crankandpiston’s intrepid reporter on the Mille Miglia finds the going tough as competitors on day two hit Rome via San Marino. And yes, it’s still raining.[Not a valid template]
“Dude, I am wiped.”
For those of you curious to know why the name on our Mille Miglia coverage has changed mid-event, hopefully this email quote will explain the situation. crankandpiston’s own James Davison has been on the 2013 Mille Miglia from the start, sharing driving duties in a brand new F-TYPE S. And so far things have been going pretty well, intermittent dousings from Mother Nature aside.
The Italian enthusiasm is unparalleled, mighty roars going up as each and every historic model hoons past on the 1485km run. Day two saw the fleet take on the near-450km route from the overnight stop in Ferrara to Rome, via (among others) Lugo, Citta Di Castello, Foligno and Terni. Typical Italian vistas meant the view was breathtaking, but also proved quite tricky for many competitors. Indeed, the steep climbs on the outskirts of San Marino – a city forever linked with the late great Aryton Senna – took their toll on these pre and post war classic machines.
The #1 1930 665 SS of German duo Marcus Brennecke and Wolff Schmiegel found the going particularly tough, forced as they were to stop and let their O.M. engine cool down. A tributary rally it may be, but competitors are fully aware that they are in a race. To make life even harder, penalty points are dolled out to cars for each minute or fraction of a minute they arrive earlier or later than their established target times.
Let’s put that into perspective: across stages that cover hundreds of kilometres, during which the average speed cannot exceed 50kph, drivers can be docked points should they arrive just a couple of seconds early or late. We’re talking incredible precise stuff here. Consequently, losing half an hour on the slopes in the Republic of San Marino can prove critical come the end of the rally, even if it does save the car. Currently, the lead stands with Argentinian Juan Tonconogy in the #49 1927 Bugatti T40 after 35 stages, just ahead of Italian Giordano Mozzi and American Mark Gessler in the #73 1933 Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 Gran Sport.
The only real issue for Jaguar’s F-Type S was the rain, which has been doing its best to flood proceedings since the get-go. Indeed, the Ponte degli Angelipart bridge in Vicenza was considered a high risk location on day one, thanks to the flooding of the Bacchigione river and the surrounding area.
One of the most awe-inspiring sights though was on the streets of Rome. Though the first of the Mille Miglia competitors didn’t cross the finish line on day two until after 8.30pm, each was well up for a procession through Rome’s city streets before a standout crowd. Once again, the rain didn’t seem to quell the audience’s enthusiasm.
And James? Well, so far he’s snapped the last competitors to arrive on day one well after 1am, and been awake to wave off the first cars just before 8am on day two, and let’s not forget several hours behind the wheel of the F-Type S. So, he’s already pretty knackered. Caffeine and nicotine have stopped working, and mild hallucinations on the ‘mad, lovely, bizarre, alternate reality’ that is the Mille Miglia mean he’s decided to skip his report for today for fear of one or two hideously embarrassing spelling mistakes, and decided to send detailed notes instead.
Don’t worry. Red Bull reserves are on the way, and we’re sure our boy will be back in action tomorrow.