The action so far at the 2017 Passione Caracciola
Start as you mean to go on
For driving fans, there are some circuits and roads which get the heart racing like no others. Autodromo Nazionale di Monza, the third oldest permanent race track in the world, and the sweeping switchbacks of St. Moritz, featuring some of the finest driving roads around, are dream locations for many. It was on these sacred stretches of tarmac that Rudolf Caracciola, whom the rally is held in honour of, could be found piloting countless vehicles from the late 1920s onwards, just as the lucky participants in this year’s rally shall. Caracciola’s achievements are too plentiful to list, but multiple European grand prix hill climb championship victories, a still undefeated speed record, and the accolade of first non-Italian to win the Mille Miglia marked his place in racing history.
Following a spirited send-off in Milan, the rally assembled for a picturesque Italian feast, joined by such racing royalty as Jochen Mass, Bernd Schneider, and Maro Engel, before the following day’s journey to magical Monza. Despite high temperatures, which always prove challenging for classic cars, spirits remain high. Travelling with Classic Driver dealer Mechatronik and their fine fleet of classic Mercedes, including 300 SLS, Gullwing, W111, and 280 SL models, the Autodromo Nazionale di Monza was filled with the sights and sounds of a delectable selection of machinery taking part in speed trials, Mercedes AMG test drives, and even the sight of two DTM heroes back together on the track. As if this wasn’t enough high-octane thrills, the rally revellers will then hit the road with sights on St. Moritz, taking in the superb Maloja Pass and the captivating mix of scenery and stunning roads that make Switzerland a dream driving destination. And, as the rally continues, there will be some even more incredible days to come…
Photos: Alex Lawrence for Classic Driver © 2017