The 2014 Mille Miglia will be held 15-18 May on the historic secondary roads of Italy, running from Brescia to Rome and then back again. Next year’s race will see more than 400 historical automobiles celebrating the legendary Mille Miglia endurance road race and the beautiful Italian way of living.
Several changes will be implemented for the 32nd annual retrospective, aimed at enhancing the race and offering new adventures for the competitors to see and enjoy. The most notable difference between previous editions is that the 2014 Mille Miglia will last one day longer, with the last leg of the journey back to Brescia taking place on Sunday morning instead of the traditional late Saturday night finish.
Marco Makaus, Co-CEO of 1000 Miglia Srl (the company wholly owned by the Brescia Automobile Club that since 2013 organizes the race), commented on the extra day, “There will be four days of driving instead of three, to avoid very long driving days and the arrival at night on the Saturday. The cars will stop in Bologna, one of the cradles of Italian automotive engineering, on the Saturday. The event will continue on Sunday morning and drive through Modena, Reggio Emilia, Mantova and Brescia. This will ensure a less tiring — and therefore safer — race for the drivers.”
On Thursday evening, the cars will leave as usual from Brescia and make their way to Vicenza. From there, they will head North to Marostica and Bassano del Grappa, then on to Padova and Thermae Abano Montegrotto for a night’s rest.
Makaus continued, “The Veneto region was always enthusiastic about the Mille Miglia. In 2014 we will pay homage to these enchanting places and to the pre-1933 races which partly took place on these roads. It was high time to return and reward the local administrations who unceasingly asked for the Mille Miglia to come back to their territory.”
On the morning of Friday, 16th May they will head south to San Marino and then, unlike in previous years, not head inland but continue to Riccione and follow the Adriatic highway south to Loreto. Then on to L’Aquila, a city badly hit by an earthquake in 2009, in a gesture of solidarity with the local population which still suffers from the effects of this catastrophe. In 1997 the Red Arrow crossed Umbria, which had suffered a similar fate, whilst in 2013 the route passed through Emilia Romagna in a gesture of solidarity with the people of another region hit by a heavy earthquake.
The second day on the road will come to a close in the heart of Rome. On Saturday, 17th May the cars will take the traditional route northwards to Ronciglione, Viterbo, Radicofani and Siena – places inextricably linked with the Mille Miglia and beloved of participants and spectators alike. Then eastwards to Volterra, Lucca and Pisa before heading over the Futa Pass and Raticosa Pass and down to Bologna, where the crews will take a well-earned rest in the city centre.
On the morning of Sunday, 18th May the cars will leave on an unprecedented fourth leg of the journey. Driving through Modena, Reggio Emilia and then on to Mantova, the birthplace of Tazio Nuvolari, they will cross the finishing line in Brescia just before lunch and receive their awards in the afternoon.
As far as the technical aspects go, the number of time trials will go up to 74. Furthermore, after more than ten years, the average-speed navigation trials will return to the Mille Miglia. Six such trials — requiring the competitor to cruise at a constant speed — will be a feature of the race in 2014. This exercise is common outside Italy and, according to Makaus, “aims to allow teams from other parts of Europe to score a higher number of points as a contribution to fostering the climate of healthy competition and international sporting friendship which was always a distinctive hallmark of the Mille Miglia.”
Makaus also expressed 1000 Miglia Srl’s interest in dedicating more and more attention to the original vehicles that competed in Mille Miglia historical editions from 1927 to 1957. These outstanding cars will undergo certification, verifying that they have taken part in one of the historical editions.
Registration for the 2014 Mille Miglia is now open. For more information or to register, visit 1000miglia.it.
[Source: Mille Miglia; photos: Julien Mahiels]