The Giro di Sicilia was a long lap sister race to the more famous Targa Florio. Whereas the Targa Florio was usually ten laps of the 45-mile Piccolo Madonie circuit, the Giro was one gigantic lap all around the island of Sicily which at a length of just over 1000km was somewhat longer than the entire Targa.
The 1953 Giro was held on April 12 and the overall winner was the car shown above, a Ferrari 340 MM spider with the current Vignale body. It was an official entry of Scuderia Ferrari and was driven by Luigi Villoresi with Piero Cassani as his navigator. Villoresi with his now light gray hair is here standing next to his car as the local children look on with interest. He and Cassani would win by almost 14 minutes after more than 10 hours of racing. Cassani accompanied Villoresi a number of times as well as other Ferrari drivers. On the left they are seen during the Giro, shortly before the finish.
This same Ferrari would then go on to be an official works entry for the Mille Miglia two weeks later where it would be given to Giannino Marzotto who would be victorious – two major endurance race wins in two weeks! Villoresi would be given a different 340MM for the Mille Miglia, but he and Cassani would fail to finish with rear axle failure.
It is thought that Giro and Mille Miglia winning car was later sold to the Ulsterman sports car driver Bobby Baird who would suffer a fatal,accident with it during practice for a race in England.
Photos by Corrado Millanta ©The Klemantaski Collection – http://www.klemcoll.com
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