Mille Miglia Brescia Reviews
Oct 27, 2007
It was Enzo Ferrari who defined it "the world's greatest road race".
And he was right.
The Mille Miglia (Thousand Miles) was an open-road endurance race which took place in Italy twenty-four times from 1927 to 1957 (thirteen before the war, eleven from 1947).
The race was established by the young Contes Aymo Maggi and Franco Mazzotti, apparently in response to their home town of Brescia 'losing' the Italian Grand Prix to Monza. Together with a group of wealthy associates, they chose a race from Brescia to Rome and back, a figure-eight shaped course of roughly 1500 km - or a thousand Roman miles. Later races followed twelve other routes with varying total lengths.
The first race started on 26 March 1927 with around seventy-five starters - all Italian. The winner completed the course in just under 21 hours 5 minutes; local marque OM swept the top three places.
The race was banned after a fatal crash in 1957 that took the lives of driver Alfonso de Portago, his co-driver/navigator, and eleven spectators, at the village of Guidizzolo. The crash was probably caused by a blown tire. The manufacturer was blamed and sued for this, as was the Ferrari team, which did not change tires in order to save time.
From 1958 to 1961, the event resumed as a Rallying-like round trip at legal speeds with a few special stages driven at full speed, but this was discontinued also.
Since 1977, the name was revived as the Mille Miglia Storica, a parade for pre-1957 cars that takes several days during May, that starts from Brescia to Rome and back.
It also spawned the 2007 documentary film Mille Miglia - The Spirit of a Legend.
Part of the BRESCIA : My hometown travel blog
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