Unbowed by the COVID-19 pandemic, “the most beautiful race in the world” endured in 2020, with proud support from Deutsche Bank Wealth Management as Global Lead Partner.
On October 22, in the heart of Northern Italy, 356 classic and vintage cars gathered to compete in one of motorsport’s most historic races: the 1000 Miglia. Over four days, these four-wheeled flying machines raced from Brescia to Rome and back, traversing some of Italy’s most breathtaking cities and landscapes.
Skimming along the edge of Lake Garda, winding through the hills of Tuscany and meandering through the streets of Siena and Parma, this eye-catching motorcade brought joy to a passionate public once again. Just as it did for the first time nearly a century ago.
Between 1927 and 1957, the 1000 Miglia took place 24 times – earning a reputation as one of the most dangerous and prestigious races in the world. Icons of the era including Alberto Ascari, Sterling Moss and Juan Manuel Fangio were all drawn to its unique challenges. Enzo Ferrari called it “the most beautiful race in the world.”
In 1977, the race was reborn with competition limited to cars produced no later than 1957. And so it has been ever since. With a reputation for excellence, a respect for history and the ability to adapt in challenging times, this remarkable event has a strong affinity with Deutsche Bank Wealth Management.
Rising to the challenge of a global pandemic
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, the race organisers were determined that the event should take place in 2020. The race was moved to the autumn, having been initially scheduled for May (as in previous years). And a balance was struck to manage the cheering crowds that usually line the route, with a livestream on the 1000 Miglia website keeping fans close to the action.
Thousands of masks were handed out – and thousands of temperatures were taken – for those who attended the races in person. Indeed, nothing was spared when it came to ensuring the safety of drivers and spectators. As Franco Gussalli Beretta, the President of 1000 Miglia, reiterated, “The Mille Miglia has always been an important business card for Italy and all the countries we pass through. We want to show that – taking all the necessary precautions – it is possible to move forward and look to the future."
From Brescia to Rome…
The 38th edition of the 1000 Miglia began, as ever, in Brescia. The racers set off early, passing through Mantua and heading towards Ferrara where the first cars crossed the line at 10:00pm. After the first day, a 1929 Lancia Lambda Spider Casaro, driven by Sergio Sisti and Anna Gualandi, led the way. In second position came Roberto and Andrea Vesco in their 1929 Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 SS Zagato. And in third, a 1927 Lambda Spider Casaro VII Series crewed by Gianmario Fontanella and Anna Maria Covelli.
At 6:10am on the second day, a thick fog hung over the start line at Cervia-Milano Marittima. The drivers were greeted by the sun in San Marino and continued through Urbino beneath clear skies. Lunch was taken in Fabriano before the race continued through Macerata, Montotto and Amatrice. They reached Rome in the evening, with Roberto and Andrea Vesco having taken the lead in their Alfa Romeo.
… and back again
The third stage of the race began at 6:30am in a rain-drenched Rome with Aldo Bonomi, President of ACI Brescia, commenting that it was “the longest stage of the route, passing once again through many beautiful cities in our country” and stating his hope that “our passage can be an important showcase for the places involved and a symbol of that restart that we all desire.”
The dark, wet conditions demanded every ounce of skill from the drivers – and at the end of the third day’s racing, Roberto and Andrea Vesco’s Alfa Romeo was still the car to beat.
On the morning of the fourth and final day, 300 cars remained in the race. Beneath sunnier skies, the convoy passed through Parma and reached the Varano de' Melegari circuit for a battery of special stages. Lunch was taken in Treviglio, then on to Bergamo and finally the Viale Venezia in Brescia. Unshakeable for most of the race, the Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 SS Zagato of the father and son team, Roberto and Andrea Vesco, crossed the line first for a well-deserved victory.
There at the beginning, there at the end
In the days leading up to the race, all the drivers were welcomed to a hospitality area in the paddock, hosted and created by the Deutsche Bank Wealth Management events team with support from our Art, Culture & Sports department.
Here the drivers and their crews enjoyed refreshments and admired the cars while each one was scrutinised to ensure it met the race’s strict entry criteria. After four days of exhilarating racing, everyone gathered here again to receive their trophies.
Reflecting on this truly unique race, Nicola West, Head of Events and Partnerships for Deutsche Bank’s International Private Bank said that “being associated with an event that unites so many people and creates a shared sense of joy – especially after such a challenging year – is an incredible privilege.”
1000 Miglia 2021 will take place between Wednesday, May 12, and Saturday, May 15. Deutsche Bank Wealth Management is proud to be Global Lead Partner once again.