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1968 Targa Florio

Sunday, May 5, 1968
Fastest Lap:
Elford, 36m02.3
1968 season:

Alfa Romeo challenge strongly

Cerda, Sicily, May 5th

When the Alfa Romeo team withdrew from the Monza 1,000-kilometre race it was clear that they were putting all their efforts into the Targa Florio, with every intention of challenging the Porsche team, and taking on the role normally occupied by Ferrari. Even before practice this feeling was strong on the island of Sicily, and on the Friday before the race the official practice saw Alfa Romeo in third place behind two Porsches in the 3-litre class and comfortably heading the works Porsche in the 2-litre class. Sicily seemed very strange without the scream of 12-cylinder Ferrari prototype engines, but the red Alfa Romeos made up in colour, if not in noise, so that local partisan enthusiasm was strong, especially as Vaccarella was driving for Alfa Romeo, although much allegiance was torn, for Scarfiotti was driving for Porsche. On the first lap of practice Scarfiotti, in a 2.2-litre Porsche 8-cylinder, caught up with Vaccarella in the 2½-litre V8 Alfa Romeo and in the ensuing patriotic dust-up the Porsche went off the road and was completely ruined, luckily without injury to Scarfiotti. The Porsche team had a spare car that had been used all week as a practice car by all the drivers, so that was tidied up and fitted with a new engine and replaced the wrecked car on race day.