Giddings, Giordano, Morici Win Shell Historics
LIME ROCK, CT (July 10) -- Peter Giddings is a favorite of the fans at Lime Rock Park. One year, when too much rain prevented racing, Giddings took his ex-Tazio Nuvolari Alfa Romeo 8C/35 to the track, and entertained the crowd for more than 30 minutes with lurid slides and giant rooster tails from his tires. Consistent crowds around Giddings' cars in the Lime Rock Park paddock offer further proof of the former Shell Historic Champion's popularity.
This weekend Giddings drove his Maserati 250F, the first one built, to overall wins in both Drum Brake races in the Shell Ferrari/Maserati Historic Challenge, part of Lime Rock Park's "Ferrari/Maserati Racing Days." Giddings victories included a pair of class wins over an interesting group of mid-'50s Ferrari racers, with Jon Shirley's 250 Testa Rossa prototype a close second to Giddings each time. Nick Soprano (250 TdF) and Jack Boxstrom (250 GT Ellena), both competitors in that same class, had driven their cars to Lime Rock Park, taped up the headlights just as in the old days, and taken to the track for racing. Neither won, but both were also crowd favorites.
Chuck Wegner took two more class wins with his rare Ferrari 625 LM, one of the three 2.5 liter four-cylinder cars Ferrari built for LeMans in 1956. Nick Colonna's very original 500 TRC always provides competition for Wegner among the four cylinder cars, and at Lime Rock Park Tony Wang's 500 TR, a rarely seen example with some unusual coachwork details, joined the class.
Among the pre-war cars Tom Price drove his Touring-bodied Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 to a pair of wins over Peter Greenfield's newly acquired Alfa Romeo Monza, an ex-Giddings car. Alfa Romeos from the 1930s, of the types raced by the Scuderia Ferrari when it served as the Alfa factory team, are also eligible for the Shell Historic series.
In the Disc Brake group, for the later, more powerful Ferraris and Maseratis, John Giordano and past Champion Todd Morici have had some epic battles in past years. Morici's 512 BB/LM, ten years newer than Giordano's Ferrari, has consistently won these encounters, but on Friday Giordano led all 18 laps over Morici, winning the Disc race by almost three seconds. Morici came back to take the Saturday win, but his string had finally been broken. Among other Disc Brake classes Chuck Wegner was again a double winner, this time in his Competition Daytona, as was Tom Price in his 250 GTO. Price had a pair of particularly tough battles among the 250s, over Bill Noon in another GTO, Bob Bodin and Peter LeSaffre in 250 SWB Berlinettas, Charlie Arnott in a LWB California Spyder, and Tony Wang's 250 LWB "Interim Berlinetta."
The final "Consistency Challenge" of the 2004 season was also conducted at Lime Rock Park. The event, a form of regularity run for the Shell Historic entries, saw Peter Greenfield and Jay Gurtlinger in an Alfa Romeo Monza take a narrow victory over Nick Colonna and Mark Hamilton Peters in their 500 TRC.
During podium ceremonies special awards were presented by sponsors Bose and Piaggio Aero to drivers who exemplified the spirit of the Shell Historic Challenge. Jack Boxstrom, Bill Noon, Jon Shirley, and Nick Soprano were recognized with these awards.
The Monterey Historic Automobile Races, this year a tribute to Ferrari, has been designated as the final event of the 2004 Shell Historic season, although as an exhibition only and not for championship points. The Monterey Historic Automobile Races are scheduled for August 13-15.