Eighty years after its birth, the Mille Miglia continues to grow. After its great success in 2009 (four million spectators along the roads, a suspense-filled race all the way to the finish line, world-wide media attention), this year’s race is at the starting line. The 2010 version will be full of new features, and entry requests have boomed, with over 1400 classic cars from all 6 continents applying to enter the race.
“We are really rather pleased. Entry requests have continued to go up in these last two years. We’re very proud to announce this.” says Alessandro Casali, president of the Organizing Committee of the Mille Miglia. But Sandro Binelli, the secretary general of the committee, feels that the most important thing is “the quality of the 375 cars which will be taking part in the Mille Miglia 2010. It is truly extraordinary. We are glad that our request for collectors to present a greater range of models was so widely accepted.”
The Mille Miglia 2010 will take place from May 6 to May 9. It will feature, among other exciting happenings, the Ferrari Tribute to the Mille Miglia. 130 splendid Ferraris—built from 1958 to the present—will lead the classic cars in the race down the roads of the route, making the race yet more spectacular. In 2010 there will be 505 cars on show, 375 classic cars in the race and 130 Ferraris before the race. This will add to the Mille Miglia’s appeal both to the general public and for world media.
The route has also been varied. Passages through Sirmione, Casal Maggiore and Manerbio have been added. A traditional stop from the past has returned, with lunch in Urbino and Buonconvento, along with the passage through the picturesque town of Spoleto. But the most important route news is the inclusion of Bologna in this year’s Mille Miglia, on May 6. “After offering participants the beauty of Ferrara, this year we will make Bologna the over-night stop at the end of the first leg.” explains Paolo Binelli. Why Bologna? “Because it is one of the places that the Mille Miglia speed race historically passed through. We would like to involve all the cities of past races, even if we have to alternate between them. We would like to tie the Mille Miglia strongly to its lands.” Also new are the time trials on the prestigious racetracks of Imola and Fiorano.
Along the route there will be three Mille Miglia Villages: in Brescia, Bologna and Rome, where the cars will parade in magical Castel Sant’Angelo on May 7.
Brescia as usual will preside over the event. To underline the deep ties between the city and the Mille Miglia, things will start with the Notte Bianca of the Mille Miglia, on April 30. The all-night festivities brought over 70,000 people into the piazzas of Brescia last year, in spite of the pouring rain.
From its first start in Brescia, the Mille Miglia now reaches out across the world, as a symbol of Italy. “We want to encourage this trend,” underlines Casali, “because as we spread the fame and the
passion of the Mille Miglia, it has become a trademark for Made in Italy excellence, and has been chosen as such by the government and the Italian Trace Commissioner’s Office (ICE).”
This year as well, the latest International Roadshow is off to a good start.
Last year’s Roadshow 2009 stopped in Munich, New York, Moscow, Johannesburg, Abu Dhabi, ending up in Sao Paolo in Brazil, where the Mille Miglia was the leading figure in an important mission for Sistema Italia, along with the Minister for Economic Development, the Minister for External Affairs, the Confindustria (Italian Confederation of Businesses and Industry) and the Italian Banking Association (ABI). “These are important occasions for promotion and international visibility for the Made in Italy theme,” explains Casali, “but they also help the world fall in love with the Mille Miglia race.”
This year, Zurich was chosen as the first stop (on April 21) on the tour. The roadshow then moves on to China—for the Expo 2010 in Shanghai, at the Italian Pavilion—followed by Frankfurt, and then in October, Argentina and the United States.
But the Mille Miglia is also an important rendezvous for the great of the industrial and entrepreneurial world, celebrities, sports stars, politicians, all drawn by the fascination of the world’s greatest road race.
This year’s Very Important Persons include Nick Mason, the drummer in Pink Floyd, Jason “Jay” Kay, the singer in Jamiro Quai, and Jim Gianopulos, Chairman of 20th Century Fox. The Italian Minister for Foreign Affairs, Franco Frattini, will honor the Mille Miglia with his presence, and among the Ferraris in the Ferrari Tribute to the Mille Miglia, will be Vincenzo Cremonini, C.E.O. of Cremonini Spa, and Ugo Gussalli Beretta, C.E.O. of Armi Beretta Spa.
The Mille Miglia is a testimonial to the essence of Italy. This is felt by all its appassionati, not just those who love classic cars, but also those who love our country and its atmosphere.
The route of the Mille Miglia is an occasion to get to know Italy better. To get a taste, experience, and enjoy some of the most picturesque areas that Italy has to offer, from the big cities to the tiny villages. It is a trip that brings together art, culture, foods and wines, and tradition, carried out at the time of year, late spring, which is ideal for enjoying the beauty of Italy.