Campagnano di Roma 5-7 November 1999, Italy
Saturday qualifying sessions
Shell Historic Challenge 2000
Following the free training sessions and drivers briefings on Friday, the Saturday
morning started with the qualifying sessions for the F355 Challenge teams. The
nice sunny weather did not give us a clue of what was to expect at the end of the
Consequence of the accident during the Shell Historic Challenge in Imola,
unfortunately a lot of the Maserati didn't show up in Vallelunga. Business
responsibilities forced Wolfgang Wegner Bscher with the Maserati 4CL to skip
this event. The Ferrari 275 GTB/C series I #7271 owned by Jose Albuquerque
was already shipped to Vallelunga when business called for the Polish guy too.
Nicolaus Springer did not attend the World Finals; but his beautiful 250 GTO got
shipped there by mistake and did not leave the truck during the weekend,
because it was already sold to a new owner.
Saturday qualifying sessions
Both cars owned by the Stieger family, the roaring 512M #1018 and the 250 GTO
#3589GT, which was repaired after the Spa Franchorchamps accident, did not
show up at the Autodromo Vallelunga. Rumours said only one of the cars was in
race condition and they could not agree on which of the brothers would run it. In
the absence of Jacky Ickx and ProTrade's 312 PB #0886 it leaves Jean Guikas
with the Maserati Bora Group IV as the fastest disc braked car on the track, having
to deal with the Dino 206 SP #030 of Rori Parasiliti as the only threat for his pole
position. The starting grid of the first race was headed up by the Dino 206 SP,
followed by the Maserati Bora and Peter Hardman and the 330 LMB #4381SA on
the third place.
The single seater grid, now consisting of 4 Maserati's and 3 Alfa Romeo's, was
great to see. This is where our "star of the weekend" glows for the first time. The
two Maserati 250F #2504 driven by Christan Glasel, another 250F #2521 driven
by Burkhart van Schenk, qualified for 1st and 2nd position. With a 20 year
disadvantage Robert Fink was driving his single seater Alfa Romeo Tipo B #5003
to the max to achieve a third position on Sunday's startgrid, sliding through
almost every corner. A breath taking sight accompanied by the wonderful sound
of the 67 year old single seater.
The qualifying grid of the Shell Historic Challenge filled up the Vallelunga circuit
with 27 drum braked cars. The starting grid of the first race was headed by the
Maserati 300 S driven by Burkhart von Schenk, the Ferrari 250 TR driven by
Christian Glasel and another Maserati 300 S driven by William Binnie.
On the second day of this "Finali Ferrari" weekend the first races of the Historic
Challenge were scheduled. The very first race of the weekend was the drum
braked Historic Challenge that was won by Christian Glasel followed by the two
Maserati of William Binnie and Jeremy Agace. The pole position of Burkhard von
Schenk ended in a Did Not Finish.
The Dino 206 SP was running in second position heading towards the hairpin
when white smoke appeared from under the hood. Luckily this was caused by an
exploded battery, leaving the car and the engine unharmed. The pole position
qualifier for this disc brakes race also ended up in a DNF. After a few good
rounds newcomer for this year's Historic Challenge, Niko Koel with the ex-Jean
Guikas 275 GTB #7765 faced problems with his fuel pressure. With the Dino
parked aside of the tarmac, the black and white flag was passed by Jean Guikas,
Peter Hardman and Mario Bernardi respectively.
The sun disappeared during Saturday afternoon and the first race of the single
seaters was dominated by pouring rain. Not all drivers had a waterproof suit
available for this but they all went out in their cars without frontscreens nor
fenders. Since single seaters are normally not driven on slicks, the "everyday"
tyres had to do the job leaving the drivers working really hard to get their cars
through the slippery corners.
The podium for this very wet race consisted of Christian Glasel on the highest
position, accompanied by Robert Fink and, after a spin only third, Burkhart von
Schenk. The pricegiving was attended by Ferrari CEO Luca di Montezemolo and
Racing Director Jean Todt.
While the 360 Modena Challenge cars were running a few demonstration laps
Luca di Montezemolo was walking on the tarmac in front of the grandstand
crowded by most of the 20.000 visitors that travelled to Campagnano today. The
crowd got crazy when di Montezemolo pretended to hit Jean Todt at the head with
the finish flag a few times, apparently in a good mood as "Campione del Mondo
The Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro brought two of the winning F399 Formula 1 cars
#191 and #197 to Vallelunga that were driven first by Mika Salo and Luca Badoer.
Afterwards Michael Schumacher got out in one of them and gave away the usual
show of burnouts and pitstops. Since he was the only car on the track, he decided
to do some 180 degrees spins to experience Vallelunga both clockwise and
counter clockwise. At one of the demonstration pitstops a "thief" appeared in the
pitlane that stole one of the front wheels. With the constructors championship
bowl safely at home in the Maranello factory, a comic reference can be made to
the European Grandprix' trouble.
After this thrilling Formula 1 demonstration by Michael Schumacher, almost all
the privately owned Formula 1 cars that were present joined him on the track.
Among them Sally Mason Styrron in the 246 Dino Tasmania #0010, and Guido
Ferrari in the extraordinary 312 B3 "Spazzaneve" #009. Regular visitor Leopold
Hrobsky was present in his splendid 312 T #024 when one of the 360 Modena
Challenge cars and this weekend's star Robert Fink joined the masterclass of
motorsports with his 1932 Alfa Romeo too.
When Fink spun in the hairpin and his engine stopped, he did not think for split
second. Even before the marshals had run the 5 meters to him, he was out of his
car re-starting the engine to re-join the fun. Needless to say the crowd got really
excited by this amount of enthusiasm.
Later on during the final race for the single seaters in the Shell Historic
Challenge, Mister Fink treated the crowd on another spectacle when he was
competing Grist in the Alfa Romeo 2.9 A for the third and the fourth place.
Although both are considered gentlemen drivers, they overtook each other two
times every single round thus swapping the podium place for this years last race.
In the end a cheerful Robert Fink was the third to cross the finish line after the two
Maserati 250 F's driven by Glasel and Von Schenk.
Glasel and Von Schenk also occupied the first and second place on the drum
brakes second race's podium, accompanied by Jeremy Agace. The Maserati that
have joined the Shell Historic Challenge for the first time this year have proved
On the disc brake podium the first place was won by Jean Guikas' Maserati
followed by the Ferrari of Peter Hardman and Mario Bernardi after problems with
the Dino 206 SP again. Niko Koel's 275 GTB was running smoothly today and all
3 Dutchmen were competing for the 6th, 7th and 8th position in this years final
Historic Challenge race.
Shell Historic Challenge 2000
A great last weekend of an exciting Ferrari season had come to an end. Let's
hope that next year's Historic Challenge will be attended by some more of those
wonderful competition Ferrari that are in race condition waiting in their garages
Edwin van Nes