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Thursday, 5 January 2012

an unknown gem in the Italian classic car racing panorama

Do you want to try something really different? the Bergamo Historic Grand Prix is the answer. I am not a recurring participant yet (I first joined this incredible event only in 2010), I unfortunately missed the 2011 edition, but I still have those days in my mind as it was yesterday and they will hardly blow away. The Bergamo Historic Grand Prix (BHGP) is a proper racing event, not the usual - boring  - parade of ancient supercars. And, on top of everything else, it is run in Bergamo old town, all around the historic wall of the city in an unbelievable scenario. BHGP is a recurring event and it will take place again in May 2012: some of the most important Gentlemen drivers from all over the World are confirming their presence for the 2012 edition which is going to be memorable. They are coming over in this tiny, medieval location in northern Italy with a tangible, increasing enthusiasm to race their pre-1970, sometimes multi-million cars and enjoy the unique taste of a GP that - as Simone, the organizer, loves to say - "would still be part of the F1 World Championship  today, as it was back in 1935, if only it was not just a couple of yards shorter than the minimum lenght required by the F1 Regulation". Well, fair enough: I am pretty sure the crowd who attends the historical GP would in large majority not prefer to watch modern F1 cars rather than the spectacular Lister, XK 120 OTS, Lotus 11, Porsche 904, Ferrari Daytona (ex Steve Mc Queen) that were shown in most of the Editions. If you read Italian, take anyway a look at the romantic history of the GP, from its glorious time to the years of silence, until the exhausts came back in Bergamo in 2004.

When I raced there in 2010, I brought my Jag E Type V12 and, gosh, that was hard, that was an experience! Gentlemen drivers are not there to sit on their... hands; they are definitely willing to test the performance of their jewels. So much that I had to constantly look around during the 2 manches to avoid blocking or slowing down a former F1 car or a Lancia Stratos ex-Works! any fear to damage by mistake those milestones of the automotive history? oh, yes-sir.

My personal best-in-show, just in case you want to know, was the fantastic, perfectly restored, Healey Silverstone owned by Mr. Gagliotto: never seen a better one in my life.

Finally, please let me say that the spirit of the event is inspired by fun, friendship, passion. You can feel that drivers want to show off their skills a bit, ok, but there it is most of all an extremely pleasant chance to meet up with passionate people from all over the Globe, talk about cars, and enjoy time altogether.

If you are considering to join the GP on May 27, 2012, maybe you'll be convinced either by the interactive contents of the BHGP Home Page, or by the pics and videos posted on the official BHGP Facebook Page that I am managing along with the organizers. I can't wait to be back in Bergamo!

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