Magnificent scenery greeted us at the 21st edition of the Vernasca Silver Flag race at Castell'Arquato near Milan.
This is a beautiful medieval village with a castle settled in the hills at the end of the Via Emilia, the legendary road from Rimini running upwards along the Po-valley, past Milan and through the cities of Bologna, Modena, Maranello, Parma and Piacenza where all major Italian car- and engine brands have their origin.
Part 1 - Historic race and the Castle (Click images to Enlarge)
We would like to tell you the story of the beautiful cars that have rumbled up the hill next to the fortress, of how the drivers aboard their cars, carved by hammer and sharp as weapons, have evoked the legendary exploits of ancestor knights.
These vehicles are the logical result of these landscapes and the culture of this land filled with traditions.
The Silver Flag is one of many hill climbs that are still revived in Italy since it was conceived in the 1950's, It has retained all the pioneering and competitive taste of the automotive legendary adventures that have distinguished the Via Emilia, from the Alfa Romeo myth of Milan, Maserati in Bologna up to the contemporary Dallara Racing Car in Varano.
The handicraft tradition and the genius kept alive across this territory and amongst its people and that gave the region its name of "land of motors" or better Motor Valley.
This year this beautiful hill track attracted a fleet of Alfa Romeo’s of all ages and there were some real exceptional pieces, perfectly restored but still competitive. Some of these cars have been victorious on the original track under the guidance of legendary drivers like di Priolo and Sanesi.