Nino the Sicilian
Yesterday, we heard the sad news that Italian racing driver Nino Vaccarella, passed away at the age of 88. Vaccarella was a schoolteacher in Palermo with a great passion for motorsport.
Sicily-born Vaccarella was well known for being a Targa Florio specialist, which he won in 1965 (picture below), 1971 and 1975. According to the great Vic Elford “he knew the roads of Sicily like the back of his hand”.
His most famous win came in 1964, when together with Jean Guichet, he won the 24 Hours of Le Mans in a works Ferrari 275P.
Nino Vaccarella also entered 5 Formula One Grand Prix between 1962 and 1965 – for Ferrari, De Tomaso, Lotus and Porsche – but failed to score a point.
Later, the Italian, teamed with Ignazio Giunti and Mario Andretti, won the 1970 Sebring 12 Hours in Ferrari 512S.
The popular Sicilian teacher left his mark in endurance racing and in the heart of all the Italians. A great loss for all of us.