1000 Miglia 2022 - 10 things to know about the Red Arrow

Having now become a matter of custom, given its great popularity, the 1000 Miglia returns to Italian roads from 15 to 18 June, a period slightly later than the usual one in May, but favorable for tourism and weather conditions. Four stages that will lead the more than 400 participating cars (in addition to those of the 1000 Miglia Green and the Ferrari Triibute) from Brescia to Rome and back, through the most beautiful places in the country. Here are some curiosities about one of the events, yesterday as today, among the most anticipated of the year.

The first. The 1000 Miglia was born in 1927, on the initiative of the so-called “four musketeers”: Giovanni Canestrini, Franco Mazzotti, Aymo Maggi and Renzo Castagneto. The latter, director of the Automobile Club of Brescia, is the soul of the organization of the race that crosses most of Italy, on dusty roads, 1,600 kilometers long. A thousand miles, in fact.

The charm. The race, which from Brescia leads to Rome and back, was not the first in Italy at the time: there were already, for example, the Targa Florio and the Italian Grand Prix (which this year celebrates a century of life). However, the 1000 Miglia has a unique feature: it crosses the country and the villages, making sure that people see the racing cars whizzing from the front door, from the balconies, into the squares. A unique pleasure, for those who drive and those who watch, still alive today.

The first. At 8 am on March 26, 1927, the first car to take off was the Isotta Fraschini of Aymo Maggi and Bindo Maserati: however, they will not be the first to cross the finish line. After a whole night of racing, challenging the dust and bad weather, Nando Minoja and Giuseppe Morandi will triumph at the finish line in Brescia with an OM 665 Superba. It took them 21 hours, 4 minutes and 48 seconds to complete the route, traveling at an average of 77.238 km / h. Keep this data in mind.

The record. In 1955, in fact, Stirling Moss set the record of the 1000 Miglia which remained forever undefeated, with the Mercedes 300 SLR number 722 (the numbers indicated the departure time of the car, 7 and 22) shared with the journalist Denis Jenkinson (who he read the “notes” of the path written on a roll of paper). The English champion won the race in 10 hours, 7 minutes and 48 seconds, at the average speed of 157,650 km / h. A crazy record, considering the roads of the time, which no one has been able to overcome.

Power. A few years ago, Stirling Moss told Quattroruote that, after the end of the race and the celebrations, he had taken the wheel of a Mercedes again to go, with his wife, to Stuttgart, without ever sleeping. And that he had taken, in that circumstance, “some pills” of which he did not know the contents, which had kept him awake. Doping ante litteram? After all, there weren’t any checks.

The numbers. Who has won the most editions of the 1000 Miglia di speed, held until 1957? Among the car manufacturers, Alfa Romeo with eleven overall successes, ahead of Ferrari with eight and Mercedes with two. Alfa achieved, among other things, seven consecutive triumphs (between 1932 and ’38); the Ferrari, six (between ’48 and ’53). Among the pilots, the king is Clemente Biondetti, with four wins; Tazio Nuvolari, Giuseppe Campari, Carlo Maria Pintacuda and Giannino Marzotto each obtained two.

The end. After the tragedy of ’57, in which Alfonso de Portago, his codriver Edmund Nelson and nine spectators (five of whom were children) lost their lives in Guidizzolo (MN), the 1000 Miglia was transformed for three editions into a mixed regularity race and speed, according to a regulation similar to that of rallies, losing much of its charm. The great epic of the “most beautiful race in the world”, also known as “the red arrow” for the symbol that distinguished it, seemed to be at sunset.

The new beginning. To let such an important competition for collective memory fall into thin air would have been a crime. Thus, in 1982, on the initiative of a group of enthusiasts, including the industrialist Beppe Lucchini, the competition was reborn, with the formula of regularity for historic cars. 300 cars are already taking part in the first edition; at the beginning, the event is organized every two years, but from 1987 the commemoration becomes annual. With an increasing success, the event sees the participation of VIPs, famous drivers and official cars of the car manufacturers, who take them out of museums.

The boss of the stopwatch. Recordman of victories in the 1000 Miglia regularity is the Bolognese Giuliano Canè, for a long time unbeatable in this specialty, always paired with his wife Lucia Galliani and always at the wheel of BMW, from 507 to 328. Competitors must respect the Code of road, showing up in time at the time controls according to their schedule and facing special stages in which the advance or delay on the time set is measured in hundredths of a second. This value is then multiplied by a coefficient that takes into account the age (therefore, the driving difficulty) of the car. Canè has always been considered a sort of living chronometer, due to the precision of his passages.

It is tinged with green. The 1000 Miglia Green has also been held since 2019, a regularity race in an eco version reserved for alternative fuel vehicles. The first edition was limited to a distance of 250 kilometers and saw the success of the regulators Gianmaria Aghem and Rossella Conti with a Tesla Model 3 Performance. From 2020, the competition will be held, on the other hand, on exactly the same route as for historic cars, always with the formula of regularity. Quattroruote will also participate in the 2022 edition of the 1000 Miglia Green with four cars, brought to the race by the journalists of the monthly as evidence of the interest in new forms of mobility: it is an Audi Q4 e-tron, a BMW i4 40, a Mercedes EQE 350+ and a Porsche Taycan Cross Turismo Turbo S.

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