【Day4 & Awarding Ceremony】17 Oct 2016
Mr. and Mrs. Takemoto goes wire-to-wire to win 8th consecutive title
|The rainy weather on the final day was a sharp contrast to the clear weather over the past three days. For the approximately 250-km traveling, Barchetta drivers put on a rain suit, and some other drivers attached a convertible top. Even in a car with a top, it is hard to see the front, rear, left, and right, as it gets foggy inside the car on a rainy day. The entrants all sit behind the wheel with a cautious look and departed Hakone.
Since Izu Sky Line was covered in a heavy fog in the rain, the entrants could hardly see anything for a while. When they drove down to a point where the sea comes into sight, at last the fog cleared off. However, soon after that, the rain became heavier and fell on the entrants mercilessly. Even under such bad weather, PC competitions were conducted, and many of the entrants leaned out of the car to look at the measurement line and match the timing without minding the rain.
Despite the rainy weather, local people gathered at each point to cheer the entrants. The cheers encouraged them and lifted their spirits under the harsh conditions.
The entrants went through Atami along a coastal road and headed to Yokohama by way of Oiso, Enoshima, and Hayama. The rainy scenery changed rapidly from the mountains to the sea, and to the heart of Tokyo. After passing through Yokohama, they finally arrived in Tokyo. This year took a route that goes through in front of the State Guest House in Akasaka after passing through Nihonbashi Mitsukoshi. Driving on the route to the finish line, the regulars as well as the first-time entrants must have been feeling fresh.
A large number of people already gathered at the finish line in Meiji Shrine, eagerly waiting for the entrants. When the cars entered the venue one after another, the crowd greeted them with cheers and gave a round of warm applause to the cars and the entrants that completed the approximately 1,160-km race in four days. The rain let up before we knew it, and the setting sun broke through clouds. It was as if the weather also celebrated this moment. Asked at the finish line ceremony, every entrant said, "These four days were both tough and really enjoyable." This word exactly reflects this event.
In the evening, the entrants elegantly dressed and welcomed Her Imperial Highness Princess Akiko at the venue. They enjoyed the lavish dinner while looking back the four days. A video of the past 19 La Festa Mille Miglia was played, bringing back memories of those days. Some of the entrants showed interest in the courses where the past races took place. Watching the video, they each seemed to be thinking about La Festa Mille Miglia. After they enjoyed the stage of soprano singer Ayako Tanaka, the award ceremony began.
The third place went to Mozzi and Biacca team, No.49, who has won the Mille Miglia in Italy twice. This team has participated in La Festa Mille Miglia since 2014 and achieved a top-three finish three years in a row. Although they finished day one in sixth place, they gradually moved up to win third place. The second place was the parent-child team of Takigawa, No.46, who has achieved a top-three finish many times. They ran a fine race throughout four days to finish in the top three with the second highest score in each day. And the winner went to Mr. and Mrs. Takemoto, No.3., and this was their eighth consecutive victory. This pair never gave up the lead for four days to win wire-to-wire. Surprisingly, in each race after 2011, they kept the lead for four days and won the title. Everyone in the venue gave generous applause to their winning streak.
By the time this four-day event ended with the awards ceremony, it was almost midnight. The entrants promised to meet again and left the venue while basking in the afterglow of the ceremony.
A program featuring La Festa Mille Miglia 2016 will be broadcast on Saturday, December 24 on BS Fuji. In addition, the spring event La Festa Primavera 2017 will be held from April 14.
（Historic Car Japan Mika Iwamoto）