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Coppa Milano-San Remo - PREVIEW

Regular readers will recall my exploits with a Porsche 911 RS on the Mille Et Un Nuits regularity rally in Tunisia last Autumn. Well, the car I was supposed to be using is finally finished it’s restoration just 5 months late and just in time for this weekend’s Coppa Milano-San Remo!

As I type, a 1952 Aston Martin DB2 is passing its first MOT for 25 years and then will be loaded into a trailer for an overnight run down to Zurich where we’ll have just 48 hours to shake it down before setting out to Monza first thing Friday morning.

Now I’m sure no-one would recommend taking a car that’s barely turned a wheel in 30 years for a 900 mile trip through the Alps, to take part in a competitive event then on down to the Riviera  straight from the workshop, but as you may recall from my taking a rather pregnant wife in a semi-race 911 to North Africa common sense doesn’t always get a look-in!

The Coppa is run by the same team as the Mille Miglia Historic, and this year’s edition is special as it’s been nominated as one of the events to celebrate 150 years of the founding of the Italian State or the “United Kingdom” as they confusingly (for a Brit) call it.

We have an early alarm call for the run down to Monza where tech inspection takes place Friday morning. There is also the option to take in a few laps of the historic GP circuit before the cars relocate to central Milan to be presented to the public and the ceremonial start. Before leg 1 takes us out to Turin and a late finish on the Friday evening.

Saturday will be a full day with first car on the road at 07.30 and nearly 6 hours of road time before the lunch break in San Remo then another 4h20 up to San Remo for the overnight halt and Gala dinner. While Sunday is a little easier with 4h40 on the road to return to Milan and a farewell luncheon. Before we then have to turn South again for a final 330km leg home.

So once again, quite a serious adventure. And this stage I’ll be happy if the car appears in Zurich on time, 1 year after I last saw here, and we can just make it to Monza without mechanical mishap! For all the faith I have in the guys restoring the Aston, she’s been rebuilt from absolute scratch and really it would have been nice to run around for a few weeks to make sure all the niggles were sorted before tackling a high profile event of this nature. I’ve also never driven a car of this vintage as she was immobile when we took delivery!

And did I mention my co-pilot is an ex-rugby player who, along with being a total rally novice, is not even certain at this time if he’ll fit in the car?

Next time I hope to post a report from the Piazza Del Duomo in Milan, (assuming we arrive there ok!) post tech-inspection and pre-start.

DB2 rolling out Monday morning ready for first road test and MOT!

Rick Pearson

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