Mille Miglia 2018: the Alfa Romeo legend continues to inspire
The 36th edition of the iconic race coincides with the90th anniversary of the first of the 11 victories Alfa Romeo recorded from 1927 to 1957: a record which will now never be beaten.
The occasion will be marked on 19 May, when the race will pay a celebratory visit to Milan and to the Museo Storico Alfa Romeo at Arese, where time trials will be held on the internal circuit.
On 19 May, drivers Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc from the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 team currently taking part in the 2018 Formula 1 championship will also be present.
Renovated in 2015, today the Arese location is the heart of a "brand centre" which brings together the past, present and future of the Italian brand.
From 19 May to December 2018, the Museum will host the "11 volte campione" [11 times champion"] exhibition, which celebrates these sporting exploits, engraved in the memories of fans all over the world.
Competing in this year's race will be several wonderful classic Alfa Romeo cars from the FCA Heritage collection: from the 6C 1500 SS to the 6C 1750 GS, and from the 1900 SS to the 1900 Sport Spider.
30 Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio models will be in service as official cars for the 2018 Mille Miglia.
The scene is now set for the unique thrills provided every year by the historic re-evocation of the Mille Miglia, the legendary competition described as the "most beautiful race in the world". Held for the 36th time this year, the race will be run over the traditional Brescia-Rome-Brescia route and will star Alfa Romeo both as Automotive Sponsor and as "guest of honour", as this year marks the 90th anniversary of its first victory in the legendary race, held from 1927 to 1957.
In fact, it was on 1 April 1928 that Giuseppe Campari and Giulio Ramponi recorded victory with the 6C 1500 Super Sport, one of Vittorio Jano's masterpieces, unbeatable thanks to its revolutionary mechanical design, including a fixed head and a supercharged engine. The extraordinary car covered the 1,618 km course at a remarkable average speed of 84 km/h, to obtain the first of Alfa Romeo's 11 victories, 7 of them in consecutive years, from 1932 to 1938: a record which can now never be beaten.
To re-create all the atmosphere of these epic feats achieved by daring men on the dusty roads of the past, from 19 May the Museo Storico Alfa Romeo at Arese (Milan) will be hosting the "11 volte campione" [11 times champion] exhibition. The exhibition, which will remain open until December 2018, will be open to visitors every day from 10 am to 6 pm (closed on Tuesdays). And on 19 May, for the first time its history the Arese site will be welcoming a stage of the Mille Miglia, enabling the cars taking part to compete in time trials on the museum's internal track. Alfa Romeo owners and fans will be able to attend the event: for that day only, the museum entry ticket will also include access to the outdoor area and the circuit, as well as an exhibition of historic cars associated with the Mille Miglia, organised by the Italian Alfa Romeo Register. To make way for the cars participating in the event, on Saturday 19 May visitors will be able to use an external car park on viale Luraghi, which will be connected by a shuttle service throughout the day. For information www.museoalfaromeo.com
. A free shuttle service will also be in operation between the museum and Rho-Fiera railway station, terminus of the MM1 underground line, from 8 am to 6 pm.
Inaugurated on 24 June 2015, the fascinating Museo Storico Alfa Romeo - known as "The Time Machine" - is the heart of a real "brand centre", created by a major upgrading project by architect Benedetto Camerana, which brings together the brand's past, present and future. As well as the area displaying the key models from the Alfa Romeo historic collection, the site is buzzing and vibrant, with the Archive, the internal circuit, the events spaces, the Alfa Romeo Café and the show-room with delivery area.
On 19 May, drivers Marcus Ericsson and Charles Leclerc from the Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team currently taking part in the 2018 Formula 1 championship will also be present. Their participation is a tangible sign of how indelibly the racing world is engraved in the Alfa Romeo DNA.
Marcus Ericsson: "I am very happy that I will be taking part in the Mille Miglia. It is such an iconic event and it will be a special experience for me to attend it for the first time. Representing Alfa Romeo at this kind of event is something I am very proud of, and I look forward to seeing all of the historical cars there and why not driving one historical Alfa Romeo."
Charles Leclerc: "It is a great honour for me to participate in an event as historical as the Mille Miglia. I have a huge passion for cars, and especially for historical cars, and will very much enjoy to see some of them at this event. It will be fun to drive the Stelvio Quadrifoglio through the city of Milan on this special occasion and also an historical Alfa Romeo."
