Round 3 - Czech Republic - Brno
Another one-two for the classic Maseratis
The circuit's history dates back to before the second world war: it was opened in 1930 and extended to over 29 kilometres. The track wound through local villages and was a varied one of fast stretches, windy sections and was full of demanding ups and downs. This was also the era in which Maserati managed to enter the circuit's history books when Tazio Nuvolari came third in a Maserati Type 34 while Giuseppe Farina's 4CM, won the class reserved to 'voiturettes' after leading from start to finish. In 1937, Gigi Villoresi took the chequered flag at Brno following a fantastic effort in his Maserati 6CM.
As usual, things got underway on Friday with the Shell Ferrari Historic Challenge drivers running in free practice and the timed sessions to decide the starting grid. The qualifying session continued on Saturday morning. Quickest overall was Darius Ahrabian’s Ferrari F40 Competizione, followed by the 512 M driven by Dieter Roschmann. In Group A, the fastest time was clocked by Nicolas Zapata’s Ferrari 625 TR with Sean Danaher’s Maserati 6CM just 31 thousandths off the pace. Massimo Sordi, on board a Maserati 200SI, posted the third best time but was let down by his engine when trying to improve on it. This was a real shame as it prevented the Milanese driver from competing in the weekend’s events.
Race 1 on Saturday went to Dieter Roschmann who managed to easily hold off the chasing pack. Second was taken by a superb Pierangelo Masselli, in a 308 GTB, with third on the podium filled by the Dino 206 SP with Harry Leventis at the wheel. It was a different story in Group A where Sean Danaher and his Maserati 6CM dominated. Nicolas Zapata tried and failed in his attempts to catch the eventual winner, as did the Ferrari 500 MD TR driven by Giancarlo Galeazzi, who came home second and third, respectively. The Englishman was able to take command and drove impeccably throughout. Maserati’s positive day was rounded off with the fourth place taken by Julia de Baldanza’s A6GCM. “It was a great race”, commented Danaher once the gloves were off. “I really enjoyed the circuit and, as I found out that some of the original 1930 track was still in use, I wanted to drive my Maserati here. But you can have fun even on today’s layout especially with excellent competitors like Galeazzi and Zapata out there with you. From the halfway stage on, I managed to keep my friend Leventis’ Dino 206 SP behind me… it was a very exciting race”.
On Sunday morning it was time for the prize-giving ceremony for Race 2 at La Vigeant and Race 1 at Brno. The drivers had the chance to shake hands with Pavel Šenych, president of chief sponsors Shell Czech Republic, as he handed over the trophies. In the afternoon, the drivers from the Shell Ferrari Historic Challenge took part in their second race. Dieter Roschmann’s 512 M notched another win with Darius Ahrabian’s F40 Competizione creating only occasional problems. Third went to a consistent Larry Kinch in the Ferrari 308 GTB Michelotto Gr.4. Group A was again ruled by Sean Danaher’s Maserati 6CM. He had started behind Nicolas Zapata's 625 TR but, on lap three, Danaher edged ahead of the potent Mexican. Third across the line was Giancarlo Galeazzi and his Ferrari 500 MD TR.
The final round of the Shell Ferrari Historic Challenge will take place during the Ferrari World Finals at Valencia on 15 November.