A long series of interconnected stories have made the Rally 1000 Miglia one of the essential events for every rally enthusiast for over thirty years. Unforgettable sporting battles between legendary drivers, driving magnificent cars that have written the history of this sport, accompanied by an increasingly passionate public.
Brescia’s premier rally competition has launched the careers of champions, and continues to see drivers win the hearts of fans, while never failing to live up to expectations, in a classic spectacle of speed and rally driving skills. From the Lancia Rally 037 to the Porsche 911 RS, from the Subaru Impreza WRX to the Ford Escort Cosworth to the WRC cars, the S2000, the S1600 and the current R5. How many fantastic cars have competed on the hairpin bends between Brescia and Lake Garda? How much enthusiasm still accompanies this event?
It was May 1, 1977 when the Mario Pasetti’s Fiat 131 Abarth crossed the finish line to win first place in the inaugural edition of the race, accompanied by his navigator, the 22 year old Gigi Pirollo, in the first (of his many) appearances on the podium at the Rally 1000 Miglia. Since then a lot of water has flowed under the bridge, from the victories of Colbrelli, Cola, Casarotto and Nicola Busseni, to name but a few, to the exciting Cunico-Dallavilla rivalry in the Italian Rally Championship at the end of the Nineties, when the home driver, who holds the current record for the number of entries (21), finally managed to get the monkey off his back and claim his only victory.
A tough, genuine competition for uncompromising drivers, the race’s traditions are linked to the Italian Rally Championship, to the European Rally Championship and, as of 2014, with the Italian Rally Championship WRC, which sees some of the highest performance cars currently competing in Italy take part in the Rally 1000 Miglia.
For many years one of the first races of the season, the 1000 Miglia Rally has always seen respectable starting lists that have included the some of the most famous names in the Italian and international rally scene, even if the only foreign driver to have won the race so far is Miguel Campos, in 2003.
Currently, Franco Cunico holds the record with six victories (1987, 1991, 1995, 1996, 1998, 1999) ahead of Paolo Andreucci with five titles (2000, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011), as well as the greatest number of podium finishes (12, to be exact). Giandomenico Basso, who has won four times in Brescia (2004, 2007, 2009, 2010), still heads the special classification, with 36 scratch results, while Nicola Busseni, with his four victories in 1980, 1981, 1983, 1984, is the most successful local driver in the history of the event.
In fact, either as a result of pure bad luck or an over eagerness to win the race in front of the passionate local supporters, the Rally 1000 Miglia has not always looked kindly on home drivers, who have frequently seen defeat snatched from the jaws of victory.