Therefore, the celebratory visit to the Museo Storico Alfa Romeo at Arese is a fitting tribute to the Italian brand which has done more than any other to fix the Brescia classic in the collective imagination. Taking part in the event this year will be several magnificent historic Alfa Romeo cars - 6C 1500 SS, 6C 1750 GS, 1900 SS and 1900 Sport Spider models - normally exhibited at the Museum from the collection of FCA Heritage, the Group department dedicated to protecting and promoting the historical heritage of FCA's Italian brands.
To conclude, alongside these rarities will be a fleet of 30 Giulia and Stelvio cars which the brand will make available to the organisers as the official vehicles for the 2018 Mille Miglia. There could be no finer proof of the strength of the bond that links the cars of the past to those being built today. Travelling on board these models is an original way of experiencing the race and at the same time discovering the Alfa Romeo racing legend, even more exciting in Stelvio Quadrifoglio or Giulia Quadrifoglio, the finest expression of the new Alfa Romeo generation and adorned with the mythical badge awarded to the Italian brand's highest-performing cars ever since 1923.
The new Fiat Professional communication campaign is on air. The international platform focuses on the importance of turning to the expertise and reliability of vehicles designed by professionals for professionals for work in a funny, ironic way
For launching the new communication platform which will be on air from May in major countries across the EMEA Region on TV, digital, radio and posters, Fiat Professional has chosen to go beyond the concept of testimonial to embrace an ironic style and illustrate the difference between an amateur and a professional approach through surreal and funny examples using an original tone of voice. The format of the new campaign hints to an extremely popular language which is as popular as ever on traditional TV channels and on the web alike becoming a sort of "genre 2.0" - that of comical fails. More often than not, these home videos depict clumsy blunders in simple daily activities and tasks that culminate in epic disasters with funny results.
The new international campaign plays on the topic of contrasts by showing plausible situations which could be brilliantly solved by the vehicles of the Fiat Professional line-up and which on the contrary have cringeworthy results when attempted relying solely on improvised ingenuity and makeshift solutions. For instance, the visuals show absurd job methods with exhilarating results and objects and materials precariously loaded on unsuitable vehicles opposed to an overview of the complete range that expresses the values of the Fiat Professional brand - in short expertise, reliability, determination, dynamism and customer-centred focus.
The nature of the different approaches is underlined by simple and effective captions - Unpro for the ham-fisted attempts and Pro like you for the effective ones. The wording is brief but capable of reasserting the importance of choosing the right support for the successful outcome of any job. This is why Fiat Professional is the best partner for professionals who demand quality vehicles and services. They can get behind the wheel of the commercial vehicle most suited to their needs by taking advantage of "made to measure" financing services and rental solutions and then benefit from the most widespread aftersales service network in Italy, with over 1800 service centres nationwide.
Abarth 124 rally wins the Targa Florio Rally and the Rally Islas Canarias
Young driver Cristopher Lucchesi (ITA) scored his third win in the Italian R-GT Championship in Targa Florio In Italy.
Spanish driver Alberto Monarri was first in the R-GT category in the Rally Islas Canarias in Spain.
Excellent fifth place in the overall ranking for Florin Tincescu (ROM) in Transylvania Rally which is a round of the Romanian Championship.
Two more wins for German driver Lirim Zendeli in Hockenheim in the ADAC F4 Championship powered by Abarth.
It was another exciting weekend for the Abarth 124 rally Selenia International Challenge. Scoring two new wins in the important rallies held last weekend in Italy and Spain, the Abarth 124 rally is proving itself once again at the car to beat in the R-GT category.
The famous Targa Florio, the third event of the Italian Championship, took place in Italy. Cristopher Lucchesi, in team with Marco Pollicino (ITA), won the R-GT category at the wheel of his Bernini Rally team Abarth 124 rally. It was the third win in three races for the young Italian. The race was a hard one and the variable weather was a challenge for even the most expert drivers. "It was my first Targa Florio and I can confirm say that it was as tough as it is famed to be", said Lucchesi after crossing the finish line. "I was very happy with the behaviour of my 124 rally. I used the controls on the steering wheel to adjust traction delivery and engine power quickly and continuously making the car perfect for my driving style and extremely efficient in the extremely variable conditions".
Category win for SMC Junior Motorsport Spanish team mates Alberto Monarri and Rodrigo Sanjuán in the Rally Islas Canarias, which is famously one of the toughest challenges of the Spanish Tarmac Rally Championship. After winning in Sierra Morena, Monarri scored again in the R-GT category and has the Rally Villa De Adeje next weekend in Tenerife in his sights. "We showed to be competitive also on a race as long and tough as this", Monarri declared after the race. "We dominated the GT category without problems and the future of the championship appears very promising".
