The Coppa d'Oro delle Dolomiti is a long-running vintage car event which has always attracted scores of passionate competitors and spectators from all over the world. This year it will be staged from July 22 to 24. The challenging course follows that of the glorious race held from 1947 to 1956, the first edition of which was won by the Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS driven by Salvatore Ammendola.
Star of the competition once again, this time as Presenting Sponsor, Alfa Romeo will be taking part with a splendid 1963 Giulia TI Super, driven by the famous Arturo Merzario and picked from the collection by FCA Heritage, the organisation that coordinates all the activities of the corporation on the classic car scene.
Cars must have been built between 1919 and 1961 to be admitted to the event, while there is a special category, with its own separate ranking, for selected cars built from 1962 to 1965 having special sporting merits or particular historic interest. The taxing competition on the Dolomites - one of the most breath-taking landscapes in the world and listed as UNESCO World Heritage Site - is 600 kilometres long and split into three stages. It will cross three Italian regions (Veneto, Trentino Alto Adige and Friuli) and climb over no fewer than 14 mountain passes.
New in the 2016 edition will be the stop in Austria with the crossing of the tricky Staller Saddle on the border to reach Huben, Lienz and Sillian. And following last year's outstanding success there will be a night stage restarting from Cortina over the Valparola Pass also in the 2016 edition. The drivers' skills will be put to the test on the 40 hairpin bends of the 16 kilometre long Forcella di Monte Rest scenic road. The charming view of the Barcis Lake will appear after the Forcella di Pala Barzana as a reward for their dedication.
For the prestigious race, the revamped Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese(go to www.museoalfaromeo.com for information and opening times) will be lining up the 1963 Giulia TI Super, the rarest and most valuable Giulia of all: it is one of the 501 ready-to-race cars, nearly all sporting "Biancospino" paintwork, with the four-leaf clover emblem on the sides and the boot lid. Outfitted with a streamline body to improve its already excellent performance, the TI Super was one of the models that raised an entire generation of racing drivers giving them the opportunity to showcase their talent with their wins and podiums at the wheel of the Alfa Romeo sedan before they went on to competing in higher level championships. Not by chance, the Giulia TI Super was particularly suited for road races as demonstrated by the class victory at the "Tour de France Auto" in 1963 driven by Masoero and Maurin, which is one of the most significant successes of its prize record. The Giulia was the engineering benchmark and raised the bar in its segment: the four-cylinder twin-cam engine and the excellent dynamic performance of the Alfa Romeo were perfectly complemented by the body which, as the advertisement of the day claimed, "is designed by the wind".
Underlining the strong bond between past and present, the valuable classic car will be accompanied by the new Giulia Quadrifoglio, called for the occasion to open the parade. Perfect expression of Alfa Romeo's new paradigm and of the "La meccanica delle emozioni" concept, the top-of-the-range model sporting the legendary four-leaf clover emblem - hence the name "Quadrifoglio" - fits a powerful 510 HP six-cylinder 2.9-litre turbo petrol engine, entirely made of aluminium and inspired by Ferrari technology and expertise for extraordinary performance: top speed of 307 km/h, acceleration from 0 to 100 km/h in just 3.9 seconds and peak torque of 600 Nm. Furthermore, despite its exceptional power and torque, the six-cylinder 2.9-litre BiTurbo petrol engine is also best-in-class in terms of emission levels (198 g/km of CO2 with six-speed manual gearbox) and is surprisingly fuel-efficient with its electronically-controlled cylinder deactivation system. Incidentally, the new Giulia has recently earned five prestigious Euro NCAP stars scoring 98% in adult occupant protection. This is the highest score ever achieved by a car.
Finally, the public will have the opportunity to admire the new Giulia in Cortina, from Friday to Sunday, and in Lienz on Saturday morning in occasion of the transit and stop of the classic car procession.
Turin, 18 July 2016