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Peter Giddings Racing

The Master of the Historic Challenge

by David Seibert

Peter Giddings may be a many time champion in the Shell Ferrari Maserati Historic Challenge, but Lime Rock Park spectators remember the tall Englishman for an entirely different reason.

Two years ago a pouring rain interrupted a Ferrari weekend, a rain so hard that the historic races had to be canceled. The track was too wet to risk the valuable historic cars in the rain; with one exception.

Giddings took his rare and brutal 1935 Alfa Romeo 8C35, an ex-Scuderia Ferrari Grand Prix car raced by Tazio Nuvolari, out on the wet track in the heavy rain. For half an hour he entertained those spectators who braved the storm, driving racing-speed laps.

Giddings drove with great rooster tails of spray from the Alfa's wheels and the occasional lurid slide, but the total impression was of an immensely talented driver in an exceptional historic car, driving where and when no one else cared to go, and doing it with style. That would be an accurate description of Peter Giddings.

Giddings began his racing career in 1959 with a 1928 Frazer Nash. He then moved on to Bugattis with success, and by the late 1960s he was campaigning a Ferrari 196 SP.

In 1985 Giddings drove his Alfa Romeo Monza and Tipo B P3 to such good effect that he won the coveted "Phil Hill Trophy," which was presented to him personally by the great Juan Manuel Fangio. In addition, for winning more vintage and historic events in his vintage Alfa Romeos than anyone else in the world, Giddings was awarded the Italian Scuderia del Portello Trophy.

Since Giddings began racing in the Shell Historic series he has had the highest points total in the Drum Brake Group every year, resulting in his designation as a "Master" of the series.

Giddings current collection includes a Maserati 8CM "3011", an ex-Scuderia Ferrari Monza Alfa Romeo, two Tipo C Grand Prix Alfa Romeos (one of them the famous ex-Scuderia Ferrari/ex Hans Ruesch/Dennis Poore Car), a Grand Prix Talbot-Lago, a Bugatti Type 59, a Stanguellini Formula Junior, and a Lancia Lambda (Mille Miglia type).

Currently Giddings is campaigning one of his Tipo C Alfas in the Ferrari Historic Challenge series, winning his class in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2002. This series pits him in his 1935 Alfa Tipo C against competition Ferraris of far more recent vintage and Giddings often finishes ahead of these supposedly faster post-war cars!

It would be difficult to imagine the Shell Historic series without the popular Giddings ... particularly when it rains!

(from Lime Rock Park - Ferrari Racing Days)