Florin Tincescu (ROM) and Alina Pop (ROM) came fifth in the overall ranking of the Romanian Championship with their Bernini Rally team Abarth 124 rally scoring a result of outstanding absolute level in the Transylvania Rally. Tincescu missed the success in the R-GT category by a hair's breadth but was still very satisfied at the end of the race. "The duel with my fellow countryman Alexandru Pitigoi in the R-GT category propelled us both up in the overall ranking. My fifth spot speaks volumes. I am extremely pleased with the car that in such a competitive championship has proven to be one to beat. We are looking forward to the next event for a new challenge".
In the ADAC F4 Championship powered by Abarth on the Hockenheim racing track, German driver Lirim Zendeli consolidated his scoreboard leadership winning two of the three races. The third one went to Austrian driver Mick Wishofer. The next appointment with the Tatuus one-seaters propelled by Abarth T-Jet engines will be on May 19 and 20 on the Lausitzring circuit in Germany.
The two millionth Fiat 500 was made at the Tychy Plant in Poland today.
The iconic Fiat is sold in over 100 countries worldwide and 80% of sales are outside Italy, making it the most global Fiat model.
The 500 is market leader in nine European countries and in the top three in seven more. In its eleventh year and with nearly 60,000 units sold in Europe during the first quarter of 2018, Fiat 500 has just scored its best quarter ever.
The two millionth Fiat 500 was made at the Tychy Plant in Poland today. It is a Fiat 500C Collezione, sporting an exclusive two-tone white and grey Primavera livery and powered by a sparkling TwinAir Turbo 85 HP engine. It will be sold in Italy. The new special series celebrates the timeless style and design of 500, its famed iconic status and its ever-fashionable personality with new colour and material combinations and a cool and stylish spirit. It comes packed with exciting standard equipment, such as 16-inch rims, chrome-plated accents, a grey/white/grey beauty line and the cursive "Collezione" badge on the tailgate.
The production of the two millionth car is a proud new milestone in a remarkable success story. The great little iconic Fiat is sold in over 100 countries worldwide. Over 80 percent of sales are outside Italy and for five years it has been the bestseller in Europe in its segment*, with a market share of 14.6% at the end of 2017. Furthermore, in its eleventh year, nearly 60,000 units were sold in Europe during the third quarter of 2018 - an all-time record for the current 500. Again, during the first quarter of 2018, the 500 was the market leader in nine countries (UK, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Portugal, Austria, Hungary, Croatia and Slovenia) and was in the top three in seven others (Italy, Germany, France, Sweden, Slovakia, Romania and Bulgaria).
The 30 special editions launched over the past 11 years, counting both Fiat and Abarth, are one of the secrets of the uninterrupted success of the Fiat 500. Fiat 500 has always been a trendsetter that while remaining true to itself has been re-interpreted over time in an array of special editions created to explore unusual territories for a city-car, from fashion and luxury yachts to connectivity. The new Fiat 500 Collezione special edition, which nods to the fashion world, follows in the steps of the limited editions - the 500-60esimo and the Anniversario - released last year to celebrate its first 60 years.
The 500 was first introduced in 1957 and over six million cars have the sold since then. These key numbers sum up its strength in the collective imagination as well as on the automotive scene. Throughout, it has remained relevant to various generations of motorists. It is the emblem of mass motorisation and a product of real social relevance. Not by chance, a car from the F series of 500, made in the years from 1965 to 1972, which was the most popular version ever, was inducted in the permanent collection at MoMA, the famous Modern Art Museum of New York.
Production of the iconic Fiat started in Tychy in 2007 when the new model was introduced. It was also the first city car in the world to be named Car of the Year - the result of its very high manufacturing levels - that same year. With more than 200,000 units made a year, counting both Fiat and Abarth, today the Polish plant is one of the most advanced FCA factories in the world. It was one of the first to receive a World Class Manufacturing Gold certification.
Abarth racing, the challenge continues next weekend
In Spain, the SMC Junior Motorsport team in the Rallye Villa de Adeje with the Abarth 124 rally of Alberto Monarri (SP) and Rodrigo Sanjuán (SP).
In France, the Abarth Selenia Trophy and the Italian F4 Championship powered by Abarth on the Le Castellet circuit.
Another weekend of major international events for Abarth: in Spain, the SMC Junior Motorsport team, with Alberto Monarri (SP) and Rodrigo Sanjuàn (SP), defends its leadership of the R-GT category in the Rally Villa de Adeje, held on the island of Tenerife, while the drivers of the Abarth Selenia Trophy and the Italian F4 Championship powered by Abarth will be competing on the Le Castellet circuit in France on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 May.
