FCS: Fontana season finale report

CALIFORNIA RACES WRAP UP SHELL FERRARI HISTORICS 2007 SEASON In one week, at tracks in distinctly different parts of California, the Shell Ferrari Historic Challenge wrapped up its 2007 season, and crowned its 2007 champions. Tom Price...


In one week, at tracks in distinctly different parts of California, the Shell Ferrari Historic Challenge wrapped up its 2007 season, and crowned its 2007 champions. Tom Price repeated his championship in the Disc Brake Group, over Ned Spieker and Peter LeSaffre. In the Drum Brake Group, Chuck Wegner edged Peter Giddings for the title; both are past champions. Jon Shirley took third in the Championship.

The final week started in Southern California, at the California Speedway in Fontana, on August 11th and 12th. The Shell Historics divides entries into two group, earlier cars equipped with drum brakes, and later cars with discs. Peter Giddings easily dominated Drum Group qualifying in his Maserati 250F Grand Prix car. Giddings carried that performance through the first race for the Drum Group, leading every lap for the overall and class victories. Behind Giddings Chuck Wegner was a class winner in his Maserati 200 SI, and Tony Schwartz won his class in his 250 GT Boano coupe.

Giddings dominated the second Drum Group race as well, but on the last lap, only a few corners from the checkered flag, his transmission failed. Jon Shirley took the overall and class wins in his Maserati 300S; Wegner and Schwartz repeated their class wins.

Wegner switched to his 1980 512 BB/LM for the Disc Group, putting the ex-NART LeMans entry on pole for the first race. Expected competition from John Goodman in a similar BB/LM never materialized, and Wegner led every lap, winning by over 30 seconds. Behind Wegner Stephen Dudley edged Bob Benedict, both in 308 Michelottos, for a class win; Charlie Arnott (ex-NART Competition Daytona) and Peter LeSaffre (275 GTB) also won their classes.

Wegner took an initial lead in the second race, but Goodman quickly moved from the rear of the grid to challenge for the lead. The expected battle ended on the third lap when Goodman passed Wegner, who ultimately finished two laps down with mechanical problems. Goodman took an easy win in his ex-Prancing Horse Farms BB/LM. That particular car had raced at Sebring and LeMans, but Goodman's win was the first-ever victory for the car. Dudley, Arnott, and LeSaffre repeated their class wins.

The Shell Historics races will be part of a SPEED TV broadcast of the Ferrari Challenge races at California Speedway. This 30 minute show will be presented on SPEED TV on October 13th at 7:30-8:00 PM (Eastern), and repeated on October 14th at 3:30 PM (Eastern).

The Shell Historics then moved up the California coastline to the Monterey Peninsula, to participate in the famed Monterey Historics. Only four days after the final checked flag at Fontana the cars were back on track, this time at historic Laguna Seca, celebrating its 50th anniversary.

In qualifying Tom Price took pole position in the Drum Group, his Maserati 200 SI almost a second faster than Chuck Wegner's identical car. Giddings had replaced his ailing Maserati with an Alfa Romeo 8C/35, and was fastest among the pre-war cars.

In the Drum Group race Price led every lap for the overall and class wins. Wegner, the 2007 Drum Champion, turned the fastest lap of the race, but was never able to get close enough to pass Price, and had to settle for second overall and in class.

Jeff O'Neill, racing for the first time with the Shell Historics, was a class winner in his Maserati 250F Grand Prix car. Giddings suffered another mechanical failure, and Ned Spieker, driving an Alfa Romeo Tipo B, won the pre-war class. Tony Schwartz also took a class win, in his 250 GT Boano.

Another past champion, Todd Morici, took pole position for the Disc Brake Group in his 512 BB/LM, followed by Wegner and Goodman in their identical cars. Sebastian Boulet, a guest driver from France (365 GTB/4 NART), Jonathan Feiber (Maserati T61 Birdcage), Stephen Dudley (308 Michelotto), and Steven Reed (250 LM) each qualified fastest in their classes.

Morici was unchallenged in the race, winning by over eight seconds and leading a parade of four 512 BB/LMs at the checker. Goodman, Wegner, and Kurt Schultz took second through fourth places.

Boulet won his class over Charlie Arnott in a NART Competition Daytona; Feiber was also a class winner, over Ned Spieker (250 GT SWB) and Tom Price (250 GTO, the Disc Group Champion). Dudley and Read were also class winners.

The Championship awards to Wegner and Price will be presented at the Cavallino Classic, the first event of the 2008 Shell Ferrari Historics season.

The Shell Ferrari Historic Challenge, for authentic racing Ferraris built prior to the 1980s, racing Maseratis of that period, and pre-war Alfa Romeos of the type raced by the Scuderia Ferrari, is organized by Ferrari North America, and sanctioned by the Grand American Road Racing Association. The series, now in its tenth year in North America, is sponsored by Shell Oil and Officine Panerai.

For more information on the Shell Ferrari Historic Challenge please visit www.ferrarichallenge.com.

-credit: fcs

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About this article
Series Road racing
Drivers Peter Giddings , Chuck Wegner , Todd Morici , Tom Price , Peter LeSaffre , Ned Spieker , Tony Schwartz , Jonathan Feiber , Kurt Schultz , John Goodman