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14.11.2012, 13:35:50 cet

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Dijon-Prénois, June 26-28, 1998

Ferrari Shell Historical Challenge
New stuff in the Historical Challenge
The races
Some rare cars of the French Ferraristi

Ferrari Shell Historical Challenge
The weekend of June 26 to 28 has seen one of the major European Ferrari- events of the year: At the circuit of Dijon-Prénois in eastern France, the Club Ferrari France celebrated its 30th anniversary. The programme of the festivities included races of the Ferrari Shell Historical Challenge, and the turnout of cars was tremendous.

The participants had entered about 60 (!) cars this time; this remarkable number did not cause any problems since this event was a private one not open to the public, and the schedule had made it possible to divide this enormous field into two sections for either drum- and disc-braked cars. The circuit of Dijon-Prénois is very remote and does not have any grand stands and only some lawns and small hills adjacent to the track are open to spectators, but nevertheless it has once been the site of the French Formula 1 Grand Prix. For the Historical Challenge, this was the first event to be hosted on this track.

New stuff in the Historical Challenge
Looking at the entry list, it was obvious that some "new" participants and/or guest starters had joined the circle of the Challenge drivers, and some of the latter had brought some cars which had not or rarely been seen in earlier events.
Stephen Dudley from Wisconsin/USA showed up in his very original 166/195 Inter Berlinetta Vignale s/n 0071S which he had already driven in the "Tour Auto" and the "Mille Miglia Storica".

Another 1998 Mille Miglia starter, Olivier Cazalières from Paris, participated again in his 225 Export Spider Vignale s/n 0192ET, and Italian collector Umberto Camellini presented his painstakingly restored 340 MM Spider Vignale s/n 0280AM. The latter car is the 1953 Mille Miglia winner, then driven by Marzotto and Crosara!

Christian Traber from Switzerland brought two cars out of the huge collection run by him and his father Erich: 250 MM Berlinetta Pinin Farina s/n 0316MM and the 750 Monza Spider Scaglietti s/n 0562M.

Challenge-organizer Jean Sage displayed his mighty 375 MM Berlinetta Pinin Farina s/n 0358AM which still showed some marks that had remained from the mud bath during the Festival of Speed at Goodwood a week earlier. The well- known French collector did eventually not drive his car in the races - he obviously did simply not have the time due to his role as "organizing wizard" responsible for nearly everything.

Another car formerly owned by Jean Sage was driven by Nicolaus Springer. The German collector living in Switzerland piloted the rare 860 Monza Spider Scaglietti s/n 0604M.

Dealer and enthusiast Corrado Cupellini from Italy showed up in a 500 TRC s/n 0670MDTR. This very original Ferrari had not been seen for years; its early history is completely unknown to historians, it is just known that it had slumbered in the collection of Giulio Dubbini of Padova/Italy for years or even decades. Cupellini had recently acquired the car from Giulio Dubbini's heir, Federico Dubbini.

The latter was among the starters, too, in his 250 Testa Rossa s/n 0716TR.
Two other Italians had brought their 250 GT Berlinettas with long wheelbase, also known as "Tour de France": Renzo Beltrami had come with his well-known s/n 0767GT, and Mauro Bompani from Modena drove the excellently restored s/n 0879GT.

Another competitor who is not seen very often in the Challenge was Gerhard Schwing from Germany who piloted his silvergrey 250 GT SWB Berlinetta Competizione, s/n 1887GT.

A rare 275 GTB Competizione Series I had come to France from England: Martin McGlone's s/n 07407, a right hand driven example that has spent its entire life in the UK.

P. Paul Pappalardo did not only bring his 250 GTO s/n 5111GT, but also the spectacular yellow 412 P s/n 0850. But the former Ecurie Francorchamps car remained undriven during the weekend. A new car in the Challenge was Dino 206 SP s/n 030 of Rosario Parasiliti. This beautiful car had not been seen in events since 1990 or so.

The races
The weather was warm, the sky sometimes clouded, sometimes very sunny, the track was dry - overall excellent driving conditions. The two heats of the drum- brake cars were dominated by Paolo Bozzetto in Pietro Brigato's 250 Testa Rossa s/n 0758TR, but Carlos Monteverde in his yellow example was always close after him.

Competing outstandingly was also Nicolaus Springer in the 860 Monza who took a 3rd position in the first and the 2nd position in the second heat. Unfortunately, the rear axle of David Cottingham's 500 TRC s/n 0682MDTR broke during the first race on Saturday evening, so he was a non-starter on Sunday, as was Nicolas Zapata: The 625 TR s/n 0612MDTR of the Mexican refused to work on Sunday, too.

