The Round Island Race
With the demise of the Mille Miglia after 1957, the Targa Florio remained alone as the last true road race. It remained an opportunity for amateur weekend racers to pit their wits, and their machinery, against the best that the world’s leading manufacturers, and top drivers, could muster. Ferrari’s GTO was ideally suited to the rigours of this annual, flat out blast around the twisty roads of Sicily. It was powerful, user friendly and surprisingly robust, meaning that contact with the mountain scenery or the odd kilometre post did not mean immediate retirement. Looking rather careworn, the privately entered GTO of Egidio Nicolosi/Luigi Taramazzo charges on towards fourth in the 3 litre GT class and 13th overall. It is pursued by the Downton engineering ‘Twini’ (twin-engined Mini) of Paul Frere and Sir John Whitmore. With four wheel drive, it was ahead of its time but had a voracious appetite for tyres and finished 27th overall, 2 places behind the more conventionally powered Mini of Bernard Cahier and Rob Slotemaker. The race was won by the Porsche 718 coupe of Jo Bonnier and Carlo Maria Abate.