“Viva l’Alfa Romeo!”: applause and passion in the piazzas of Italy
Yesterday evening, the third thrilling stage brought the grand parade from Roma to Bologna. A departure in a 1000 Miglia edition dominated by the Quadrifoglio clover logo. At 6.30 a.m Rome said farewell to the caravan pageant beneath a brightly shining sun. The Red Arrow paraded its way along the Grande Raccordo Anulare ring-road, where the traffic paused to admire the competing veterans and also the convoy of recently produced Alfa Romeos: what more exciting way to experience the brand’s DNA in close-up? Drenched in history and racing, embodying a legendary past filled with 1000 Miglia records.
Lake Vico: 507 metres above sea-level. The Quadrifoglio symbol’s range: 510 HP
The climb begins… and talking of records, the truly breathtaking drive around the shores of Lake Vico reminds us that this lake holds the record as the highest major lake in Italy: at just over 500 metres above sea-level. But the 1000 Miglia’s panorama is always changeable: the maritime pine trees and epic aura of the Eternal City give way to the Tuscia area of Upper Lazio, where pre-Roman settlements alternate with rolling green hills… and then the proud ancient centre of Viterbo rewards the drivers and their cars with warm affectionate applause.
From Bolsena Lake to Siena: savouring driving pleasures
The red and white flags of the 1000 Miglia pageant continue to wave in Radicofani, in the heart of Tuscany’s famed Val d’Orcia. The sun-blessed road winds slowly through a landscape of gently rolling hills: the ideal gift for those able to appreciate the peerless driving dynamics of the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Stelvio, or all the awesome power of the Quadrifoglio versions in the Alfa Romeo Racing limited edition: the most highly performing car ever created by Alfa Romeo for road use.
Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio, above all, combines the two apparently distant concepts of the SUV and the Sportscar. It boasts an AlfaTM Chassis Domain Control system and is the only one to include as standard the AlfaTM Active Torque Vectoring differential. The system simultaneously manages and assigns tasks to the various active systems, including the AlfaTM DNA Pro selector, the Q4 4-wheel drive, AlfaTM Active Torque Vectoring system, the AlfaTM Active Suspension system and the ESC. The Torque Vectoring technology optimises traction for the Stelvio Quadrifoglio and boosts its Sporting personality. The two electronically controlled gearboxes contained in the rear differential make it possible to separately control the torque on both wheels. As a result, power ground transmission is always optimal, even in extremely difficult driving conditions. This enables the car to be driven both safely and enjoyably, without having to resort to invasive use of the stability control system.
Vinci: the town and the genius
After a breathtakingly scenic lunch in Siena’s main square, where the group regathers for time-checks, the cars head for the town of Vinci: as a special gesture, the route of the 37th edition of the world’s most beautiful race being adapted in order to celebrate the ultimate Renaissance genius, on the 500th anniversary of his death. The ninth sector concluded in the thermal city of Montecatini Terme, where the first cars arrived shortly before 4 p.m. Everyone had been driving since dawn, and there are still 6 spectacular hours to go before Bologna. Off again to Pistoia and then Florence… reached by crossing the Arno on the Ponte alle Grazie bridge, before stopping in Piazza Santa Croce for the stamp control. Everywhere, the fans applaud, or lovingly pat the bonnets… or call for a burst of thunder from the V6 2.9 BiTurbo.
The sun sets, Alfa Romeo passion rises
The distance to Bologna is still formidable, and there are two historical mountain passes to climb and descend: the Futa and Raticosa Passes. It’s late, but the roadsides are still thronged with spectators, moved and excited by the flow of so many magnificent cars. Active spectators, they are: gesticulating and yelling their encouragement, miming the drivers’ gestures… gestures which after fifteen hours of driving have become an exercise in heroism: the drivers’ faces are taut and sunburnt, since most cars have no roof or sun-shade. But by now the sun is setting and the caravan is gliding on flat land towards Bologna’s Piazza Maggiore: at 9.30 p.m. the timeless race comes to a halt in the centre of mediaeval Bologna. As night falls in the heart of Emilia, land of passion for engines and beauty, the standings are headed by the Moceri-Bonetti duo, with Vesco-Guerini hot on their heels.