The Rallye Villa de Adeje, a Spanish Tarmac Rally Championship event held on the island of Tenerife (SP), involving the Madrid-based SMC Junior Motorsport team with the crew of Alberto Monarri (SP) and Rodrigo Sanjuàn (SP) in an Abarth 124 rally.
In the two previous races the Spanish team was victorious in the R-GT category, and its aim is to finish first again at this event.
The race on the island of Tenerife involves two gruelling stages: the first starts from Adeje at 5 pm on Friday 11 May and ends late the same evening, at around 11.30 pm. The second, concluding section of the race starts at 9 am on Saturday 12 May and ends at 5.30 pm. Overall, there are 14 special test stages, with a total of 154.54 km of time trials out of a course of 462 km.
In France there is eager expectation ahead of the Abarth Selenia Trophy's return to the Le Castellet circuit, which the championship last visited in 2014. Italian, Finnish, Swedish and French drivers will fight it out at the wheel of Abarth 695 Assetto Corse Evoluzione cars on one of Europe's most spectacular tracks. Italian Cosimo Barberini, who won the Trophy's two opening races held at Imola, will be challenged by his fellow-countryman Andrea Mabellini, Finnish driver Juuso Pajuranta and Robin Appelqvist from Sweden.
In the Abarth 500 Assetto Corse category, the battle for the top spot is between very young Under 18 drivers Filippo Lazzaroni (ITA) and Aurora Coria (ITA).
Competing as a guest at this Abarth Selenia Trophy event will be Frenchman Nicolas Ciamin, an up-and-coming rally driver currently involved full time in the French Rally Championship, driving the Milano Racing team's Abarth 124. For Ciamin, just 20 years old and a participant in the French Federation's scheme for young rally drivers, this will mark his return to circuit racing after 2 years away. Ciamin stated: "Getting back on the track is always exciting, and taking to the circuit in an Abarth racing car is an even greater thrill. I can't wait to try the 695 Assetto Corse Evoluzione and pit my skills against its finest drivers; it's going to be an adrenalin-packed weekend!".
The Le Castellet circuit will also host the second event in the Italian F4 Championship powered by Abarth, with 31 fledgling drivers, representing 17 countries, at the wheel of the Tatuus single-seaters propelled by the Abarth T-Jet engine.
The overall standings are headed by Brazilian Enzo Fittipaldi, who recorded two wins in the first race, on the Adria circuit, with Leonardo Lorandi in second place.
There is a dual schedule on the French circuit
Abarth Selenia Trophy
Saturday 12 May - qualifying practice at 1.40 pm and Superpole session at 2.10 pm
Sunday 13 May - race one at 9 am (broadcast live on Sportitalia TV) and race two at 1.30 pm (broadcast on Sportitalia TV at 5 pm)
Italian F4 Championship powered by Abarth
Saturday 12 May - qualifying practice at 9 am and 9.25 am and race one at 2.50 pm (broadcast on Sportitalia TV at 5 pm)
Sunday 13 May - race two at 9.50 am (broadcast live on Sportitalia TV) and race three at 3.40 pm (broadcast on Sportitalia TV at 5.45 pm)
A parade of stars in the Alfa Romeo team at the 2018 Mille Miglia
From Brescia to Rome and back in 4 days, 1,743 km, 112 time trials and 6 average speed tests.
The official Alfa Romeo team includes Coldplay bass player Guy Berryman, singer Piero Pelù and racing driver Derek Hill.
The event will feature priceless Alfa Romeo cars from the FCA Heritage collection: from the 6C 1500 SS to the 6C 1750 GS, and from the 1900 SS to the 1900 Sport Spider.
With 47 cars taking part in the official team and privately, Alfa Romeo will be one of the most represented brands in the entire event.
The legendary race - to be run from 16 to 19 May - will feature the official Alfa Romeo team, made up of racing professionals and internationally famous artists, all united in the love of classic Alfa cars, including Coldplay bass player Guy Berryman, singer Piero Pelù and driver Derek Hill. A parade of stars which will bring even more excitement to the 36th edition of the "Mille Miglia", the historic re-enactement of the automotive race which many people, quite rightly, consider to be "the world's finest travelling museum".
The Alfa Romeo brand is once again a protagonist in the Brescia "classic event", both as Automotive Sponsor and as "guest of honour", as this year marks the 90th anniversary of its first victory in the legendary race, held from 1927 to 1957. And with 47 cars taking part in the official team and privately, Alfa Romeo will have one of the largest groups in the entire event, only surpassed by its sister brand Fiat, with 49 participants. The Alfa Romeo contingent is dominated by the four rarities - 6C 1500 SS, 6C 1750 GS, 1900 SS and 1900 Sport Spider models - made available by the Museo Storico Alfa Romeo at Arese (Milan), end which belong to the collection of FCA Heritage
, the department which protects and promotes the historical heritage of FCA's Italian brands.
