Our Mille Miglia
19 - 22 • 05 • 2016

Our Mille Miglia

The taste of victory was that of Prosecco 52, our Superiore di Valdobbiadene D.O.C.G., with which the winners celebrated their success, and satisfaction was stamped on the tired and drawn – but happy – faces of Alessandro and Sebastiano Marzotto, of Ivan Capelli and Steven Slater (and, with them, those of all the other crews in the Santa Margherita Team) at the end of almost 1,600 kilometers of hard-fought competition along the historic route of the Mille Miglia.

It is difficult – indeed almost impossible - to summarize in just a few lines what remains uppermost in our minds about the 2016 edition of what Enzo Ferrari called “the most beautiful race in the world”, other than to rely on numbers and images.

The numbers are those that regard our Team, which presented itself with five historic automobiles at the start in Brescia (four Lancias – two Aurelia B20s and an Aurelia B24 Spider, as well as a 1928 Lambda – and a “Gullwing” Mercedes in the capable hands of former Formula 1 driver Ivan Capelli). There were also another ten cars or so offering support to the cars in the race and their co-drivers (who substituted the main drivers from time to time along the itinerary) and two minivans with, on board, journalists, photographers and bloggers who told the story of our Mille Miglia in real time.

This, then, was a squad made up of lots of people and lots of vehicles, permanently in contact with one another thanks to Visirun, the satellite connection that kept the Team together even when it was “scattered” over hundreds of kilometers of the race circuit.

The images are those sculpted in our memories: our team’s start under the pouring rain in Brescia, when all of the drivers were wary about grinding their gears in front of thousands of cheering spectators; the cars’ entrance into the historic centers of the various towns and cities (Ravenna in the rain, San Marino shrouded in fog; Roma splendid at dusk; Siena with the dazzling light of Piazza del Campo…); the enthusiastic smiles of thousands of children; and the tears of emotion of lots of over-70s, who were reliving the epic deeds of the fast, noisy and dangerous Mille Miglias that took place immediately after the Second World War…

Then there was the long race along the length of Italy, crossing the Apennines, or plunging into the depths of the Orcia Valley in bloom...

And what was the reward for all this effort? Returning to the dais in Viale Venezia in Brescia to pick up one’s medal; receiving one’s “special race edition” magnum of Prosecco 52, our prize for all the competitors who succeeded in getting back to Brescia; having one’s final photos taken by the journalists and other enthusiasts; and receiving their last rounds of applause before finding oneself alone once again with one’s car, ready to face next year’s Mille Miglia…

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