Ferrari test track hosts historic race meet

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Mugello Autodromo, home to Scuderia Ferrari's Formula 1 test program, screamed to the noise of the Modena firm's finest exports during the 2014 Mugello Classic from 25-27 April.

In total, 134 drivers were split into three grids to pit their wits – and their classic competition cars – against the fast sweeping curves of the Tuscan circuit. 

Leo Voyazides lit the blue touch paper during qualitfying, his 1971 Lola T 282 HU6 DV despatching his quickest lap in just 1m 49.627sec – close to the fastest time post by Honda's Danny Pedrosa in the last Italian Moto GP.

The circuit's seemingly endless straight also allowed for some impressive top speeds, with both Steven Read's 1971 Ferrari F512 and the 1979 Porsche 935 of Nicolas D'leteren being clocked at 177mph, but it would be Martin O'Connell who took the spoils driving his 1970 Chevron B19 FVC, closely followed by a peloton of Lolo T70s and T210s – six in total.

One of the highlights of the weekend for Italian fans was the Trofeo Nastro Rosso – a championship dedicated to Italian sports GT cars from 1950-1965 – which saw Carlos Monteverde and Gary Pearson win their first race by a margin of 30 seconds.

It wasn't to be their day, however, because during their second race – and while pressing hard – a wheel came off their 1964 Ferrari 250 LM with just two laps to go. Their retirement cleared the way for Michael Erlich's 1975 Bizzarrini 5300 GT, followed closely by the 1956 Maserati 250 S of Marc Devis.

Also a perennial crowd favourite was the Sixties' Endurance race for pre-1963 sports cars and pre-1966 GTs. The single race took two hours and proved little challenge for the Shelby Cobras, with four examples leading finishing ahead of the competition. Yves Mahe took victory in his 1965 car, while the nearest non-Cobra competition – the 1964 Porsche 904 GTS of Yves Vogeles – finished two laps down.

The next round of the championship will be at Spa on 16-18 May.

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