GIDDINGS, MORICI DOMINATE SHELL HISTORICS AT CAVALLINO CLASSIC (WEST PALM BEACH, FL, January 28) In 2001 Peter Giddings and Todd Morici were two of the first drivers to be awarded the "Masters" designation in the Shell Historic Challenge in...
GIDDINGS, MORICI DOMINATE SHELL HISTORICS AT CAVALLINO CLASSIC
(WEST PALM BEACH, FL, January 28) In 2001 Peter Giddings and Todd Morici were two of the first drivers to be awarded the "Masters" designation in the Shell Historic Challenge in North America. The Cavallino Classic, opening round of the 2007 series, proved that they have lost none of their skills.
The Shell Historics -- properly the Shell Ferrari/Maserati Historic Challenge -- divides competing cars into two groups, for earlier cars with drum brakes and later disc-braked cars, with several classes in each group. Giddings races in the Drum Brake Group, and easily put his Maserati 250F, a single-seater Grand Prix car once raced by Sir Stirling Moss -- on pole position. Giddings and the 250F took well to the 2.25 mile Moroso road course; his pole time was a full two seconds over Chuck Wegner's Maserati 200SI, which started second on the grid.
Giddings took an immediate lead at the green flag. Wegner was passed at the start by Tom Price in another Maserati 200SI, but Wegner quickly retook the position. Giddings was unchallenged for the 20 minute race. He set fastest lap by 2.8 seconds over Wegner, and took the win with a margin of over 40 seconds. In addition to Giddings, Wegner, Ned Spieker (Alfa Romeo Tipo B), Gregor Fisken (Maserati A6GCS), and Charlie Arnott (Ferrari 250 GT/TdF) were class winners.
Morici was equally dominant in the Disc Brake Group. He qualified his 512 BB/LM on pole by a stunning seven-plus seconds over John Goodman in an identical BB/LM. Goodman was just a tenth faster than Kurt Schultz in another BB/LM, repaired after an early morning mechanical problem. Jim Fuchs, a defending champion in the class, was gridded last in the 19 car field; his 512 BB/LM had also suffered mechanical problems, and had been unable to qualify.
Morici led every lap, but was unable to pull completely clear of the field. Goodman and Schultz stayed in contention until Schultz pulled off course with more problems. Fuchs, meanwhile, was storming through the pack; he passed five cars on the first lap, and with only a few minutes to go passed Goodman for second place behind Morici. Morici still had fastest race lap, but only 1.5 seconds faster than Fuchs, whose charge from last to second won recognition as the outstanding drive of the race.
There was plenty of competition further back in the field. Nine cars competed in the 250/275 Berlinetta class, with Ferrari 250 GTOs and Competition SWBs throughout the class. Peter Sachs' GTO took the class win from Tom Price, a former Champion in both classes, followed by two SWBs driven by Nick Soprano and Ned Spieker. Soprano slowed drastically with only two laps left -- he had broken several spokes in a rear wire wheel -- but was still able to stay ahead of Spieker. Charlie Arnott (this time in a Competition Daytona), Steve Dudley, and Chuck Wegner were other class winners.
Awards were presented at a banquet at the Breakers Hotel as part of the Cavallino Classic ceremonies. Giddings and Morici were each presented a Trofeo di Florida by "Cavallino Magazine" for their overall wins. In addition to the class winners, Nick Colonna was presented a special award for displaying the spirit of the Shell Historics.