All enthusiasts' eyes will be drawn to the splendid 1500 Super Sport from 1928, with coachwork by Stabilimenti Farina, which is celebrating the 90th anniversary of the model's memorable victory in the 1928 Mille Miglia. More recently, this car from the Museo Storico Alfa Romeo won the historic re-enactement of the Mille Miglia in 2005 and 2007.In the latter year, it was also victorious in the "1000 Millas Sport" in Argentina, a success it repeated in 2008. The marvellous 1928 6C 1500 Super Sport is equipped with a 6-cylinder, 1487 cc engine, which delivers a maximum of 76 HP at 4,800 rpm, reaching a top speed of 140 km/h. 31 of these cars were built between 1928 and 1929.
A curious fact: the car will be carrying the race number 30, also borne by its sister which gained the first Alfa Romeo victory in the Mille Miglia with Giuseppe Campari and Giulio Ramponi in 1928. This car will be driven in the race by Giovanni Moceri, current Italian Grandi Eventi ACI Sport Champion and with victories in Italy's biggest historic regularity competitions to his name, from the Mille Miglia to the Targa Florio and the Coppa d'Oro delle Dolomiti.
Also speeding along the roads of the 2018 Mille Miglia will be the 6C 1750 Gran Sport, the legendary model which Tazio Nuvolari and Giovanni Battista Guidotti drove to victory in 1930. As well as the "overtaking without lights" episode that has gone down in legend, this was also the race when Nuvolari achieved the unprecedented feat of averaging 100 km/h over the entire course. The stunning bodywork was created by Milan coachbuilder Zagato, and still inspires awe in all those lucky enough to see it today. At the wheel of this car will be Roberto Giolito, internationally famous automotive designer and currently Head of the FCA Heritage department.
The official Alfa Romeo team is completed by the 1954 1900 Sport Spider and a 1956 1900 Super Sprint. The former is an extremely rare racing spider - produced in just two units - equipped with the 4-cylinder twin-cam dry sump "1900" engine, with maximum power boosted to 138 HP, enabling it to reach a speed of 220 km/h, thanks to a weight of just 880 kg and particularly efficient aerodynamics. With its innovative Bertone design, the 1900 Sport Spider comes with a 5-speed transmission and a De Dion rear axle: performance and handling worthy of a modern car, responsive and reliable, with outstanding road-holding abilities. This wonderful car will be driven in the race by a celebrity team of Guy Berryman and Derek Hill. The former, a world-famous musician, is bass player of British group Coldplay, with sales of more than 80 million disks to its name. A passionate collector of classic cars, many of them Italian, Guy Berryman will take turns at the wheel of the 1900 Sport Spider with Derek Hill, professional racing driver and son of Phil Hill, whose victory in the 1961 Formula 1 championship with Ferrari made him the first American ever to win the title. A lover of classic cars, which he enjoys driving on both the road and the racing circuit, Derek Hill is Master of Ceremonies at Pebble Beach, the world's top concours d'elegance for classic cars, and has a special bond to Alfa Romeo, since he actually learnt to drive as a boy on a GTV belonging to his father. By an unusual historic coincidence, in 1979 Phil Hill himself endorsed the Alfa Romeo Mille Miglia Sprint Veloce, a limited edition car dedicated to the legendary race, built specifically for the United States market.
The quartet of official Alfa Romeo cars in the event is completed by the 1900 Super Sprint from 1956, an elegant coupé with Touring bodywork in a "gran tourism" version of the 1900, "the family car that wins races", to quote the advertising claim that made it famous in the 1950s. The 1900 SS is no newcomer to the Mille Miglia, since in the 1950s, when the competitive race was still being held, it was the car of choice of many gentlemen drivers, on account of its superb performance and reliability.
Last but not least, amongst the many Alfa Romeo cars being driven in the event by private collectors, special mention should be made of the 1955 Giulietta Sprint of Piero Pelù, the famous Florentine singer and musician who in 1980 was a founder of Litfiba, a milestone in the history of Italian rock. A lifelong Alfa enthusiast, Pelù takes part in the Mille Miglia as the guest of FCA Heritage. His car, recently meticulously restored, has received the Alfa Romeo Classiche "Certificate of Origin", the document containing the production specifications of the single chassis number, as contained in the constructor's own production records. The Italian singer will also have a star co-driver: his partner, top international orchestral conductor Gianna Fratta.