Vernasca Silver Flag Historic Hillclimb - June 2003

The 2003 event is open to pre 1972-1975 important competition cars, and takes place at Castell'Arquato; one of northern Italy's most beautiful and picturesque medieval towns situated 120 Km south of Milan. The demonstration hillclimb will be run on the original 9 Km course and the programme will reflect similar events run in Europe like the Klausenrennen or Ollon-Villars with three demonstration runs over the weekend.

Thanks to the splendid setting, the friendly hospitality (we are in Italy after all...) and to proven organization, the event has now become well known outside of Italy also and attracts many participants from abroad. More than 150 drivers took part in the 2002 event with entries as far afield as Great Britain, Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Belgium, France, Austria and New Zealand.

Participants can arrive on Friday afternoon, (if you want participate at the gastronomic tour set in Piacenza country scheduled on Friday afternoon), or Saturday morning as they wish and scrutineering will take place on Saturday morning in the purpose built paddock at Castell’Arquato. The first cars will set off at 14.20 P.M. on Saturday, after the lunch in Castell’Arquato’s restaurants, for the “practice” run and the course will be closed to public traffic.

Cars are divided into the specific groups; Prepared Saloons, Gran Turismo, Sports of the 40s and 50s , Prototypes of the ’60 and ’70, Monopostos (F1, F2, F3, Formula Junior) and Pre-War cars. Participants will also be invited to don period racewear (Dunlop overalls and open-faced helmets for 60s cars; leather helmets for 30s-40s-50s cars) in order to create the atmosphere of past motor racing. On Saturday evening the cars will be exhibited (under supervision) in the paddock at Castell’Arquato and, after aperitifs, there will be a Gala Dinner in S. Pietro in Cerro Castle.

Two runs are planned for the Sunday – one at 10.30 am and the other at 14.30 P.M. Buffet Lunch of Sunday will be served in the panoramic area of ancient Abbey park at Vernasca. Since the Silver Flag is not a “race” there are no prizes for best time. The international jury will base its decision on the criteria of beauty, restoration and history of the cars present. In short, a “dynamic” Concours d’Elegance dedicated to cars built purely for “racing” and winning.

This year the prize are: silver plate for Best of Show pre war car, silver plate for Best of Show post war car, most representative cars from each category Best Car/Driver period presentation 20’s-30’s ,40’s-50’s, 60’s-70’s, Paolo Silva Trophy for most representative car in the Castell’Arquato-Vernasca hillclimb story. Prize for most representative racing car in Hillclimb race story, Porsche Italia trophy for Best Competition Porsche, Giuseppe Merosi Prize for best Alfa Romeo, Maserati Brothers Prize for best Maserati, “Circuito di Piacenza” Prize for best Ferrari, Giuseppe Figoni “Coachbuilder” Prize for most elegance car.

The Organizing Committee has come up with the following incentives for entries: Meals for two people on Saturday mid-day, evening (gala dinner) and Sunday mid-day will be offered free by the Organizing Committee,a souvenir of the meeting and Friday's touristic tour.

Usually the entry fee, for the foreign entries, is free, but at the moment it is not known if this “bonus” will be possible for the next edition (depending on sponsorship..). in any case the cost of the entry is about 120-130 Euro.

There are some hotels in the area (10-15 Kms from Castell’Arquato), and the medium price for a double room with continental breakfast is 60-80 euro per night.

Further information about the event can be seen on the website