Ferrari 166 MM heads Targa Florio tribute

The Targa Florio is one of the most revered historic motorsport events in the world, and this year there was an additional Ferrari presence

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Almost 100 Ferraris, headed by the iconic 166 MM and featuring vehicles from all eras of the brand, took part in the Targa Florio Classic earlier this month as part of the ‘Ferrari Tribute to Targa Florio’, an official Ferrari event. The race across the Sicilian mountains ended at Madonie Circuit, in the hills above Palermo, which once hosted rounds of the World Sportscar Championship.

The current format of the Targa Florio is a regularity test, meaning entrants have to complete each stage in a specific time at a specified average speed. Ferrari won the event outright on seven occasions when it was a traditional timed event.

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There was more than enough classic vehicles from Ferrari's storied past to indulge in, with the 1949 166 MM – a class winner in the Targa Florio five times between 1950 and ‘53 – joined by the 1971 Dino 246 GT and the 1984 Testarossa. These weren't cars just for show either, with the route providing a challenging drive for all those involved.

Of the near 100 Ferraris that turned up this year, a third were also modern models, including variants of the 488, the Portofino, 812 Superfast and GTC4Lusso.

The opening ceremony for the Targa Florio Classic took place at Piazza Verdi in Palermo, and in typical Europe style was accompanied by a fanciful and filling gala dinner. Once everyone had recovered from that late night, the Targa Florio set off from Palermo’s Museum of Engines and Mechanisms.

From there there were visits to famous motorsport and Sicilian sites, such as Monreale, Alcamo, Campobello di Mazara, and the Cantine Florio winery. The final highlight of the first day of running was a stop in Marsala, Trapani, located in the scenic Erice and Cinisi area.

The second day of running passed through Cerda, another location with motorsport heritage and often marked the end of the Targa Florio, before heading to Petralia Sottana, Petralia Soprana and Cefalù before returning to Palermo from Termini Imerese. Day three took the cars to San Martino delle Scale and the old Favorita circuit, before a return to the Piazza Verdi in Palermo city centre to mark the end of the historic race.

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