Celebrity chef and car aficionado James Martin has entered his latest addition to his car collection, a stunning Maserati A6GCS, in this year's Mille Miglia race.

James, who acquired and painstakingly restored his 1948 A6GCS (one of only 15 ever built) just a few months ago, headed off to Italy on Sunday in a new Maserati GranTurismo. He was accompanied by a TV crew who will be filming him and his co-driver Sarah Bennett-Baggs, herself a racing driver and team manager, for a one-off documentary which will be aired later this year.

The Mille Miglia starts today at 19:30 from Brescia, Italy and will finish on Saturday at 22:30 again in Brescia. A total of 10 Maseratis, including James Martin's A6GCS featuring race number 161, will be competing in the 2008 edition of the "world's greatest road race".

Maserati A6GCS, 1 of 3
Maserati A6GCS, 2 of 3
Maserati A6GCS, 3 of 3