The Coppa Milano-Sanremo Rally 2011 was held 11-13, March in Italy, starting at Monza’s Autodromo Nazionale racetrack and ending at Via Monte Napoleone in Milan. The Coppa Milano-Sanremo was the ninth annual historical running of the competition born in 1906. The FIA/C.S.A.I. calendar classic regularity rally is organized by MAC Group and supported by the Automobile Club of Milan.
The Coppa Milano-Sanremo Rally 2011 saw the team of Giovanni Moceri and Rossella Labate repeating their success of last year, taking first place in a 1928 Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 Super Sport. In second place came Fabio Salvinelli and Maurizio De Marco with a 1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport, while Giordano Mozzi and Stefania Biacca climbed to the third step of the podium, competing with a 1939 Lancia Aprilia.
Winning the Ferrari Gran Tour Milano-Sanremo, a new side event for the ninth running, was the crew formed by Gino Verghini and Lamberto Fuso, competing with a 1992 Ferrari 512 TR.
The ‘Coppa delle Dame’ (Ladies’ Cup) was won by the crew formed by Francesca Grimaldi and Laura Confalonieri, in a 1964 Porsche 356 C/1600.
“I’m delighted with the success achieved by the event that we organized, especially in occasion of so significant an anniversary as that of 150 years of Italian Unification: the event attracted 150 crews from 12 countries to celebrate this important anniversary with us,” explained Sandro Binelli, President of MAC Group.
Coppa Milano-Sanremo Rally 2011 Rally Report – Over the course of three days, 150 crews vied in a regularity rally covering almost 800 kilometres through the regions of Lombardy, the Piedmont, and Liguria.
For its ninth staging, this CSAI calendar regularity rally gave particular attention to the sportier side of the event; the route was redesigned in a circular path with 39 timed tests and 19 time controls.
The first day of the event, Friday March 11th, took place mostly within Monza’s Autodromo Nazionale racetrack, where participants registered for the rally, submitted their cars to technical inspections, and revved into laps around the track. Later, in the early afternoon, the cars moved in procession for the traditional inaugural parade in the direction of Piazza del Duomo, where they parked on display until the official start of the rally. There, in the heart of Milan, the organizers staged an open-air exhibition of ‘150 Years of Mobility in Italy,’ offering automotive enthusiasts and simple passers-by the opportunity to admire various means of transport which made mobility history, from the bicycle of the Bersaglieri (Italian light infantrymen) to vehicles of the latest generation, like electric cars, accompanied by descriptive panels explaining the key transitions that brought about evolutions in transport in over a century and a half of history.
The drivers’ skills were immediately put to the test in timed tests on the Ottobiano track and then in the Citadel of Alessandria, one of the most important and remarkable examples of Italian military architecture from the 1700s, in all of Europe.
As an official tribute to the 150th anniversary of the Unification of Italy, Coppa Milano-Sanremo Rally 2011 set Turin as the finish line for its first leg to celebrate the city symbolic of the official proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy, as well as the Kingdom’s first capital from 1861 to 1865. The evocative, night-time arrival in the district of Lingotto occurred around 10 PM, with a large audience lining the barriers all up and down Via Roma that cheered the classic cars and modern Ferraris registered for the Ferrari Gran Tour Milano-Sanremo.
The following day, in the early morning, participants got back behind the wheel for the Coppa’s second leg, turning toward Sanremo for the rounding of the mark: the cars travelled the panoramic mountain pass of Colle San Bartolomeo and Colle d’Oggia to arrive at the City of Flowers, where the crews stopped for lunch. But the engines only just had the time to cool off before the crews returned to their drivers’ seats to finish the second leg along the ancient consular road of Via Aurelia, in the direction of Genoa. The participants travelled almost the entire western Riviera of the Ligurian coast along the seaside road, surmounting the many promontories that form the region’s coastal profile. The rain didn’t stop a large audience from gathering to watch the vehicles’ arrival in the ‘Superba’, where the cars were once again presented to the public along a runway specifically prepared in the city’s heart at Piazza De Ferrari.
The third and final leg of the Coppa Milano-Sanremo Rally 2011 regularity rally covered the distance between Genoa and Milan, crossing the Ligurian-Piedmont Apennines through the Passo dei Giovi mountain pass and travelling the panoramic route through the locality of Montessoro, which connects Isola del Cantone to Gremiasco. Then it was straight up to Milan, where the cars concluded the rally with their arrival in Via Monte Napoleone.
Coppa Milano-Sanremo Rally 2011 Entrants – The 9th historical running of the Coppa Milano-Sanremo and the Ferrari Gran Tour Milano-Sanremo boasted a total of 150 registered crews, coming from 12 countries: besides Italy, which was represented by 63 crews, the other countries included Russia (with 12 crews), Switzerland (10), Germany (5), Holland (4), France (3), Latvia (3), Belgium (1), Luxemburg (1), Spain (1), Sweden (1), the UK (1), and the USA (1).
Among the most important models, besides the car that won first place overall (that is, the 1928 Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 Super Sport, driven by the Moceri-Labate couple), were: 1953 OSCA MT4; 1925 Alfa Romeo RL Super Sport; 1926 Bugatti Type 37; 1930 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 Gran Sport; 1933 Aston Martin Le Mans Special; 1936 Bentley 4.25; 1953 Fiat 8V; 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300SL; 1933 Lagonda Team Car; among others.
Also worth noting were the 1957 Alfa Romeo 1900 Super TI of the Italian State Police and the rare 1953 Lada Moskvich 401 from the Retro Auto Museum of Moscow.
Coppa Milano-Sanremo Rally 2011 – Photo Gallery (click image for larger picture and description)
[Source: MAC Group]