On August 15, 1961 a four hour international sports car race was held on the public road circuit at Pescara on Itlay’s Adriatic coast. This event was the final round of the Manufacturers Championship for that year. The Pescara circuit had a lengthy history going back to the prewar years of both Grand Prix and sports car endurance races. The course departed from Pescara and followed a roughly triangular shape, first ascending into the mountains behind the town and then returning via a long straight to the seaside town of Montesilvano and then along the coast back to Pescara. The lap distance was just over 16 miles. Due to growing safety concerns, both for drivers and the spectators, this 1961 race would be the last held at Pescara.
On the right above is Lorenzo Bandini who is standing up in the Ferrari 250TRI/61 which was “loaned” by Ferrari to Scuderia Centro-Sud for the race and which he will share with Giorgio Scarlatti, next to Bandini with goggles on his helmet. On the left wearing a white cap due to the strong sun instead of his usual beret is long time Ferrari technical wizard Luigi Bazzi who led the team of works mechanics for this Centro-Sud entry. Even technical chief Carlo Chiti was in attendance as seen at the left speaking with Bandini.
Ferrari had itself entered a second car, their latest rear-engined V6 246SP, which would be shared by Richie Ginther and Giancarlo Baghetti. The main competition for the Ferrari entries would be a T61 Maserati “Birdcage” from the Camoradi team, to be driven solo by Lloyd “Lucky” Casner, seen at left in the pits during practice. There were also a pair of factory-supported Maserati T63s from Count Volpi’s Scuderia Serenissima for open road specialist Nino Vaccarella and long time grand prix and sports car driver Joachim Bonnier. Should any of the favorites faulter there were also a pair of RS61 private spiders fully supported by Porsche. There was also a good GT field as well.
Ginther led for many laps as Bandini had had to pit right away to have his oil tank cover refastened. When Baghetti, having taken over from Ginther, retired with suspension problems Casner took over first place but eventually rolled the Maserati, albeit without serious injury to himself. Bandini took over the Testa Rossa again from Scarlatti and, having made his way up the leader board over time, was now in first place and gave Ferrari a much-appreciated win although the Scuderia had already won the Championship before Pescara.
Photos by Peter Coltrin ©The Klemantaski Collection – www. klemcoll.com
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