It’s May 16, a Monday afternoon and I’ve just got back from the GP de Monaco Historique.
I don’t even have time to read my emails before I get a call from Jacopo and Federico (my friends at EscapeonWheels.com) who propose me to follow the Mille Miglia for two days along with them: chasing the most beautiful road race in the world... I obviously accept right away!
I arrive in Brescia on Wednesday afternoon and I immediately head toward piazza Vittoria, where many of the 450 cars were lined up waiting for the "punzonatura" and technical check. The atmosphere is the one of a beautiful Italian city with the downtown streets crowded with masterpieces on four wheels and ready for what is an exceptional reenactment of the historic race.
I take this opportunity to meet the two teams who participated in the Mille Miglia using The Outlierman driving gloves: the first one, team 114, composed by Silvia Marini and Saskia Stoeckelmann on board a 1936 Riley 12/4 Sprite. The two drivers, who won in the end the Coppa delle Dame 2016 arriving first among ladies teams, are wearing The Heritage Cobalt + Taupe gloves.
The second team is number 127, composed by Giuseppe Boscarino together with our friend Enrico Renaldini, on board a 1938 Fiat 1100 [508 C] MM Berlinetta. For the occasion the two drivers are wearing The Heritage gloves in rope and Crimson lambskin, therefore matching the red of their car.
The day is also marked by the delivery of race numbers: these round stickers that are applied to all participating cars are one of the historical symbols of this race!
On Thursday morning the awakening is not one of the best. The rain decides to be the protagonist of the start and pours down on the city of Brescia with such an intensity which I believe allowed us to appreciate even more the spirit and passion of the attending Gentlemen drivers, who patiently waited for the start of the race with the cars arranged in perfect order, many holding umbrellas on board their Spiders, ready to live this magnificent race as soon as the starting signal would have appeared: the flight of the frecce tricolore in the sky kicked off the show!
We prepare for this chase on board our car as well: me with my Jaguar F-Type, Federico and Jacopo on board a beautiful Alfa Romeo 4C Spyder.
Following the race is really a great excitment. Throughout the entire way, despite the bad weather, many people were waiting to cheer the cars passing along with their drivers. This really makes you understand that it’s not by accident that the Mille Miglia is called "the most beautiful road race in the world".
Roads and landscapes which are covered during the Mille Miglia are something really unique, and that’s why this magnificent race can only take place in Italy. There is no other place that combines tradition and culture in such a perfect way and the cities of Ferrara and Ravenna, where cars have passed also with a parade in the main squares, can only confirm that.
At 11:30 pm, along with the EscapeOnWheels crew and after many kilometers as well as many emotions, we arrive in Rimini.
On Friday morning the race begins at 8:15 am for the first teams. The ultimate goal of the day is Rome, where we will arrive after a stop in San Marino and Recanati. A magnificent path despite the first part of the day which is always affected by rain.
For this second day of the race I choose to complete my outfit with the new gloves The Heritage Olive combined with a pocket square from The Gentleman Driver collection. They seem suitable for the atmosphere and bucolic landscapes that await us in Marche, a region that offers new paths and new enthusiasts on the way ready to cheer the race.
Suddenly the most exciting moment of the day: with my Jaguar I reach a group composed exclusively by Jaguar XK120! During each overtaking, while leaving the way to other Gentlemen Drivers, I notice and exchange gesture of mutual appreciation for our respective cars... we're all sharing the same passion.
In the afternoon the race starts again toward Rome via Civitanova Marche, the last stage of my chase, where I witness a triumphant reception of the cars. One of the scenes that I will surely remember is that of a group of Mercedes 300 SL Gullwing, all with open wings: real motor poetry!
The Mille Miglia to me is adrenalin, atmosphere and great solidarity among drivers. These two days of race confirmed what the real beauty and greatness of this world, this passion, are the people who live it, arrived from all over the world to be part of a truly exceptional event.
And we, as true Gentlemen, were obviously there!
Andrea Mazzuca, Founder.
Photos: Federico Bajetti for The Outlierman; Andrea Mazzuca