(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
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
More great Cavallino images can be seen at Richard Prince Photography.
195 Inter Vignale Berlinetta.
Todd Morici, 512BB/LM.
Chuck Wegner, 196SP.
Jon Shirley, 250GTO.
Steve Dudley, 308GTB/M.
Tony Schwartz, 250GT Boano.
Gregor Fisken, Maserati A6GCS.
Nick Soprano in Jeff Mamorsky's 250GT SWB Comp.
Jon Shirley, 250GTO 3729GT.
Chuck Wegner, 196SP.
Jon Shirley, Maserati 300S
Ned Spieker, Alfa Romeo P3 Tipo B.
Peter LeSaffre, Maserati 300S.