What’s Special about the Finish of the 2015 Mille Miglia?
Photography by Federico Bajetti
The wait for the next Mille Miglia has just begun! After experiencing it, the soul of this race gets under your skin and becomes a part of you. I don’t think that there are any easy ways to describe this event, but “the world’s most beautiful race” seems to come the closest. It may seem an overly-repeated compliment, but it really tells the truth: where do you get to experience four days of pure car madness on Italy’s most beautiful roads? Nothing is better! As an Italian, this declaration may seem a bit biased, but the sentiment was confirmed by many—mostly visitors to this country!
The itinerary is an experience one forgets. It is not a journey, it’s a rally, and all of the cars are going to be put under strain until the finish. Where else do you see cars like Mercedes-Benz SSK and Jaguar E-Types used as race cars and not as static art pieces? I loved to see those cars overtaking everything, covered in dirt and exhaust gasses, with chipped and scratched paint.
The last leg of the tour covered the distance between Parma and Brescia, passing through Monza and Bergamo. in the first part, we followed the classic car convoy on fast country roads, where the Porsches 356s and 550s were in their element: they just overtook everybody and disappeared.
Museum pieces like the Carrera Panamericana 550 Spyder driven by non other than Matthias Müller, the CEO of Porsche, and an ultra-valuable Ferrari 250 TR “Testarossa” left our modern Alfa Romeo MiTo QV in the dust!
The route entered the city of Monza, the home of one of the oldest race tracks in the world. Surprisingly, 2015 is the first time that the Mille Miglia passed through this place. To me and to other many other local enthusiasts, the Monza circuit represents home. Witnessing such a spectacle in this track was completely awesome: the paddock was filled with Mille Miglia cars—which, yes, ended up racing on the fast, old, and iconic circuit!
It represented the last bit of competition in the Mille Miglia, and the winners were chosen there: Juan Tonconogy and Guillermo Berisso, in a 1927 Bugatti T40.
After the start on the old red line of the track, the cars made a lap on the old parabolica, just like in the old days. After doing so, they proceeded to the next destination, Bergamo. Photographer Francesco and I took our time there, enjoyed all the cars, and we left after the track was empty. We left after we realized we were terribly late to witness the formal arrival of the cars in Brescia. Even if we’re late, we did have advantages: the roads of the Mille Miglia were empty and we were able to stretch the MiTo’s legs a bit more.
Passing through the final roads along the route, participants were gifted with local salame (salami). This included us as we were passing quite fast through the checkpoints!
We then arrived in Brescia, all the cars were parked in the town center, cooling down like their owners. It’s a well-deserved rest after 4 days of racing. And so it ended, and was a wonderful experience I can only recommend that everyone tries at least once. I have never seen more than 400 of these iconic machines all together—dirty and still warm. With the smell of gas still in our noses, the rumble of these cars in our heads, and a huge smile on our faces, we leave Brescia for home.
This coverage was made possible thanks to Alfa Romeo and FCA Group for providing the “Petromobile”, Scuderia Sports Zagato for offering Petrolicious the privilege of racing in the Mille Miglia, Federico Bajetti for the amazing photos, Chopard for sponsoring the articles, Enrico Di Taranto, the driver of the 1100, Colpani Motori for the technical support during the breakdowns, the Rimini municipality for the wine and the Gussago for the salame. Last but not least, all our readers and Petrolisti who supported us during the Mille Miglia. Thank you!