Since 1988, Chopard has been the historic partner and official timekeeper of the Mille Miglia, the legendary classic car event first instigated 90 years ago. From May 18th to 21st 2017, the Mille Miglia saw 440 teams competing over a distance of one thousand miles (around 1,600km) on a historic route that runs from Brescia via Padova to Rome and back via Tuscany. This competitive event is only open to cars of the type that took part in the great race between the years 1927 and 1957. Loyal to this tradition that began in 1988, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, Chopard co-president and a passionate driver, participated alongside the French pilot Romain Dumas. For the very first time, Chopard took no fewer than four cars to the start line and formed a 18-car Chopard Sponsor team along with the famous scuderia Zagato lead by his owner Andrea Zagato, long lasting friend of Chopard. The Chopard sponsor team was awarded the third prize out of 14 participating teams.
The Mille Miglia 2017
The 35th edition of “la corsa la più bella del mondo” started under a sunny sky. The 440 crews took off from Viale Venezia in Brescia on Thursday, May 18th at 2.30 pm. The next three days, they passed through more than 30 cities and towns among Verona, San Marino, Roma, Siena and Parma before heading back to the starting point, the historical ramp on Viale Venezia, in the heart of Brescia. Enthusiastic locals and guests bid the drivers farewell during the first kilometres of the race, thousands of spectators lined the streets of the route and shouted out encouragement to the drivers. Mr Scheufele said: “It’s amazing how passionate the Mille Miglia followers are. They are here for the cars every year. It’s so unique.” Mille Miglia is always a must for car enthusiasts from all over the world welcoming each year new nationalities. Drivers from 36 different nationalities from the 5 continents campaigned for victory in 2017.
This year again, Karl-Friedrich Scheufele chose to honour Chopard’s partnership with Porsche Motorsport. The legendary driver and friend of the House Jacky Ickx left his seat to the French driver Romain Dumas. He drove with Karl Friedrich Scheufele the Porsche 550A Spyder RS, a loan from the Porsche Museum. The car specially created in 1956 and destined to make its mark on the history of motorsports. “Porsche car and especially the 550 Spyder RS is a very reliable car as well as very fun to drive.”
Albert Carreras, son of the famous tenor José Carreras drove the race with his co-pilot Jordi Pascual in a Mercedes Benz 300 SL, owned by the Scheufele family.
From Hong Kong, Mr David Hu, friend of Chopard, decided to take part in this adventure under the Chopard flag with great expectation to live one of the best racing moment of his life. Last but not the least, Swiss fashion journalist and blogger Marie Charlotte Vananty chose to join the Chopard sponsor team with her soulmate Claudio Roddaro, driver and Porsche car collector. They drove as well a Porsche 550 Spyder from 1957.
Co-operation driven by passion
The high-decibel roar of well-tuned engines, the pungent smell of hot tarmac, dizzying speeds and bursts of adrenalin… all combine to make a striking contrast to watchmaking, with its atmospherically controlled rooms where monastic silence reigns supreme. Closer inspection, however, reveals a number of common factors between these two worlds, including the relationship with time, the passion for fine mechanical engineering, and the need for absolute concentration. The close ties between Chopard and the Mille Miglia stem from a now-inseparable shared history. The initial connection was born from a personal passion for classic cars nurtured by Karl-Friedrich Scheufele. Under his leadership, Chopard became the main sponsor of the Mille Miglia in 1988 and one of the first brands to associate its name with the automobile world. For Karl-Friedrich Scheufele, the links are entirely natural: “Lovers of fine cars often have a great weakness for precious timepieces and vice versa. Extreme precision and sporting elegance are important in both these fields.” On May 18th, Chopard hosted a welcome gala dinner for 100 guests and friends in the in the heart of Brescia at the famous ristorante la Sosta.
The next day, guests and drivers met at the „Chopard Classic Racing Club“ located in the unique hotel Vittoria to enjoy the vintage car atmosphere surrounded by the roaring engines.
At 2.30pm sharp, the first car, an O.M 665 SPORT departed from the famous ramp on Viale Venezia. In total 440 cars left Brescia for an incredible race of 1 000 miles through the greatest landscapes of Italy.
On Sunday, May 21st, the first cars returned safely in the finish line on Viale Venezia.
This year, the winning team is composed of Andrea Vesco and Andrea Guerini from Italy who drove an Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GS Zagato of 1931. They reached the first place for the second time after their victory in Mille Miglia 2016. The second place of Mille Miglia 2017 went to Luca Patron and Massimo Casale from Italy as well on a O.M. 665 Superba Sport 2000 CC of 1925. And the third duo from Chopard sponsor team to reach the podium was Stefania Biacca and Giordano Mozzi on a Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 Gran Sport of 1933.
The very special edition of the Mille Miglia was a great occasion for Chopard to launch three different watch models: Mille Miglia 2017 Race Edition, Mille Miglia Classic XL 90th Anniversary Limited Edition and Mille Miglia Classic Chronograph.
Chopard would like to thank its transportation partner Porsche for its tremendous support throughout the entire event.