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Ain Diab

Ain Diab, Casablanca

As a French colony, it is not surprising that Morocco had held a Grand Prix before World War II. The event returned in 1957 on a new circuit near Casablanca, when racing in Europe was threatened by the Suez crisis. In six weeks, and with the blessing of King Mohammed V, the Royal Automobile Club of Morocco designed a course using the public roads of Casablanca's Ain-Diab suburb, the desert road towards Azemmour, and the coast road that ran through the Sidi Abderhaman forest. The first race was a non-championship affair, but the 1958 Moroccan Grand Prix was the site of the championship showdown between Mike Hawthorn and Stirling Moss. Moss won the race, but Hawthorn was crowned Britain’s first World Champion. There was also tragedy that day for Stuart Lewis-Evans suffered burns during the race that eventually proved fatal.