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January 30th 2007

Giddings, Morici Dominate Shell
Historics at Cavallino Classic

Tom Mittler piloting his Maserati A6GCS, chassis 2061.

Story by David Seibert
Photography by Richard Prince


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. Each driver has remained almost unbeatable in their group, and at the Cavallino Classic, opening round of the 2008 series, they proved they’ve lost none of their skills.

Maserati 300S 3072 driven by Jon Shirley.

The Shell Historics -- properly the Shell Ferrari 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 a Maserati 250F, a single-seater Grand Prix car once raced by Sir Stirling Moss, in the Drum Group. The combination was quick in practice and qualifying, but for once, someone was quicker.

412 MI 0744 MI owned by Chris Cox. The 412 found fame in California in the late 1950s.

Nick Soprano has raced a Ferrari in part years, but for 2008 he brought out a big gun -- a 1957 Maserati 450S sports/racer, fitted with a 5.7 liter V8 engine. This combination was good enough for pole position in the Drum Group. Soprano and Giddings were expected to be the best race of the weekend, but when the grid was called for the Drum Brake race, Soprano failed to appear. His big Maserati was stuck in the pits with linkage problems. He made it on to the track at the back of the pack, but retired with brake problems after only a few laps.

250 SWB/Comp 2729 GT of Ed Davies.

Giddings took an immediate lead at the start, with Jon Shirley (Maserati 300S) following. Behind the leading pair Ed Davies in his 375 MM Spyder, Chuck Wegner (Maserati 200 SI) and Peter LeSaffre in another 300S had a good battle for the duration of the race, with Leslie Davies’ 250 TR close behind.

Giddings took as easy win, ahead by 23 seconds at the end. Shirley finished second overall and took a class win; other class winners were Peter Greenfield in an Alfa Romeo 8C/35, Charlie Arnott in a Ferrari 250 GT/TdF, Tom Mittler in his Maserati A6GCS, and Mark Lindman in a Ferrari 212 Inter.

One of three 512 BB/LMs in the disc race, this one chassis 29509 driven by Jim Fuchs.

Morici was equally dominant in the Disc Brake Group. He qualified his 512 BB/LM on pole, in front of Jim Fuchs and Chuck Wegner in identical cars. A large Berlinetta class -- three 250 GTOs, three 250 SWBs, and a rare 275 GTB/C -- followed the trio of BB/LMs, and promised a good race. Chris Cox qualified the legendary 412 MI, a star of California racing in the late 1950s.

Morici got a good start, and led every lap. Fuchs and Wegner were unable to stay with the past champion, and Morici won by 20 seconds. Defending Disc champion Tom Price initially led the Berlinetta class in his GTO, but Peter LeSaffre, racing his 275 GTB/C for the first time, slipped past when Price went wide in a turn. LeSaffre took the class win, as did Cox in his class.

Tom Price concentrates driving 250 GTO, 3943 GT.

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 John and Alicia Barnes of "Cavallino Magazine" for their overall group wins. In addition to the class winners, Jon Shirley was presented a special award for representing the spirit of the Shell Historics.

Leslie Davies in the 250 TR, 0748 TR.

The Shell Historics are organized by Ferrari North America, and sanctioned by the Grand American Road Racing Association. Support for the series comes from Shell and Panerai watches. The series is open to authentic Ferrari and Maserati competition cars built before 1980, and pre-war Alfa Romeos of the type raced by the Scuderia Ferrari. Further information on the Shell Historics can be found at

The next race for the Shell Historics will be at Road Atlanta, on April 18-20.

The lineup with the 250F Maserati of Peter Giddings getting a start.

Giddings at speed in the ex-Moss 250F, chassis 2501.

365 GTB/4 Comp 14437 of Charles Arnott.

Peter Le Saffre did an excellent job in his 275 GTB/C, 9057.

Past Issues



Shell Historics at Moroso

CCCA Tour Part I

Classic Adelaide 2007

Mugello 2007 Part 2

Malta Vintage GP

Mugello 2007

This is Hershey

Coppa d'Oro 2007

Pebble Beach Tour

Carmel Concours

Oldtimer sideshows at the Ring

35th Oldtimer GP Nurburgring

Ferrari Concours in Maranello

Sestriere Rally 2007

Turin Concorso

Ferrari Days GB

Greenwich Concours

Mille Miglia 2007

Italian bikes at Half Moon Bay

Shell Historics at VIR

Italian Auto Moto Festival

Alfa Day GB

California Mille

Villa d'Este 2007 part II

Villa d'Este 2007 part I

Shell Historics at Infineon

Geneva take Two

Geneva take One

Paris Pot Pourri

Retro Italia 2007

Paris and Retro 2007

Cavallino 2007

Shell Historics, Moroso 2007

Detroit 2007


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