The intense and demanding race of this year's 1000 Miglia demanded exceptional skills from the crews during the 115 time trials and the 8 average tests. The tests took place on the dirt road of Capodimonte, on the shores of Lake Bolsena.
Four special trophies were dedicated to the timed stages. Lorenzo and Mario Turelli, in a 1929 O.M. 665 S MM Superba 2000, were awarded the Nuvolari Trophy, dedicated to the 130th anniversary of the birth of Tazio Nuvolari.
Giovanni Moceri and Valeria Dicembre received the Republic of San Marino Trophy in an Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 Super Sport of 1928. Andrea Vesco and Fabio Salvinelli, the winners of the race, also won the Siena City Trophy.
The Centenary Trophy of the Monza Circuit was won by Alberto and Giuseppe Bachelor in an O.M. 665 SMM Superba 2000 of 1929.
Needless to say, this edition was extremely difficult due to the heat, with daily temperatures approaching 35°C. As a result, one third of the vintage cars failed to reach the finish line. In some of the closed cars, the temperature sometimes reached 70°C!
Since the pandemic, the Mille Miglia has been held in June. We hope that the next editions will take place in May as in the past.
A small daily retrospective :
Stage 1 - Wednesday 15 June
After leaving Brescia, the cars headed for Lake Garda, visiting Salò, then Desenzano del Garda and Sirmione. From there, they drove through the garden park of Sigurtà, Mantua and Ferrara, finally reaching Cervia-Milano Marittima for the end of the first day.
Stage 2 - Thursday 16 June
From Cervia-Milano Marittima, the route went to Forlì, followed by a climb to San Marino, a descent inland to Passignano sul Trasimeno, passing through Norcia to finish the stage at the Roman footbridge of the Via Veneto in Rome.
Stage 3 - Friday 17 June
After leaving Rome, the cars had to climb to Ronciglione and then to Siena from where they passed through Pontedera and Cascina to Viareggio to reach Parma and finish the third stage.
Stage 4 - Saturday 18 June
On the last day, the cars started immediately with a series of tests on the Varano di Melegari circuit, then passed through Salsomaggiore Terme, Stradella, Pavia before reaching the Monza circuit. There, in collaboration with the MIMO Milano Monza Motor Show, the teams were able to demonstrate their skills on the track.
Traditionally, the route covers about 1,600 km (1,000 miles) from Brescia in northern Italy to the capital of Rome and back. However, this year more than 1,800 km (1,000 miles) were covered. The final leg, from Parma to Brescia, passed through places that play an important role in Alfa Romeo's past and present. Among these places were the circuits of Varano and Monza. The latter Formula 1 circuit will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2022.
Once again, the Mille Miglia, described by Enzo Ferrari as "the most beautiful race in the world", led the participants through the regions where the Italian passion for motor sport was born. The rally ended with a triumphant finish in Brescia, with the traditional parade on Viale Venezia.
Along the route, tens of thousands of spectators followed the participating cars. These cars had to be of the same type as those that took part in the original Mille Miglia. The chairwoman of the 58-member jury for the "Women's World Car of the Year" award, Marta Garcia, and the Italian member of the jury, Ilaria Salzano, accompanied the race in an Alfa Romeo Tonale, the brand's first electric SUV. The brand is currently celebrating its premiere at dealerships in many European countries.
With eleven victories between 1927 and 1957, Alfa Romeo is the most successful brand in the Mille Miglia. In 1977, the Mille Miglia was relaunched as a classic car rally. This year it was held for the 40th time. And once again, a team in an Alfa Romeo led to victory.
Like last year, Andrea Vasco and his co-driver Fabio Salvinelli were celebrated as the big winners. The two Italians shared a 92-year-old Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Super Sport with Zagato bodywork. A vehicle of this type won the Mille Miglia in 1929. For Vasco, this is already the third victory in a row.
Second place went, as last year, to Andrea Luigi Belometti and Gianluca Bergomi with a Lancia Lambda Spider Tipo 221 of 1929.
The third step of the podium is occupied by the car number 8 of Lorenzo and Mario Turelli in an O.M. 665 SMM Superba 2000 of 1929.
Silvia Marini and Irene Dei Tos won the "Coppa delle dame" in a 1929 Bugatti T40. For Silvia Marini it was already her sixth victory.
©Photos and text: Dirk Ivens/Guy Verhulst