Historic Roads Circuits: Targa Florio

Historic Roads Circuits: Targa Florio

Having watched the recently launched Ferrari film, it got me thinking about the great Italian pure road races of the 20th Century.

One race particularly piqued my curiosity, the Targa Florio.

First ran in 1906, one year before the TT Races arrived, the event was the brainchild of petrolhead Vincenzo Florio Jr.

117 years ago, the challenge that awaited drivers was demanding, uncompromising, mesmerising to say the least.

The first circuit to host the Targa Florio was 92 miles long!

First outright meeting winner was Itala pilot Allessandro Cogno.

Over the next six decades, icons, legends a plenty descended upon the Sicilian based event.

To name but a few this included Sir Stirling Moss, Peter Collins, Luigi Musso, Piero Taruffi.

Jo Bonnier, Wolfgang Von Trips, Lorenzo Bandini, and Tazio Nuvolari.

The last Targa Florio took place in 1977 with final event conquerors been Raffaele Restivo and Alfonso Merendino.

Nowadays, the nearest to real roads, street racing meets in Italy are Hill Climbs, national and European Championship affiliated.

One can only wonder what it would have been like, participating, marshalling, spectating at an event like the Targa Florio.

As with all road races, watching on-board laps is one thing, watching on TV is one thing.

But when you watch the racing up close, you truly think, wow, wow, and wow!

Words by Stevie Rial #dontletfearcontrolyou

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