Top Cars Collection and restored by TAG Heuer as part of its partnership with the Collection. Return to a historic saga. In 1902, Prince Albert I, nicknamed the 'Explorer Prince', decided to cross France on his English-made motorcycle, a Humber. After leaving Monaco, he would journey to Paris, and then Deauville, taking a different route each year. One of his journeys took him through Le Luc, among other destinations. From 1904, he decided to record his journeys on a large map of France, called the Prince’s Map. Today, the Humber motorcycle– since restored by Philippe Renzini, Director of the Monaco Top Cars Collection– and the Prince’s Map are on display at the Collection. TAG Heuer, as the Collection’s Official Watchmaker, decided to restore this legendary map and take to the road like the Prince, from Monaco to the Var track in Le Luc, with Patrick Dempsey and a few special guests.
Once there, the group had the opportunity to drive some truly unique racing cars and complete a few laps in them. A Porsche 911 GT3 RS, a classic Porsche 964, a Porsche Panamera GT3, two Porsche GT3 RS Cup and a replica of the Ford GT40, used by the Gulf Racing team to win their first victory in the 24 Hours of Le Mans, exactly 50 years ago! To celebrate this anniversary, TAG Heuer has released a special limited edition of the Monaco Gulf, of which just 50 have been produced. The watch, with its famous 39 mm square casing and blue dial, features the iconic Gulf colours : light blue and orange. The back of the watch bears the Gulf’s anniversary emblem and its serial number XX/50.