Journal: These Are Your Favorite Road Races

These Are Your Favorite Road Races

By Petrolicious Productions
May 18, 2015

The Mille Miglia. Targa Florio. Tour de France Automobile…and the list goes on. With many of the great driving roads located in Europe and remote parts of the world, it’s often difficult for many enthusiasts to see these great events in person. Last week, we asked you what open road races you thought were the best, and were impressed by your picks.

Here are Petrolicious readers’ favorite road races 

Targa Newfoundland, mentioned by Evan Bedford

“Finally! The Targa Newfoundland gets a mention on Petrolicious. Where else can you see a Ferrari go flying into the ocean? “ 

Targa Tasmania, suggested by James Ross

“That’s easy. The 5 day Targa Tasmania tarmac rally! Taking the best parts of Targa Florio, Mille Miglia, Coupe des Altes and Tour de Corsa and putting them in one of the most pristine and unique environments in the world. Even the great Walter Rohrl has done it. Everything from pre-war classics right up to modern Nissan GTRs, Astons, Lambos, and McLarens.”

Targa Florio, suggested by Matthew Lange

“Hard question because I would love to see all the races you mention. Adding in what car and race would I enter it becomes a little easier as I reckon entering a Ferrari 312 Pb in the 1972 Targa Florio would be the ultimate. Watched Michael Keyser’s The Speed Merchants many times and always mesmerised by the on board footage. The 312 Pb and rival Alfa Romeo T33 were basically F1 cars with sportscar bodywork and to see those completing on public roads is extraordinary.” 

Liege-Sofia-Liege, suggested by Ockelbo Stoffel via Facebook

“I do think the Mille Miglia is awesome, but what about the Liege-Sofia-Liege that ran from 1961 to 1964? That must be close to the summit!” 

Tour de France Automobile, suggested by Benjamin Pette

“I was at Magny-Cours to see the Tour de France Automobile (pictures here) last month. It’s really a good race, even on track. Everyone that [saw] the cars on the road loved it.”

Isle of Man TT, mentioned by Patrick Peters

“The first thing that comes to mind when I hear road racing is The Isle of Man TT [an] event held on the Isle of Man since 1907”


And for an alternate take…

Jarrod H suggested off-road racing…

“In terms of modern day, I am not too sure. Targa Newfoundland and Tasmania are pretty interesting but on/ open road races are going the way of the dodo. I honestly think that the best, multi/ mixed class racing is done off road now. Things like the Rainforest Challenge, King of the Hammers, and the Dakar take it for me. They get coverage and exposure which Tasmania does not, making them far more accessible.” 

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Patrick Peters
Patrick Peters
9 years ago

@ Guitar Slinger, well that’s not really the case. There still is some roadracing left, mostly motorcycle racing.

Or here in the netherlands..

Or even myself! here i’am racing a classic 1962 Maico 250 on the historic circuit of Rockanje

Jarrod H
Jarrod H
9 years ago

Thumbs up for including some different stuff! I love road races but they are becoming less and less prevalent. Perfect example is how there really is not one in the US. We have enthusiasts everywhere. We have amazing locations. We have the ability to regulate and organize but liability, etc… is just too difficult. We have road rallies/ scenic tours, but they certainly are not all out races. I enjoy seeing clips and highlights of the Isle of Man race and the other Targas only to be completely disappointed by not having one here.

For those looking for what the RFC is like:

Guitar Slinger
Guitar Slinger
9 years ago
Reply to  Jarrod H

If its of any small amount of comfort . Other than the Isle of Man all those road races in Europe and the UK you read about are nothing more than rally/tours as well . The only other genuine road race that does exist is the Targa Tasmania ( Targa New Foundland ) being more rally than road race .And from what my antipode friends are telling me : thats under threat as well

Bryan Dickerson
Bryan Dickerson
9 years ago

Wow! That Isle of Mann helmet cam action blows me away. The tone of the engine and the speed of the visuals, however, seem almost incongruous. It just doesn’t sound like it’s working that hard but man is he flyin’. The way he’s passing and going into blind corners kind of reminds me of some of the Group B rally footage like Walter Rohrl driving flat out through a forest of people. Completely beyond my comprehension.
It would be a dream come true to get a chance to witness any of these races but if I had to choose it would have to be the Targa Florio and yes, preferably in 1971 or ’72.

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