MORICI AND GIDDINGS WIN MONT-TREMBLANT SHELL HISTORICS (MONT-TREMBLANT, PQ, CANADA, June 18) The Shell Ferrari Historic Challenge divides racers into two groups, earlier cars with drum brakes, and later cars using discs. Each group consists...
MORICI AND GIDDINGS WIN MONT-TREMBLANT SHELL HISTORICS
(MONT-TREMBLANT, PQ, CANADA, June 18) The Shell Ferrari Historic Challenge divides racers into two groups, earlier cars with drum brakes, and later cars using discs. Each group consists of multiple classes, so that cars of similar age and performance race against one another, and each class has a winner. Each group, though, has one over all winner -- the single driver first under the checkered flag. In 2007 those overall winners have usually been Peter Giddings and Todd Morici, two drivers who have dominated the series over much of its ten year history, and at Le Circuit at Mont-Tremblant this weekend the pair each added two more wins to their strings.
Giddings approach is very straight-forward. His ex-Sir Stirling Moss 1954 Maserati 250F, one of the classic Grand Prix cars from the 1950s, is immaculately prepared. He took pole position in the Drum Brake Group at the 2.65 mile Le Circuit, and led every lap of the first race, giving him pole position for the second. That race produced another flag-to-flag victory. Giddings' score: two races, two class wins, two overall wins. Giddings had plenty of competition in both races; his class wins came over a pair of Maserati 300S sports racers from the same era, driven by Jon Shirley (two second places) and Peter LeSaffre (a pair of thirds).
Morici had a harder path to his wins. While he had the fastest time in qualifying for the Disc Brake Group in his 1980 Ferrari 512 BB/LM, a penalty for a missed drivers meeting put him on the last row of the grid for Saturday's race. Jim Fuchs and Chuck Wegner, both past Disc Group Champions and both also in 512 BB/LMs, shared the front row. Morici caught up to Fuchs, but was unable to get close enough to attempt a pass until Fuchs suffered mechanical problems and a DNF. Morici's win gave him pole position for Sunday's race, but Wegner had cured an engine miss from Saturday, and took an immediate lead. Morici executed a perfect draft and slingshot pass at the halfway point, though, and scored his second victory of the weekend.
Giddings and Morici may have been the most obvious winners, but there was plenty of competition and outstanding drives among other class winners. Chuck Wegner out-dueled Tom Price (a past Champion in both Drum and Disc Groups) for a pair of class wins; both were in 200 SI Maseratis. Charlie Arnott (Ferrari 250 GT/TdF prototype) and Tony Schwartz (Ferrari 250 GT Boano) split class wins in the early post-War class, and Ned Spieker (Alfa Romeo P3) scored two wins in the pre-War class.
Behind Morici in the Disc Brake Group Peter LeSaffre, another multiple Champion, took a pair of wins in the hotly contested 250/275 Berlinetta class. LeSaffre drove his 275 GTB to victory over Ned Spieker's 250 SWB, and Tom Price and Jon Shirley in 250 GTOs. Steve Dudley's 308 GTB/Michelotto was another double class winner. Bob Benedict (308 GT/Michelotto) was presented a special award for exemplifying the spirit of the series.
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.
The Shell Historics will next compete at the California Speedway in Fontana, California on August 11-12. For more information on the Shell Ferrari Historic Challenge please visit www.ferrarichallenge.com.