Monday, May 28, 2018

The Mille Miglia Ferraris and Alfa Romeos At Home

Every year in May there's a special event based on tradition called the Mille Miglia.   (Pronounced millay millya)  It has passion like a running of the bulls, except it is the 1000 mile run of stallions (Ferraris) as well as many historically important automobiles from the past. Charging over hills and down and around narrow country roads covering 1000 miles, it's frightening to say the least!

The real Millie Miglia, a 1000 mile loop from Brescia around the countryside of Italy to Rome and back stopped running in 1957 due to safety concerns. The event lives on in a commemorative race every year tracing the original route from the glory days of the automobile. The original event started in 1927 and highlighted the most storied automobiles of the time.  It was a time when thousands of spectators from villages to cities lined the roadway to get a fleeting glimpse of these ferocious contenders as they blasted by in a cloud of dust or mud depending on the weather.

Heros were made from this race including  the likes of Giuseppe Campari, Tazio Nuvolari , Clemente Biondetti and Sterling Moss to name a few. It was a country wide tailgate party the likes we will never know.  To Italians it stirred passion and excitement like a world cup soccer match!

In the US, the Indy 500 is close to the Mille Miglia in stirring passion among fans but that's a short burst of energy when compared to the volcanic like fire that is produced by literally millions of fans around a 1000 mile circuit that involves a whole country!

And why are Ferraris and Alfa Romeos so much a part of this?    Alfa Romeo won it 11 times and Ferrari won 8 times.  No other marque comes close.

So with that as the backdrop,  here's a couple of videos of the Ferrari Tribute that was an addendum to the main even.  And for the fans that want (and should) know more, I  have attached a link giving background on the 2018 Mille Miglia.     Enjoy and Boun Giorno!

To add some Italian flair, here's a picture of my Alfa Romeo Giula in the woods near Woodstock, GA where I attended our Grandson's High School graduation over the weekend. ( He even got to drive the Giulia while I was there.)

But first you need to know why there is such a close connection between this race and Alfa Romeo.  Here's the best video I've found to summarize that:

Alfa Romeo and the Mille Miglia

The 2018 Mille Miglia Compete Information

To understand what all this means in the real world- watch this video.  You must!

The Mille Miglia is a Little Crazy!

And here are two cool videos of an Alfa Romeo 'support vehicle' tagging along with the Ferrari Tribute cars.    Soak in the passion and tradition by watching!

The Ferrai That Was Got Kicked Off The Mille Miglia

An Alfa Romeo Following A Ferrari- Super Fast and Super Cool!

Hope you enjoyed this post.    Forza Alfa/  Forza Ferrari
Paul Ziegler, Publisher     

Saturday, April 28, 2018

One Year With An Alfa Romeo Giulia- The Thrill Is Still There

A New Classic is Born-  Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti Sport

On April 12th my Alfa Romeo Giulia had its first birthday- 8200 miles and it still is as thrilling to drive as the day I brought it home. That's the sign of a great car- looking forward to each Saturday morning and a drive somewhere.

Why You Will Love The Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio

I still find myself making plans to drive 'somewhere' even if there's little reason to do so. In spite of that I've only clocked 8200 miles in a year that included a 3,000 mile trip to Watkins Glen for the IMSA race in June. I usually take a trip to the local Alfa Romeo / Maserati dealership about once a month to check out the inventory. It is hard to pass by the Quadrifoglio's on the lot, especially if there's one in a color I haven't seen. (Misano Blue was the latest one, drop dead gorgeous) 

All in all it has been an uneventful year with the car which is a good thing. Knock on wood, none of the dire warnings about reliability I've received from others of owning an Alfa have come true.  This Alfa is spot on reliable and has not let me down. Oh, sure there's been a few Alfa quirks like the dreaded Throttle Control fault sensor I set off when I first got it- seems if you left brake and hit the gas at the same time you trigger the warning light. A trip to the dealer for a flash update to reset and my awareness of what can cause it has eliminated the problem.  And that infotainment system-  not that I've ever seen a really good one - this one is only good for basic functions.  I'm of the opinion that we all lived without these for 50+ years so why all the emphasis on you gotta have one?  My phone is just fine for navigation and I don't give a dam for how many g's I'm pulling when I go around a corner, accelerate or brake! And the brake by wire system- weird compared to a traditional hydraulic set up but I'm used to it now.

I just want my own sensory detectors to FEEL the car as I go down a winding road and I sure do Feel this car as it is like a well rehearsed slow dance if you know what you are doing.  You find yourself going very, very fast but it feels like being in slow motion with a balance and poise that gives you confidence.  (Check out the attached Matt Moran video about 15 minutes into it where he describes this)

As a tribute to my one year with the car I selected these two videos for this post, the first video above is the Quadrigfolio. The beast, the grand daddy, the one your heart wants you to have and the other video with the Giulia Ti Sport, which is much more practical with the turbo four motor. The Quad video is well done including breathtaking photography and awesome sound in the hills around Monaco. It will explain what all the fuss is about with this car.  The other video gives a taste of why the Ti Sport is so good.

I believe the Giulia is the new benchmark in sports sedans- even in base trim and after a year of driving I'm convinced of that. Go drive one and you will see.

Here's the video review of the Giulia Ti Sport that  I drive.  Skip up to 15 minutes where Matt gets shooting through the turns.

MATT MORAN's Giulia Ti Sport Review

Skip to 15 minutes in for the driving dynamics:

I hope you liked this quick summary of a great new car from Alfa Romeo.

