If you are a fan of motorization and are planning a trip to Italy this year, the middle of May will be perfect. Especially if you love Lombardy. This is where lovers of fast driving, beautiful views and vintage cars will soon meet.
1,000 miles of Italy's roads with history in the background
On May 16-19, 2018, the next edition of the iconic Mille Miglia race awaits us, on the already famous route Brescia - Rome - Brescia. Traditionally - a week before the Formula 1 race in Monaco. This is an unusual event, different than any other.
It all started in 1925 when the Brescia Italian Grand Prix was moved to the newly built Monza circuit. Then a group of unhappy fans of motorsport decided to organize a competitive event.
Brescia itself did not give much opportunity to show off, so it was agreed that the cars will take a long route starting and finishing in Brescia, but halfway there where all roads lead, i.e. in Rome. In these conditions, it is obvious that the participants of the rally do not drive on the track, but on ordinary Italian roads .
Almost like in Monaco, during Formula 1 races, but let's be honest, the quality of the surface is slightly different from that used in Monte Carlo. Oldtimers are not cars, however, and they do it.
Brestia as Le Mans
Where did the idea for the name come from? The organizers calculated the length of the route that the drivers have to cover and the result was 1,600 km. So the inventive Italians determined that a thousand (mille) miles (miglia) would be perfect. Between 1927 and 1957, the drivers had to travel from Brescia through Rome and back without interruption , which made the race truly murderous. A bit like today's Le Mans.
The first race took place in 1927. The racing was dizzying for those times, which in 1957 made the event disappear from the calendar of starts for 20 years. From year to year, the rush for the award along the roads of Italy was faster and faster. And it was quite bumpy there, not very grippy and with holes. The record holder was the famous Stirling Moss, who in 1955 covered 1,600 km of the route in just 10 hours, 7 minutes and 48 seconds . This means that Moss traveled at an average speed of 157.6 km / h .
End of dreams
1957 was not a happy year for the rally. Two fatal accidents contributed to the elimination of take-offs. In 1957, the Spanish Marquis Alfonso de Portago rode into the public. The driver, pilot and 9 fans lost their lives in the accident. The race turned out to be unlucky also for Joseph Göttgens, who dropped out of the route near Florence. As a result of his injuries, he died shortly after being transported to the hospital. This is what led the authorities to find the race dangerous for both drivers and spectators.
Return and new rules
For 20 years, rally enthusiasts have been wondering what to do to make the event return to the calendar. And a new formula was invented. Since 1977, it has been held again, having the reputation of a rally of the most beautiful routes . Currently, it is the most prestigious and the most difficult race of the classics.
The rally was divided into 4 stages, each of them must be completed in one day at a strictly specified time. There are several dozen regular sections on the route - they have to be covered with the assumed average speed. Only cars that either took part in the Mille Miglia in 1927-57 or are from that period and have a certificate of originality are allowed.
In 2017, on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of the rally, 450 teams competed in the event, including 4 from Poland, reaching quite high places. The winner of the Mille Miglia AD 2017 was the Italian crew No. 74 Andrea Vesco and Andrea Guerini in the 1931 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport. For their Alfa Romeo this was obviously not the first race. The car took part in the struggle in 1933.
Mille Miglia 2018
This year's rally has been divided into 4 stages.
- Day 1 - Brescia, Cervia - Milan, Marittima. The rally starts at Piazza della Vittoria.
- Day 2 - Cervia, Marittima - Rome.
- Day 3 - Rome - Parma.
- Day 4 - Parma - Brescia.
On Saturday, May 19, after the end of the competition, there will be an oldtimers parade and all-night attractions.
It is worth adding that the rally itself is preceded by the race for the cup of Roberto Gaburri - the recently deceased president of the first Mille Miglia rallies. It will take place on May 14. It is a race around the beautiful city of Brescia. Cars rush between the castle, Piazza della Loggia, Corso Zanardelli and Via Musei. Usually about 80 crews take part in it. There is definitely something to look at.
A crew from Poland will take part in the rally again. Just like last year, the Poles will play for the Perlage Team.
Therefore, we invite all lovers of Italy, history and motorization to spend May days in beautiful Lombardy. Fun and excitement guaranteed!
A lawyer who loves traveling. Always with a book on the go. I collect memories of the color, taste and smell of every place I visit.