Best of Italy Festival 2018: highlights to look out for

This celebration of cars, motorcycles and, yes, bicycles returns September 14-16 with even more to shout about – including some of the most powerful road cars ever made...

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The Best of Italy Festival is one of those hidden-gem events, loved by those in the know. It’s a series of races and tours, for classics cars, motorcycles, supercars and even bicycles. Running from the town of Castell’Arquato in the Province of Piacenza in northern Italy, it crosses the mountains for 26km until it reaches the hillside town of Morfassa.

The Festival, which for 2018 will be held on September 14-16, aims to showcase the best of Italy’s two- and four-wheeled machinery – although this year a grid will be open for non-homegrown vehicles as well.

Scroll down for some of the highlights at this year’s event.

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Three of the most powerful and loudest Italian road cars ever made are set to thrill spectators – although they will make up a very small percentage of the event’s huge hypercar and supercar line-up. The LaFerrari, Pagani Huayra and Lamborghini Centenario have a combined top speed of 672mph – and their respective manufacturers will have plenty more on show as well.

Meanwhile, Tori e Motori, the international Lamborghini collectors’ organisation, will be demonstrating a huge array of Lambos as both still-life objects and as thoroughbred driving machines. Cars and owners will convene at the end of the event at the mighty Mignano Dam (shown above).

Racing and rallying

Several of the all-conquering early-2000s Maserati MC12 GT1 sports cars will lead the group of racing machinery, which also boasts a number of Ferrari GT2 and GT3 cars from AF Corse, the Scuderia’s Le Mans 24-hours team.

Perhaps even more exciting are the rally cars set to make an appearance, with a fleet of Lancias with world-championship pedigree, including a Group B Lancia 037 that will be driven by Harri Toivonen, brother of the late Henri who drove it in period. Other Lancia rally cars include Delta Integrales and multiple examples of the Stratos, incorporating a replica of the ‘Zenith’ edition created by former Formula 1 driver Erik Comas.

A car that may have strong potential on the rally stages were it to fit the rulebook is the Giannini 4x4, a 350bhp 4WD monster based on a Fiat 500.

Dallara, known for working with the Haas F1 team and being the spec chassis for the Indianapolis 500, will have a competition car present.

Italy versus the rest of the world

This year, 12 non-Italian cars have been invited to compete at the Best of Italy Festival, including the Aston Martin Vulcan and potentially an example of the BAC Mono. This will set a precedent for the 2019 event, where there’ll be 100 vehicles from Italy up against 100 from the rest of the world.

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Racing machines from Ducati, MV Augusta and many more will also be tackling the course, showing off some of the loudest and most attractive models in motorcycle history.

In addition is the cycling element, with numerous celebrations, displays and a run on the course as part of the Criterium Italia bicycle race.

Pace cars

In the Italian automotive world, everything is fast – and so the pace cars to be used for the race will be just as dynamic as the entrants. Two of these, the Lamborghini Huracán Polizia and Alfa Giulia QV Carabinieri, have everyday jobs as police cars.

The Lamborghini is perhaps best known for its habit of being the fastest organ-transplant vehicle in the world, while the Alfa belies its appearance to pack 503bhp and a 191mph top speed.

Event information

Entry tickets start at €25 – but that’s for the one-day, 26km bicycle road race.

For the Supercar Package, the cost is €650, but that entitles participants to the following:

  • Weekend entry to the hillclimb
  • One year’s membership of ‘Club Scuderia Italia’
  • Saturday and Sunday lunch for two people
  • Saturday evening awards and cocktails in Castell’Arquato, followed by dinner for two
  • Goodie bag

There’s also a Lamborghini Tour, at €1650, celebrating 50 years of the Espada and Islero, including:

  • Friday-morning guided tour of the Dallara factory
  • Lunch at the Varano Race Circuit
  • Friday afternoon Lamborghini Concours in Salsomaggiore with drinks reception followed by a four-course meal at the hotel
  • 5-star accommodation at Grand Hotel Salsomaggiore on Friday and Saturday, including breakfast and private parking for your Lamborghini
  • Saturday and Sunday entry to the hillclimb, with gastronomic lunch at the finish and VIP access-all-area passes
  • Dinner on Saturday evening and exclusive entry to the Marques of Excellence Awards with canapés and cocktails
  • Lamborghini photoshoot on the Mignano Dam, Saturday afternoon
  • Goodie bag with commemorative polo shirts
  • Limited to 50 places!

For more information, visit the Best of Italy website.

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