Fiat Group Automobiles takes part in the ‘Mille Miglia 2008’
Fiat Group Automobiles is entering its brands Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo in a historical re-enactment entitled ‘Mille Miglia 2008', assuming the role of joint presenting sponsor. The ‘finest race in the world' – as Enzo Ferrari famously termed it - will set off in Brescia on 15 May and return to the same city on 17 May, after crossing Italy and taking in the historical centres of the some of the most lovely towns in Italy.
The race may be picturesque, but it is also demanding: the official Fiat team – made up of Giuliano Bensi and Paolo Monferino (CEO of Iveco) – will take part in the regularity race over 1600 km aboard a Fiat 8V dating from 1954, a sports saloon with independent suspension powered by an V8 engine with a capacity of nearly two litres. Mario Rigotti and Alfredo Altavilla (CEO of Fiat PowerTrain) make up the official Lancia team that will drive a magnificent Aurelia Gran Turismo B20 from 1957 equipped with a powerful 2451 cc V6- 60° engine capable of 112 bhp at 5000 rpm. Four of these Aurelia cars, a perfect blend of elegance and sportiness, made their debut at the Mille Miglia race in 1951, where they were driven by very famous drivers: Bracco, Valenzano, ‘Ippocampo' and Grolla. It is worth mentioning that Bracco won in the 2000 cc category and came second overall.
A substantial Alfa Romeo contingent will take part in the event with the official ‘Automobilismo Storico Alfa Romeo' team driving some extraordinary cars provided by the Museum. This year marks the eightieth anniversary of Alfa Romeo's first victory in the classic race that starts in Brescia: back in 1928, the team of Campari – Ramponi aboard a 6C 1500 SS embarked on an unequalled run of victories in the Mille Miglia race (11 trophies won from 1928 to 1947). A similar car - with the many times champion Luciano Viario at the wheel - will naturally be the spearhead of the team. Indeed, the 6C 1500 SS won not only in 1928, but also in two re-enactment races (2005 and 2007) before going on to take first place in the Argentine Mille Millas race in 2007.
The glamorous Mille Miglia 2008 event will also feature the 6C 1750 Gran Sport that was first to cross the line of the ‘Freccia Rossa' in 1930 with Nuvolari at the wheel. Great curiosity will also be roused by another three Alfa Romeo cars that are due to take part in the 2008 historical re-enactment: an Alfa 1900 Sport Spider (1954), an Alfa 2000 Sportiva (1954) and an Alfa 1900 Super Sprint (1955). The Alfa Romeo Automobilismo Storico team will also include a 6C 2300 ‘1OOO Miglia' dating from 1938, representing the Alfa Romeo Italian Registry, and a 6C 1750 Gran Sport (1931) driven by the team of Scalise – Claramunt, members of the newly-created Scuderia Alfa Romeo Argentina.
The cars of inestimable value that have been responsible for writing some of the finest pages of international motoring history will be joined in the event by the brand new Lancia Delta that may be wwwired on the road for the first time. Ahead of the official launch date set for June this year, an example of the new Delta will be made available to the Secretary General Sandro Binelli, who will follow the entire event. A procession of new Fiat 500 cars will also precede the valuable historic cars at the various stages of the race, entertaining the crowds of fans who line the squares and roads to see the ‘Mille Miglia' go past.
The 371 participating teams – which have been described as ‘the most prestigious travelling museum in the world' – are due to meet on 15 May at the Mille Miglia Paddock in the Fiera di Brescia. This is an area devoted to sporting events where the Joint Presenting Sponsors will be able to stage their campaigns. Here it will be possible to wwwire the gorgeous Alfa 8C Spider, an open-topped car derived from the Alfa 8C Competizione and due to be produced in a limited edition of 500 cars. It will also be possible to book one of the 11 Alfa Spider Mille Miglia cars, an extremely limited special series to mark Alfa Romeo's 11 victories in this prestigious race: Each vehicle is equipped with a silver plate bearing details of one of the victories won by Alfa Romeo between 1928 and 1947. Distinguished by the exclusive body colour ‘Rosso 8C' and a ‘Quadrifoglio' logo on the wing, the Alfa Spider Mille Miglia cars boast special interiors trimmed with black leather with red top-stitching and are equipped with the mighty 260 bhp3.2 V6 units and the Electronic Q2 system.
Still in the Mille Miglia Paddock at the Fiera di Brescia, it will be possible to wwwire and book a truly individual car: the ‘500 Abarth Assetto Corse', the Abarth baby supersports car that is to be produced in a Limited Edition (49 cars) – and will star in the track competitions from next year, perpetuating the evergreen legend of its famous forerunner, the ‘595 Abarth', a car created by Fiat and engineered by the mechanical genius of Karl Abarth. In the exhibition area, the public will also be able to wwwire a historical ‘595 Abarth' and the new ‘500 Abarth' that is due to go on sale from next July.