1961 Targa Florio: Porsche Dominance, Ferrari Victorious
By: Jeremy McMullen
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| The first race held on the island of Sicily that included an automobile would take place between the car, a bicycle and a horse. Although the gentleman on the bicycle would drop out rather early due to leg cramps constantly going up and down on the mountainous roads, the battle between the de Dion motor tricycle and the horse would be an intriguing one. In the end, the same principles that played out in that first race would come into play many years later when the island hosted the 1961 Targa Florio.
Vincenzo Florio would lose the race with the horse but it would not stop him from thinking about a career in motor racing. Being a wealthy man himself, Florio would attract Fiat's Felice Nazzaro to remain with Florio to not only look after his growing number of automobiles, but also, to prepare racing cars for him to race.
Nazzaro's experience would be needed as Florio was underage and prohibited by family from racing. He would even be denied the opportunity by Fiat from purchasing one of their race cars, but it would not stop him. He would eventually buy a dismantled Panhard and would turn to Nazzaro to make it into a proper race car.
Florio would take part in a number of the long distance races of the period like the Paris to Madrid race. Soon, however, he would be encouraged to organize a race in his native Sicily. This would intrigue Florio. It would intrigue him so much so that in 1906 Sicily would host the first Targa Florio.
'Targa Florio', (http://www.grandprixhistory.org/floria.htm). Dennis David and Family. http://www.grandprixhistory.org/floria.htm. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
'1961 Targa Florio', (http://www.teamdan.com/archive/wsc/1961/61tf.html). 1961 Targa Florio. http://www.teamdan.com/archive/wsc/1961/61tf.html. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
'The Cars: Porsche 718 RS 60', (http://www.stirlingmoss.com/node/430). Stirling Moss. http://www.stirlingmoss.com/node/430. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
'Event: Targa Florio', (http://www.racingsportscars.com/photo/Targa_Florio-1961-04-30.html). Racing Sports Cars. http://www.racingsportscars.com/photo/Targa_Florio-1961-04-30.html. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
'Circuits: Europe', (http://theracingline.net/racingcircuits/racingcircuits/Italy/index.html). Racing Circuits.net: Motor Racing Circuits Database. http://theracingline.net/racingcircuits/racingcircuits/Italy/index.html. Retrieved 3 May 2012.
Wikipedia contributors, 'Targa Florio', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 27 April 2012, 07:51 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Targa_Florio&oldid=489437872 accessed 3 May 2012
Wikipedia contributors, 'Porsche 718', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 11 March 2012, 00:31 UTC, http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Porsche_718&oldid=481242617 accessed 3 May 2012
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