In spite of the Italian Government making a noise about banning racing in Italy other than on closed Autodromes„ the A.C. of Florence held the annual race on the Mugello circuit in the mountains north of Florence. Run on Targa Florio style with interval starting, so that competitors race against the clock rather than against each other, this year’s event attracted around 100 starters, illustrating just how popular this sort of open-road racing is. Porsche were out in force, practising days beforehand and setting up radio communications and signalling as in the Targa Florio, while their team consisted of 2.2-litre 8-cylinder cars, 2-litre 6-cylinder cars and a 911S converted into a 911R by reason of it having a Carrera Six engine and all possible body panels made of fibreglass; it was driven by Elford and G. van Lennep. The Ferrari factory entered a team of Dino cars, but in practice Gunther Klass crashed in the 4-valves-per-cylinder hill-climb Dino and died from his injuries, with the result that the Ferrari team withdrew from the event. This left only the Ferrari P3/4 of the Scuderia Filipinetti (Muller/Casoni) and the Alfa Romeo “33” team to challenge the Porsches. The bulk of the entry came from sports, GT and Touring cars, and amidst the vast collection of Italian amateurs there was an impressive contingent of British amateurs.
The Ferrari P3/4 went out on the opening lap, driven by Casom, with broken rear suspension, and the Alfa Romeo “33” cars all fell to bits, though de Adamich was going well while his car lasted. The Siffert/Herrmann works 6-cylinder Porsche retired, leaving the other two winks cars to dominate the race, While the saloon Alfa Romeo GTA cars were as impressive as the Autodelta “33” cars were unimpressive. The Ford France 7-litre Ford Mk. II driven by Schlesser/Ligier proved a bit unwieldy on the sinuous mountain roads but the Porsche Carrera Six cars were really at home, as was the special factory 911R, Vic Elford really enjoying himself in this rally-type racing. Of the British contingent some fell by the wayside, some just fell apart, while others had steady trouble-free runs, but none were quick enough to figure in the serious part of the results, though Nelson drove on his own and won his class with his GT40, Margulies and Mackie won their class With a standard Porsche 911S, and Hunter and Pierpoint won their class with a Porsche 911. Others who finished, but not fast enough to figure very high in the results, were Mark Konig (Nomad), Granville-Smith and Miles (Shelby-Cobra), Hedges (Austin Healey Sprite), and the girls Bond-Smith/Cook (Mini-Marcos).
14th Circuit of Mugello – Emilio Materassi Cup – 23rd July
North of Florence – 8 laps of 66.2-km. circuit – 529.6 kilometres – Hot
1st: U. Schutz/G. Mitter (Porsche 910 – 8-cyl. 2.2-litre) 4 hr. 18 min. 59.0 sec. – 122.695 k.p.h.
2nd: R. Stommelen/J. Neerspach (Porsche 910 – 8cyl. 2.2-litre) 4 hr. 20 min. 49.3 sec.
3rd: V. Elford/G. Van Lennep (Porsche 911R) 4 hr. 41 min. 55.1 sec.
Fastest lap: R. Stommelen (Porsche 910), on lap 7 in 31 min. 50.0 sec. – 126.611 k.p.h.