Passion

This year’s edition of the Ferrari Tribute 1000 Miglia, a 1000-mile tour across Italy, attracted a record number of models from the stable of the Prancing Horse
Words – Ben Pulman

Over the past few days a record number of Ferraris and their enthusiastic owners have taken part in the 2021 edition of the Ferrari Tribute 1000 Miglia.

A total of 112 registered crews participated in the event, which as always preceded the re-enacted Mille Miglia.
The recreated Mille Miglia – and the Ferrari Tribute 1000 Miglia – pay homage to the event that took place from 1927 until 1957 and earned the title of ‘the most beautiful race in the world’. Ferrari entered in 1948, just a year after the first Prancing Horse car was built – and won. And won again six more times until the race was cancelled when the speeds became too high for the public road.

Nonetheless, the idea of Mille Miglia continues to enthral and charm with its combination of great roads unfolding over northern Italy’s most stunning landscapes – and this is exactly the appeal of the Ferrari Tribute 1000 Miglia. Whereas the re-enacted event is open only to historic race cars, Ferrari welcomes all road-going models from the Prancing Horse. This year’s record entry featured a diverse mix, from a 1963 250 GT Berlinetta Lusso, through limited edition vehicles like the F40 and F50, to contemporary models such as the Roma and SF90 Stradale.
The event began on 16 June, in the beautiful setting of the Piazza Cappelletti, in the town of Desenzano, on the edge of Lake Garda. After a briefing by the Clerk of the Course inside the historic Alberti Theatre – which was inaugurated in 1815 – the drivers and co-drivers set forth on the first leg of their tour.

The cars passed through Cremona – famous for its violin and viola making in the 16th-18th century – and Parma, home of both parmesan cheese and parma ham. Then the Cisa Pass treated them to some spectacular driving, before it was on to Pisa and its famous tower, before dining that evening at the seaside resort of Marina di Pisa.

At that point, the competitive nature – and pinpoint accuracy – of the participants become clear. As always, the Tribute event is not about speed, but rather it is run as a regularity race, whereby the objective is to complete each segment of the course in a specified time at a specified average speed. At the end of the first day, the leading half dozen cars were covered by less than one second, and the first 100 of the 112 cars were within five seconds.
Day two took the Ferrari Tribute 1000 Miglia teams further south along the coast, to the historic fishing village of Castiglione Della Pescala and the start of pine forests that stretched on to the lunch stop in the town of Grosseto. Then it was Viterbo – the seat of the popes between 1257 and 1281 – and onto Rome.

This was as far south as the Ferrari Tribute 1000 Miglia went, but there was a change for 2021: the tour was reversed. For the first time the cars arrived in Rome from Tuscany, and would then go up again passing through Modena – and were thus resuming the anti-clockwise direction of many editions of the original Mille Miglia.
The start of the second half of the Ferrari Tribute 1000 Miglia underscored the authenticity of the event, with breakfast served from 4am and the first car departing at 5.35am. This leg took in hill-top tows like Orvieto and Cortona, before lunch in Montevarchi, right at edge of the famed Chianti region. The afternoon route headed over the fabulous Futa and Raticosa passes.

Then in was on to Bologna, and Modena. Here the 112 cars were given a special detour through the Museo Enzo Ferrari (MEF) before taking dinner at the Accademia Militare. This military university, located in the historic city centre, was the first of its kind when it opened in 1678.

The new route for 2021 took the 112 cars, for the first time, on three mountain passes: the Cisa on day one, and the Futa and Raticosa on the third day of the event

The fourth and final day passed Mantova, famous for being the hometown from which Romeo was banished in Shakespeare’s tragic love story. Verona, the setting for ‘Romeo and Juliet’ came next, then Lake Garda, before finishing in Brescia – just as the Mille Miglia always did.

The official prize-giving ceremony took place in the Museo Mille Miglia, and it was here that Alberto Ghelfi, Giordano Mozzi and their #584 Ferrari 488 Pista were declared the winners – by a scant margin of 4.737 seconds. Next came the #551 488 GTB of Fabio Vergamini and Anna Maria Fabrizi, and just 0.677 seconds back was the #508 Testarossa of Roberto Cerutti and Ruggero Zobbio. The rest of the field was equally tightly stacked, with 92 cars all finishing within one minute of the winners.

With the close of the event, we offer our congratulations to all of the participants who lived and breathed the spirit of the Mille Miglia, and already look forward to the next edition of the Ferrari Tribute 1000 Miglia.

The crew of Alberto Ghelfi and Giordano Mozzi, together with their #584 Ferrari 488 Pista, were declared the winners of the 2021 edition of the Ferrari Tribute 1000 Miglia