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Mille Miglia

From Academic Kids

The Mille Miglia (Thousand miles) was an open-road endurance race which took place in Italy twenty-four times from 1927 to 1957. Thirteen before the war and eleven from 1947.

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BorzacchiniCampariNuvolari.jpg
Borzacchini, Campari and Nuvolari. Each a winner of the Mille Miglia

The race was established by the young Contes Aymo Maggi and Franco Mazzotti, apparently in response to their home-town of Brescia 'losing' the Italian Grand Prix. Together with a group of wealthy associates a race from Brescia to Rome and back was chosen, a figure-of-eight of roughly 1,600 km - a thousand miles. Later races followed twelve other courses. The first race was on March 26-27, 1927 with around seventy-five starters - all Italian. The winner completed the course in just under 21 hours, 5 minutes.

The race was stopped by Mussolini after an accident in 1938 killed a number of spectators.

Stirling Moss set the course record in 1955 in under 10 hours, 8 minutes, driving a Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR roadster. Moss and navigator Denis Jenkinson ran a reconnaissance lap beforehand, and Jenkins made course notes on a scroll of paper 15 feet long that he read from and shouted directions to Moss during the race.

After a fatal crash in 1957 that took the lives of two drivers and eleven spectators, the race was banned.

The MM made Gran Turismo (Grand Touring) sports cars like Ferrari and Porsche famous.

Since 1977, the name was revived as the Mille Miglia Storico, a parade for pre-1957 cars.

Mille Miglia winners

See also: List of major automobile races in Italy

External links

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