【Day1】14 Oct 2016
La Festa Mille Miglia 2016 finally begins, marking 20th anniversary
|La Festa Mille Miglia 2016, which marks its 20th anniversary this year, finally kicked off, starting from Meiji Shrine in Harajuku, Tokyo at noon on October 14. 2016 marks the 150th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Japan and Italy. In addition, this year is also a special year for the 20th La Festa Mille Miglia taking place as a Japan-Italy friendship rally.
This time, great British racing driver Sir Stirling Moss was invited as a special guest, and he was the one who waved the start flag. It greatly livened up the start venue, and the entrants departed the venue with a smile.
Day one, as soon as the entrants finished a PC competition (a measurement competition to drive a designated section at a designated time in seconds) at TSUTAYA BOOKS in Daikanyama, they left Tokyo and traveled north to the next point Akagi-kogen S.A., Gunma Prefecture. After passing through each point in Gunma Prefecture, they headed to NASPA New Otani in YUZAWA Town, Niigata Prefecture. By the time they arrived at the finish line in NASPA New Otani, it was quite dark. In the chilly air, the entrants showed a tired look on their faces, but still, they smiled with relief as they got the last stamp of day one.
In La Festa Mille Miglia, it is very important to get a stamp at all stamp points. If entrants miss getting even one of those, they are excluded from the rankings even though they completed the race. Competitions are also important in classic car rallies, of course, but that is not all.
Traveling approximately 270 km in half a day is quite tough for people as well as cars. Unfortunately, some of the cars ended up retiring from the race on day one. The mechanics kept maintaining the cars that could arrive safely until late in the parking of the hotel. They supported each other and worked hard as much as they could on the maintenance of not only the car they are in charge of, but also other entrants' vehicles. It is thanks to those mechanics that even old cars built in the Taisho Period can run on an expressway as fast as modern cars and travel smoothly through cities having many traffic signals.
Day two will take a route of approximately 330 km from Yuzawa Town, Niigata Prefecture to Karuizawa Town, Nagano Prefecture.
（text & photo：Mika Iwamoto）