The first running of a new event, the Eco Targa Florio, took place from 29 September to 1 October. The MAC Group-organised regularity run combined two classes with eminent ecological credentials and a special, Ferrari-backed ‘Tribute to Targa Florio’.
The original Targa Florio was a long-distance race held on public roads in Sicily, between 1906 and 1973. Names such as Nuvolari, Vaccarella, Taruffi and Vic Elford were synonymous with wheel-to-wheel derring-do on the unforgiving 146km (later 72km Piccolo delle Madonie) circuit, where local knowledge (Vaccarella) or a rallying background (Elford or Munari) really paid off.
Couple these 'Targa specialists' with a car of tough and lightweight construction (such as Porsche's brilliant 908/3 of 1970-71) and you have the stuff of top-notch motor racing legend.
So, paint the names on roadside boulders, do, of Massimo Liverani and Valeria Strada who won the 2011 ‘Eco Targa Florio Green Prix’ in their 2005 Fiat Croma JTD powered by biodiesel.
And congratulations, too, to Giulio Massara and Simona Schira, 2011 ‘Eco Targa Florio Classic’ winners in their 1966 Lancia Fulvia HF 1.2.
The Gino Verghini/Lamberto Fuso pairing, behind the wheel of a 1992 Ferrari 512 Testarossa, came home first overall in the ‘Ferrari Tribute to Targa Florio’.
The award ceremony was held on Saturday evening at the spectacular setting of Castello Utveggio in Palermo. All the participating cars paraded through Piazza Ruggero VII, in the heart of the famous city.
Speaking after the event, Sandro Binelli, President of MAC Group, said: “I’m pleased with the success the event achieved in its first commemorative staging this year.
"I’m proud to have had Porsche and Alfa Romeo as joint presenting sponsors already this year, and I hope to strengthen increasingly significant partnerships with them, to continue to build this event and give it the international visibility it deserves.”
During the ceremony, a special award was presented to past winners Nino Vaccarella (1965, 1971), Toine Hezemans (1971) and Arturo Merzario (1972), all of whom participated in this year’s event.