Alfa Romeo Sauber Formula One drivers Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc joined the charismatic Italian marque in the recent Mille Miglia as it celebrated the 90th anniversary of its maiden victory in the world-famous road race.
Run from 1927 to 1957, the Mille Miglia covered 1000 miles from Brescia to Rome and back. Whilst it’s famous for Sir Stirling Moss’s record-breaking run for Mercedes in 1955, Italian marques Alfa Romeo, Lancia and Ferrari traditionally dominated the event.
The list of Mille Miglia winners reads like a who’s who of early 20th century motorsport, with Tazio Nuvolari, Rudolf Caracciola and Alberto Ascari all gracing the roll of honour.
It took just one year for Alfa Romeo to enter Mille Miglia history, and its 1928 victory with Giuseppe Campari and Giulio Ramponi was the first of 11 triumphs, more than any other marque.
Whilst the event’s days as a major sporting event ended with a tragic incident in 1957, it was revived in the 1980s as a road rally event for cars from the event’s golden era.
The 2018 running was a record-breaking edition with 450 teams competing, including F1 racers Ericsson and Leclerc, who are keeping the Alfa Romeo name alive in motorsport with the newly-rebranded Sauber team. They drove a 1932 Gran Premio Tip B and a 1955 750 Competizione on the event.
The highlight of Alfa Romeo’s participation in the 2018 event was undoubtedly having three cars filling the coveted top three places. The famous marque was at the very heart of the event as both automotive sponsor and as the winner of the top prizes on Viale Venezia in Brescia. The overall winner was the 1933 Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 GS Testa Fissa crewed by Argentinian pairing Juan Tonconogy and Barbara Ruffini.
The runner-up was a stunning 6C 1500 Super Sport dating from 1928, the year of the marque’s first victory, with coachwork by Stabilimenti Farina. It’s an official car from the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) Heritage collection, which is normally on display at the Museo Storico Alfa Romeo. The car, driven by previous Mille Miglia, Targa Florio and Coppa d’Oro delle winner Dolomiti Giovanni Moceri, was navigated by Daniele Bonetti. It carried the race number 30, which was borne by Campari and Ramponi’s 1928 winner.
Third place was taken by an Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 SS Zagato driven by Vesco-Guerini. All of the Alfa Romeo cars entered by FCA Heritage finished in very creditable positions, and all concluded the 36th historic re-evocation of the Mille Miglia by completing the traditional Brescia-Rome-Brescia course.
The 2018 edition has definitely earned a place in Alfa Romeo’s history, and the “Alfa Romeo: the Mille Miglia in 90 places” project has just been launched to trace the most significant stages of the brand’s history at the Mille Miglia.
For more information about the Museo Storico Alfa Romeo, visit www.museoalfaromeo.com