Brought to you by  Paul Ziegler, Publisher

Sunday, March 25, 2018

Festivals of Speed St Petersburg

Here's a gallery of photos from Festivals of Speed held at St. Petersburg, FL on March 24th.  Perfect day for a car show as the weather continues to please us Floridians.

There's something for everyone here:  All kinds and all colors!

What A Pretty Picture!   Lambo In Yellow

Delmas Greene With His 1960 Alfa Romeo Vignale
Previous Amelia Island Winner!

Florida Alfa Club Member Delmas Greene Receiving His Trophy
1960 Alfa Romeo Vignale

1960's Silver Cloud Rolls Royce

The Flying Lady

Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio Above And Below

Competizione Red!

1967 Corvette- A Classic

Convertible - Bentley Style

Bruce Brock's Alfa Romeo 4C Launch Edition

Red, White And Blue Ferrari Line Up

John Picot's 1973 2000GT Veloce

Alfa Club Members Gather Around The Vignale

The New Alfa Romeo Giulia Ti Sport  - Future Classic?

Here Comes Da Judge 

Not Sure About That Green On A BMW

                                             Don Ondrejcak's GT3 Cup 2007 Porsche

                                               Brought to you by
                                                          Paul Ziegler, Publisher

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Sebring 2018 Review

Another perfect Florida race week for the fans attending the Mobil One 12 Hours of Sebring presented by Advanced Auto Parts. The results were much different than at the season opening race at Daytona with the ESM Prototype Nissan #22 taking top honors driven by Pipo Derani, Nicolas Lapierre and Johannes van Overbeek.

At the Daytona Rolex 24 hour race a Cadillac powered  #5 Mustang Sampling Racing entry took top honors followed by another Cadillac powered Prototype; the #31 Whelen Engineering entry. Not this time!  The GT LeMans class also was shaken up by Porsche as the Ford GT's and the Corvette C7.R cars were not in front at the finish.

GT LeMans  class was taken by the Porsche GT Team #911 car driven by Nick Tandy, Patrick Pilet and Frederic Makowiecki while GT Daytona was won by #48Paul Miller Racing in a Lamborghini Huracan GT3.

The race, held on St. Patrick's day saw the usual fun and frivolity provided by a perennial fan base that entertains around the track.  Some evidence is shown below.  Take a look and enjoy this gallery of pictures I brought back for you:

St. Patrick's Day!

Pre Race Show

Hi Flying Acts

And The Cows Were Back!

Dawn's Early Light

Getting Down To Business- Roger Penske Inspects!

Early Morning Detail- #22

Race Team Introductions- Konica Minolta Team

Eventual Winners- Tequila Patron ESM Team

Stars- Ricky Taylor, Helio Castroneves and Graham Rahal
for Penske Racing

Jordan Taylor Talks With A Fan

Ever Smiling Helio Castroneves - Team Penske Acura

Crowded Lap #1

GT Daytona Entry- 3GT Racing 

One Of The Crowd Favorites- Corvette Racing's C7.R

                         M Power - Turner Motorsport

GTLM Winner - Porsche GT Team

JDC Miller Motorsports Oreca Dwarfed by BMW M6 GT3

Grid Walk Before Race - Park Place Motorsports Porsche GT3 R

                           Two BMW M8's Lead The Way - Beginning Laps

WeatherTech Ferrari 488 GT3

Audi R8 LMS GT3

Crowd Favorite Jordan Taylor - Cadillac Power

The Winner - Tequila Patron #22Nissan DPi

Gallery brought to you by
Published By Paul Ziegler

Keep checking back for more stories, pictures and videos!

Monday, March 12, 2018

Indycar Season Opener at St. Petersburg

Fly Over Prior To Race

It was another wonderful and wild weekend in St. Petersburg for the opening race for the Indycar season. Wonderful as in weather and wild as in lots of caution flags flying!  With the new aero package on the cars with less downforce drivers were sawing the steering wheel more than in the past as they learned the dynamics of driving the new machines with less downforce.

It was also a melancholic feeling this weekend as Helio Castroneves was in the house but not behind the wheel. As a tribute, his former team members even sported 'Helio' on their helmets. But fans were treated to an inspiring Q&A session with the personable Helio at the Mahaffey Theater on Friday and then the fans got to attend a special autograph signing session with him on Saturday. What a treat!

  I have so much respect for this driver and will miss him.  However if you are a fan of IMSA racing, go to see him at Sebring this coming weekend and in future IMSA racing events with the Penske racing team.

So now for some photos- I had a blast taking pictures in the cool air and mostly sunny skies.  Here's a collection of what I saw in my lens:

Click Here To Hear Helio Thank YOU- The fans!

Winner, Sebastien Bourdais 

                            Ed Jones- Chip Ganassi Racing

Max Chilton and Graham Rahal

Graham Rahal Doing Leg Stretch

Gabby Chaves

                                                  Coming At You - Ryan Hunter-Reay

Jack Harvey- Michael Shank Racing

Sebastian Bourdais Signing Autographs

On The Grid

Ready To Roll

Zach Veach & Alex Rossi Signing Autographs

Takuma Sato Signing Fan's Helmet Bag

Alex Rossi's Car Staying Cool

Zach Veach Staying Cool

Max Chilton Chilling Out

Tony Kanaan Closing in on Takuma Sato

Ryan Hunter-Reay Passing Jack Harvey

Victory Lap - Congratulations To Sebastien Bourdais!

Hope you enjoyed the photos- more to come in future posts. On to Sebring March 17th!

By Paul Ziegler, Publisher of