Mugello Classic

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The Peter Auto season kicked off at the flowing Mugello circuit in the Tuscan hills under blues skies on the weekend of 5-7 April, with over 300 cars entered in nine grids.  The event signalled the introduction of the two new Peter Auto series.   The Gentlemen Challenge, which augments and replaces the Greatest’s Trophy, is a race for gentlemen drivers in cars of the ‘50s and early ‘60s.  The other new grid is for pre-1966 touring cars, a category that was missing from the Peter Auto timetable since U2TC stopped attending Peter Auto meetings.

Amongst the cars in the new Gentlemen Challenge series were SZ and TZ Alfas (including a TZ2), 904/6 Porsches, SWB Ferraris and other cars that are nowadays seen only rarely on the circuit

A good showing of 35 cars in the first of two Gentlemen Challenge races augers well for this new series.  Amongst these were three elegant Ferrari 250 GT SWBs, a pair of TZ Alfas (including a TZ2), 904/6 Porsches, two DB 2 Aston Martins, an Alfa SZ and other models that are nowadays seen only rarely on the circuit.   But it was the prototype class that ruled the roost in two 45-minute races, with Frederic Wakeman/Patrick Blakeney-Edwards (Cooper T38) vanquishing the Listers of Anthony Schrauwen (Jaguar Knobbly) and the Chevy-engined car of Luc-Pierre Verquin in race 1.  John Spiers’ Costin-bodied example came fourth ahead of Serge Kriknoff’s Lotus XI.  Very much in the running in race two, the Anglo-American pair was penalised 180 seconds for a startline infringement, dropping them down to ninth.   This left victory to Verquin by nearly three seconds to Spiers and Schrauwen, with the 904 Porsches of Carlos de Quesda/Catesby Jones and Carlo Vögele rounding out the top five.

Under two-litre cars dominated in the first round of the Classic Touring Challenge. The race was won by Andrew and Max Banks in their GTA Alfa.

With a smaller grid of just 18 cars, under two-litre cars predominated – and dominated – in the first round of the Classic Touring Challenge, the one-hour race won by Andrew and Max Banks in their pole-sitting GTA Alfa.  Andrew Haddon and Shaun and Max Lynn, in Lotus Cortinas, shared the podium ahead of a train of Alfa GTAs in the next three places.  First over 2L car home was the Mustang of Abraham Bontrup and Bas Jansen in seventh place.  Next stop for this new series, which is sure to build momentum, is Spa Francorchamps for the Spa Classic on 17-19 May.

The British brothers also took their McLaren M6B to 2nd place in the CER 1 race ahead of the 908 Porsche of Henrique Gemperle and Marc de Siebenthal

Other highlights at the meeting was seeing Gregor Fisken’s 2002 Dallara SP1 clocked at 294.3 km/h during qualifying for the Endurance Racing Legends cars on the long Mugello straight (over 1km).  Emmanuel Collard won both 40-minute races in his Pescarolo C60.  

For the full report, see the May2024 issue….  Also available in digital format..

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