Entries are open for Mille Miglia 2017 – who’ll be competing?
The first Mille Miglia was held in 1927. Ninety years later (and despite a recent earthquake) the magic continues
One of the world’s most famous road races – and some say the most beautiful race in the world – marks its 90th anniversary this year. The Mille Miglia will run from May 18-21, despite the devastating earthquake that hit central Italy in 2016.
Since childhood I have been lucky enough to follow the reenactment of the Mille Miglia in its current form, thanks to my grandfather who used to bring me every year to see the race. I then had the opportunity to participate as a guest of the Jaguar Heritage team in 2015.
It’s an event that over the years has carved out a reputation as one of the most glamorous motorsport events with Hollywood stars and famous names of the jet set, Jeremy Irons, Bruno Senna and David Gandy, or car designers such as Ian Callum.
The first Mille Miglia was run in 1927. A thousand miles from Brescia city in northern Italy, to Rome, and back. A thousand miles to the car driving through cities, countryside, seaside, Tuscan hills by the endless horizons, by day and by night. With only one goal: to cross the finish line in the shortest time possible.
Since then the Mille Miglia had a rising popularity by hosting the biggest names in world motorsport, such as Ettore Bugatti, Tazio Nuvolari, Juan Manuel Fangio and Stirling Moss who still holds the speed record in 1955, driving the famous Mercedes -Benz 300 SLR with the number 722, crossing the finish line after 10 hours, seven minutes and 48 seconds with an average speed of 99mph.
Enzo Ferrari said the Mille Miglia is the richest and unique traveling museum in the world, with emotive and legendary cars from the Jaguar D-Type, Mercedes-Benz 300 SL, and 190 SL (entered In 2016) to the Bugatti Type 37, Blower Bentley 4 ½ Litre supercharged, Porsche 356, Fiat 110, Lancia Lambda and Alfa Romeo 6C 1750, OM 665 Superba, Cisitalia, and Buick.
The event was suspended in 1957 because of a massive fatal accident, prompting the Italian government to ban speed races on the open road. It was reinstated in 1977 as a regularity race, and it is now only open to cars produced before 1958 and have participated in the Mille Miglia.
The current format of the Mille Miglia was introduced in 2014 and divides the route into four stages, and as a result of the earthquake that hit central Italy, the course has undergone many changes compared to last year.
The first stage will arrive in Padova, and the second stage has the traditional night-time parade in Rome. The third day, the most spectacular, travels through the Tuscan hills and historic Futa and Raticosa passes before arrival in Parma. The last stage, the shortest, does not include the evocative Monza race circuit in 2017, as in recent years.
Despite this omission the event is still a unique concentration of adrenaline, emotions, and wonder with a characteristic passion for engines.
“The next four days will be gruelling, exciting and will offer you memories you retain for the rest of your life” they told me. It was.
Registrations for the MilleMiglia 2017 are open until January 12, online at www.1000miglia.it.
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