Not that fast, but very spectacular was the drive of Olivier Cazalières in his 225 Export: He always crossed the esses on three wheels only since one of the rear wheels lost ground contact in the sharp turns!
As to the disc-brake cars, Christian Gläsel took the win the first heat in the 312 PB s/n 0882, but Patrick Stieger in the 512 M s/n 1018 nearly touched Gläsel's gearbox, finishing just one second behind him.

Gary Pearson in Brandon Wang's 512 S s/n 1016 would have won, but in the first race on Saturday, the glorious car dropped out in the final lap due to a problem with the fuel pump. But Gary took the win on Sunday, while Christian Gläsel came in on 2nd.

Peter Hardman once again drove the rare 330 LMB s/n 4381SA. The professional driver's name is programmatic: He drove it hard and took two class wins.

Leslie Davies had a great time in her 250 GTO '62 s/n 3705GT on Saturday: In the first heat, she managed to keep the two male contestants in identical cars in distance and won the duel!

On Sunday, however, Nicolaus Springer s/n 4153GT and Paul Pappalardo s/n 5111GT obviously had the better luck and came in on 1st and 2nd in class respectively. But Leslie Davies took the Ladies' Cup home to Florida.

By the way, classic car dealer Jean Guikas from Marseille was very fast in his 275 GTB/2. This car s/n 07765 took Claude Bouscary to the French hillclimb championship back in 1967, and for this reason the street car is eligible for the Sheel Historical Challenge.

Some rare cars of the French Ferraristi
About 200 Ferrari attended the event, the majority of them naturally owned by members of the Club Ferrari France.

The most spectacular one, however, was the 333 SP s/n 022 of the French Equipe Jabouille, piloted by Collard and Sospiri in the ISRS and in the 24 Hours of Le Mans. Amazingly, the 333 SP arrived on Saturday morning, was driven only a few laps at noon and then vanished in the truck again.

One of the 38 Series I 250 GT Cabriolets attended the event: s/n 0979GT, owned by someone in Paris. The metallic grey car looks extremely original, but the owner pointed out that it has been (at least partially) restored once years ago.

Two 250 GT Pininfarina Coupés were present as well as a 250 GT SWB Berlinetta: s/n 3073GT was on display on Saturday, brought to Dijon by the German dealer Axel Schütte and some of his friends.

Engelbert Stieger had not only entered two cars in the Historical Challenge, but did also have his immaculate 250 GTO '62 s/n 3589GT transported to the Bourgogne. Two rare 330 GTS' (100 examples made) could be admired as well as an even rarer 365 GTS (20 made): s/n 12477, a Swiss two-owners from new car, was presented by Tiziano Carugati, an independent Ferrari dealer from Geneva.

Not less than three 275 GTB/4s had come, too, including the very original s/n 10589 owned by the Bajol family from Toulouse.

Some 365 GTB/4s, two 275 GTS' and a 365 GT 2+2 completed the nice variety of historic street models that could be seen at the event. Definitely not intended for street use were both the 308 GTB Michelotto s/n 18971 of François Domet and the 512 BB "Competizione" s/n 24127 of Jean Guikas.

He did drive this special on Friday only when the track was open to the Challenge contestants for training and proved as very fast. S/n 24127 looks almost like a stock 512 BB, except some spoilers and a large alloy rearwing adopted from the 312 T3 Formula 1. But this car in the white and red livery of Thomson is one of only three 512 BBs which had been factory-prepared for the 1978 24 Hours of Le Mans, two of them (including s/n 24127) were then entered by the Ecurie Pozzi. The extremely noisy engine provides about 460 hp.

Many F40s and two F50s were not missing either, and the latest car at Dijon was a 456 M GT (s/n 112023), painted in one of Ferrari's newly created colours, "Grigio Ingrid" ("Ingrid Grey"); the champagne metallic is a reminiscence to the 375 MM Berlinetta Speciale Pinin Farina s/n 0456AM formerly owned by Robert Rossellini and Ingrid Bergman which featured this very livery.

Both the event and the weather were fantastic, and the double win of Ferrari in Formula 1 on Sunday even made everything perfect.

Andreas Birner

Ferrari 166 Inter Vignale Coupe s/n 0065S
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Ferrari Shell Historical Challenge - Club Ferrari France 30th Anniversary

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