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Palm Beach, 22nd of January

Today the 24th Cavallino Classic was kicked off with the first of two track days at the Palm Beach International Raceway. As in the last few years a small but selected group of Ferrari race enthusiasts enjoyed a relaxed first day of the event with some free practice sessions in Drum and Disc Brake Categories plus some pre-war machinery including several Bugatti and Alfa Romeo.

Although rather small in numbers the groups included very interesting cars including the 1956 Mille Miglia winning 290 MM (chassis 0616) that was brought to the track by Ed Davies as part of the line-up of cars he and his wife Leslie gonna race this weekend.

Back in action was also the Ferrari 250 GTO (chassis 3445GT) of Chris Cox that was in the media just recently after finishing its restoration at Ferrari Classiche after a road accident during the last 250 GTO Tour in France. Still wearing its livery of Swedish racing colour the former car of Ulf Norinder is brought back to the specification leaving the factory in 1962. Cox also brought the 412 MI (Chassis 0744), this 4 litre sports race car was raced in the USA by Richie Ginther and Phil Hill in the late 1950s and was purpose built for American racing series just like the 335 S (0764) that was seen last year.

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After the sporting part of the day the evening saw the traditional reception at the Palm Beach International Airport in between the jets at the Jet Center. With fine wine, jewellery, fur and the cars and planes this is the appropriate surrounding for a relaxed come together of the Ferrari world in the warm January climate of South Florida, meet old friends and make new ones. In contrary to the main event, the Concours at the Breakers, this evening the Best of Show trophy, the Bella Macchina Trophy was award to the car selected by the public voting rather than judging. As in the previous years this award will be taken home by a car entered from the UK as Tom Hartley Jr. took the top laurels for the open headlight 250 GT SWB California Spyder (4121GT) in a stylish two tone grey livery as seen at the Villa d´Este Concours in 2011. After the official reception a few private parties finalized a wonderful first day of this year’s Cavallino Classic.

Tomorrow will be the second track day with the actual races in the afternoon after further practice session in the morning before the Concours starts on Saturday. Unfortunately the main event will be supposedly held on a partly rainy day as the weather forecast does not sound to promising with thunderstorms in the morning.

Report& images: Peter Singhof