Monday, 4 June 2018

Mille Miglia 2018

Our 1951 Ermini.  More info on Ermini here.
This car took part in the original Speed version of MM, in 1952 and 1953
and so has automatic entry to today's time trial version of the MM
Posted on 10 May 2018:
Ok, so here we are. I can't find anywhere else to put photos and posts about our first outing at the Mille Miglia, to start next week in Brescia (16-19 May), so I'm going to put it here, as at the least this is a blog about a car trip.
And how about that?  It's seven years, no less, since we did our cross Africa trip.
Goodness me.
As Groucho said:
Time flies like an arrow
Fruit flies like a banana

[PS: this is a "pinned post" meaning it will always be on top; until June 4]

LATER (22 May): Quick description of the Mille Miglia, below the fold.  (more on the MM website here).
LATERER (28 May): Well it seems that I've allowed this to morph into an Italian Road trip.  Oh well, so be it... As the Italians would say perche non?
EVEN LATERER STILL (6 June):  Back in Hong Kong and jet-lagged.  Explanation to why this is called "Cape to Cairo" is that I've just piggy-backed on this earlier blog I did in 2011 for our road trip across Africa.  And great trip that was too!  So, this time it's May/June 2018 starting with Gordie and my go at the Mille Miglia, which took place 16-19 May.  The first posts are 12 May 2018.
You can either click on the Label "Mille Miglia 2018" on the above right, which will filter all the MM posts, or just start at 12 May, which you can get to via the "Blog Archive".  Basically, it's all the posts in 2018.
Then I ended up adding photos of the road trip we did from Brescia/Milan down to Sicily and back to Milan, with John and Jing joining in that.
And, reminder, below the fold is a quick description of the Mille Miglia, and how it works.
The original Mille Miglia was a 1000 mile race run, until 1957, from Brescia to Brescia, via Rome, and various other towns in between.  Until 1957 it was a straight out speed race.  The quickest to the finish.  Roads were closed to normal traffic.  Sterling Moss won the race in 1955, in a Mercedes-Benz sports, at an *average* speed of 100 mph = 160km, which is an incredible, almost unimaginable feat given the state of the roads: pretty bad now, and worse then.  He hit a top speed of 290 kph.
Then in 1957 there was a horrible accident. One of the cars became airborne, lost control and ploughed into the crowd, killing 15 and injuring dozens.  So the race was abandoned in years thereafter.
In 1976 (iirc) it was re-instituted as a regulation time trial race.  This means cars are on open roads, sharing with normal traffic.  You are supposed to obey all the normal road rules.[*]  Then they inserts some "regulation time trials", in which you have to cover certain short sections in a certain time, and you have to be exact to the second, not faster, not slower.  They also have "average speed" sections, where you have to keep an average speed of, say, 42kph, for, say, 8km.  They also have overall times for each section, each day and overall, which you have to hit accurately.  After all this, it's the car with the best overall performance, with the maximum points, calculated by a complex formula, which wins.
We were never in danger of troubling the judges, because of break-downs, and in any case.
We were happy simply to finish, given that of the seven cars in our group -- cars rented from Pietro Tenconi of Milan -- three did not finish, for cause of blown engine, broken clutch and one crash.

*LATER: we were "supposed to" follow the road rules. But in Italy, nah, this didn't happen. The police themselves helped us to cross double yellow lines, to run red lights, to speed past 50kph signs in little villages.  And even without the cops, everyone of the MM cars ignored the road rules. It was like MM cars were invulnerable..... We all noted that, had it been in the UK, or Australia, the cops would've been onto us like flies on s...   . But in Italy, they just love the MM so much they let us cars do whatever we wanted.  Kewl....