Journal: What’s the World’s Greatest Road Race?

What’s the World’s Greatest Road Race?

Michael Banovsky By Michael Banovsky
May 8, 2015
14 comments

If you own a classic, there’s no shortage of places to drive it. The reborn Mille Miglia is this week, the Tour de France Automobile was a few weeks ago, there’s the Copperstate, Targa Newfoundland…

But that’s now. In period, what was the world’s best road race?

The one I would have liked to have seen in period was the Carrera Panamericana, the border-to-border race that ran just five years for 1950-1954, and was widely regarded as one of the most dangerous races ever held. Calling it a “road race” is a bit generous as well, as the pavement and conditions faced by competitors is best described as “adverse”.

In the five years the race was held, drivers faced all sorts of issues—including, for one Mercedes-Benz 300 SL team, a vulture striking their car’s windshield. That was the 1952 race and, yes, its drivers Karl Kling and Herman Lang still won the race.

Which old open road race would you want to watch, given a time machine? With a time machine and access to a race car, which race would you enter? 

Image Sources: wikipedia.org, hemmings.comwikimedia.org

Join the Conversation
Related

Leave a Reply

Willam Giltzow
Willam Giltzow

To participate, surely the Targa Florio, most any year or car. I am so jealous of Toly….To watch, I was near enough and failed to go to a Can Am at Bridgehampton. I did get to drive the Bridge a lot at least.

Derelict
Derelict

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.

Ludwig Marx
Ludwig Marx

Trento-Bondone

Benjamin Pette
Benjamin Pette

I was at Magny-Cours to see the Tour de France Automobile ([url=”http://newsdanciennes.com/tag/tour-auto/”]pictures here[/url]) last month. It’s really a good race, even on track.
Everyone that see the car on the road love it.

But for me, it’s the Targa Florio that is the best, mainly because the car used in the race where real prototype, the same that raced at Le Mans.

pat cullinane
pat cullinane

some of the sites and sounds of Targa Tasmania 2015!

Patrick Peters
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

https://vimeo.com/51504539

Evan Bedford
Evan Bedford

Here’s another older film (I think) version. Faster bike and crazier rider, though.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OmCYy3gXBIw

Patrick Peters
Patrick Peters

Wauw… Joey on the Honda, that is shure is faster… did you see the movie Road already? mostly about Robert and Joey Dunlop
Thanks Evan

Dennis White
Dennis White

Tough choice, Le Mans in the early 60’s with guys like Phil Hill and Olivier Gendebien hauling monster Testarossa’s around, or the Mille Miglia in the early 30’s with guys like Nuvolari and Varsi eschewing their brakes in turns with their great Alfa’s.

Evan Bedford
Evan Bedford

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

(Actually, I have to agree with Pietro that the Isle of Man TT is the best)

James Ross
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.

Pietro Lo Fria
Pietro Lo Fria

If we’re talking about Road Racing, then it has to be the Isle of Man, even though I’m a Targo Florio/Mille Miglia fan myself. The Isle of Man is just quintessential.

Francois Bozonnet
Francois Bozonnet

sweden rally or new zealand rally in 1986. the first one with a Lancia delta S4 and the second on in the 205 turbo 16. there were great rally, hard, long enough and these cars were so powerfull…and for the magical moment, tour de corse 1983 in a Ferrari 308 gr IV, just to believe that i am JC ANDRUET!!!!
i also remember one of the video about the Coupe des Alpes in the 50’s or 60’s, racing one in an old 356 or MG A, could be really fun.

Matthew Lange
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 312Pb 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 312Pb and rival Alfa T33 were basically F1 cars with sportscar bodywork and to see those completing on public roads is extraordinary.