On the subject of regularity rallies, imagine the pristine air of the Dolomites on a weekend in late June. Imagine the roar from the engines of a succession of beautiful classic cars, following each other up mountain switchbacks, competing for stages timed to an accuracy of a hundredth of a second ... what you're imagining is the sights, sounds and smells of the twenty-seventh edition of “La Leggenda di Bassano — Trofeo Giannino Marzotto” regularity rally.
The event was held over the weekend 24 and 26 June, and contestants set off from Bassano del Grappa over a course that wended its way through the snow-topped peaks in adventure in stages totalling almost 500 km. Rally organization was impeccably supervised by the CVAE (Circolo Veneto Automoto d’Epoca), which worked tirelessly to provide first-rate services to teams from all over the world. If you think this event is just a relaxing drive aboard a mechanical masterpiece, then think again! It’s hard-fought rally that’s timed right down to the last 1/100th of a second!
In fact, the Leggenda di Bassano rally is a regularity classic car rally where competing cars must be built before the end of the 1960s, and are vehicles of great historical and cultural value. Some 80 classic cars compete for the title followed by 10 VIP cars, which must also officially be classed as classic cars. Each vehicle is steeped in history, but more importantly they’re all driven by classic car enthusiasts from around the globe.
The competition started off with the sporting and technical checks, and once again these were conducted at Villa Ca’ Cornaro (Romano D’ezzelino — Vicenza) on 23 June. The following day, the 24th, the event got underway and teams were issued with their roadbooks. Bassano Del Grappa is 135 km from San Martino di Castrozza, and the rally was officially started by Miki Biason, two-time world rally champion, on board a Dallara, official sponsor of the Leggenda rally. Among the classic cars taking part were a large contingent of OSCA, there to celebrate the car company’s 75th anniversary. The first team set off at 12:45 in a FIAT Itala 51S from 1921. A unique “carriage” with a 300 horsepower monobloc engine. The rest of the teams followed thereafter, along a winding route through the mountains.
Saturday was the most intense day, which saw the teams tackling 230 km of stages and time challenges, before reaching San Martino di Castrozza in the evening. The intrepid drivers were treated to a sumptuous dinner at the Hotel Savoia, followed by an enjoyable evening of dancing as they awaited the following morning’s event. After a well-deserved rest, the grand finale returned the teams to Bassano del Grappa, where they were met by crowds of spectators and the lucky winners received their awards. First place was awarded to the Rossi-Antonelli team in a Singer Nine Sport, with the Mazzola-De Angelis pairing in second place in a Fiat Stanguellini Ala D’Oro, and finally third place went to the Piantelli-Montaldi team in a Bentley Speed.
Every year the rally’s popularity is growing, with participants coming from 20 different countries. This confirms that we’re on the right track to making the event a really major international fixture
said Stefano Chiminelli, CVAE President and organiser of the Leggenda di Bassano rally. Here’s looking forward to seeing these wonderful classic cars again at next year’s event.