The street circuit of the Bergamo Historic Gran Prix has no real safety precautions and during the heats the track will be full of spectators. The participants are therefore not allowed to drive at full pace, they have to be guided by pace cars. My dad was at the front in a Ferrari 458 Italia, while I was closing the pack in the Maserati GranTurismo MC Stradale. To say I was excited about driving a lightened super car on a closed street circuit would be an understatement.

The MC Stradale is a lightened version of the GT, inspired by the Maserati Trofeo GranTurismo MC.

When you first step into the car you are bathed in black suede and carbon fiber. You sink into the adjustable racing seat, the high transmission tunnel and low roof line make it a really cosy place to sit. The 4 point racing harness retains some ease of use by clipping together with a simple buckle.

Photos: Alexp84 Flickr

The steering is on the light side but still has good feel. Compared to anything I’ve driven the handling is superb, excellent grip and composure. What impressed me the most though is the ride, it’s stiff and controlled but it still managed to easily soak up all the bumps of some old city road sections. Following classic cars didn’t require hard braking so I didn’t get a feel for the carbon ceramic brakes.

The icing on the cake has to be the sound. The 450hp 4.2 litre V8 is outstanding, in Race setting all the exhausts open up and what comes out the other side is heavenly.
I managed to clip a camera on me for a portion of a lap but unfortunately it’s fairly rubbish and even the sound is problematic, but hopefully you can get an idea.

Thanks to Alexp84 Flickr for the extra photos.


May 31, 2011

The Bergamo Historic Gran Prix was quite surreal in a way. After driving, more on that later, we had some drinks and brioches in a typical Italian caffe’ near the street circuit. Sun shining, people taking in the day in the old walled city and the roar of vintage engines filling the air.

May 31, 2011

Lancia 037 Stradale with a Lancia Rally 037 wing.

Brabham BT16.

The Bergamo Historic Gran Prix is an annual event held in my home town for vintage cars. It’s a celebration of the old Grand Prix that used to take place in the walled city, Citta’ Alta. The usual line up of cars range from the 30s to the 80s era and they race around the very same 2920m track they raced on in 1935 called il Circuito Delle Mura.

As usual, there was an interesting selection of cars present. The event is a sort of Concours d’Elegance but throughout the day the participants race through the street circuit in heats.