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A Tribute to the Targa

This year, an extravaganza in Sicily marked 116 years since the first Targa Florio took place, and once more Ferraris assembled to pay tribute to the iconic race through the mountains
Words: Tim Bradley

It may be 45 years since the final Targa Florio, the infamous race across Sicily that had previously taken place each year since 1906, but that hasn’t spelled the end of Ferrari’s love affair with the event. 


For several decades, high-powered open top racing cars like the V12-powered Ferrari 166 S tore through routes of three laps and 446km that would often quickly jump from just above sea level to thousands of feet up, causing regular changes in weather and a need for unprecedented levels of driving skill. 

The three-day route took in over 500km, through mountain passes and deep forests, starting and finishing in the Sicilian capital city of Palermo

The brave racers took on treacherous mountain roads with hairpin bends at speeds that were frightening for the time. By the time the race was finally cancelled after being labelled ‘insane’, the average speed around the course had jumped to over 120km/h. 

Once again, this year a Ferrari tribute to the Targa took place in the Sicilian capital of Palermo, with Prancing Horses from all around assembling for three days of driving to mark the end of the festivities. 

Stunning Ferraris from across the globe came together to get a taste of the long-running and notorious Targa Florio, including timed trials and circuits of original track

Over the three legs, drivers enjoyed timed trials and average speed trials, their overall journey starting and finishing in Palermo and navigating a total distance of 567km around Sicily – with each car’s crew including a driver and a navigator. 

An incredible array of Ferrari models and drivers from all over the globe took part, with gleaming examples including a Monza SP2, an SF90 Stradale, several 812 Superfast cars and a classic F355 GTS.

Some of the incredible models in an array of colours included an F355, an F12tdf, a Monza SP2 and some SF90 Stradale

In a stream of vivid colour and to the stirring soundtrack of naturally aspirated engines, the procession wound through picturesque towns and villages including Villarosa, Caltavuturo and Marianopoli.


While the speeds involved may not have quite matched the likes of Juan Manuel Fangio who took part in the Targa Florio back in the day, the spirit of the race certainly lives on.