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A GT Victory
Sicily, April 26th.
This year the Targa Florio was notable for two outstanding things, firstly a powerful onslaught by Caroll Shelby and his team of A.C. Cobra-Ford V8 cars and, secondly, the complete absence of the works Ferrari team. After the races at Daytona and Sebring the Shelby Cobras were leading their category of GT cars in the manufacturers' championship, and this encouraged the Texan to bring over a four-car team to do battle with the Circuit of the Madonie, with its 72 kilometres of rough mountain roads. At the same time Enzo Ferrari eyed the indications at Daytona and the results of Sebring, and decided that the outcome of the Le Mans 24-hour race in June was going to be more important to his sales of GT cars than a win in Sicily. In addition, his Grand Prix car-building programme was getting behind, and with Monaco and Zandvoort in the offing, followed by the 1,000-kilometre race at Nurburgring for his Prototype GT cars, his workshops were going to be busy enough without the added work of repairing the cars that would inevitably be damaged during the Sicilian race. With the participation of the Cobras being an unknown quantity in the Targa Florio it looked as though this year would be a walk-over for the factory Porsche team, who were entered in strength, not only for an overall win with one of their 8-cylinder Prototypes, but also a GT category win with the recently homologated 904 Carrera GTS.