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Classic motoring from Mille Miglia to Marbella

[caption id="attachment_1259" align="alignright" width="300"] Jodie Kidd in a Jaguar Heritage model[/caption] While attention is focused this week on the Mille Miglia race in Italy, local motoring enthusiasts’ thoughts are also turning to the forthcoming Marbella Classic Grand Prix. To be held on 8 June in association with Marbella Town Hall, the inaugural event is the brainchild of the founders of the Hungarian Oldtimer-Supercup and organisers of some of the highest profile car events in eastern Europe. Following the success of the Balaton Classic and Mister Classic, they decided to extend their operations to Marbella, and specifically Puerto Banús, and arrange an exclusive one-day open road race (Classic Regularity Rally) for classic, road-legal cars produced before 31 December 1980. It is an event of skill, timing and accuracy rather than speed, with participants just needing a classic car and a stopwatch. [caption id="attachment_1263" align="alignright" width="300"] Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Coupé[/caption] Only 50 cars are allowed to participate in the first edition of the race, and entries are being reviewed by the race committee to ensure an “exceptional selection of classic cars”. (As of 14 May, spaces were still available for people to register: www.marbellaclassicgrandprix.es.) Residents and tourists in Marbella and throughout the Costa del Sol will be able to watch the start and finish of the race, as well as check-points and special stages in key destinations. The rally will start at 10am in Puerto Banús and pass through Marbella, Elviria, La Mairena, Cabopino, La Cala de Mijas, Mijas, Fuengirola, Villa Padierna, San Pedro, Aloha Golf, the Golden Mile and Sierra Blanca, before ending in Puerto Banús at 5.30pm. [caption id="attachment_1267" align="alignleft" width="300"] One of the famous Bentley Blowers[/caption] In the meantime racing is underway in an event once famously proclaimed as “the most beautiful race in the world”: the Mille Miglia, which dates to 1927. Over the past 30 years, the Mille Miglia has been bringing together personalities from the world of sport in a re-enactment of the original event, combining tradition with innovation – vivid elegance, beautiful scenery and Italian exuberance. Coming from all over the world, the teams left Brescia, in the heart of the Mille Miglia, on the opening day (15 May), arriving in Padova for the first overnight stay, then the next morning they left for Rome, passing San Marino and L'Aquila along the way. On the Saturday they depart for Bologna for another overnight stay, before embarking on the last stretch to Brescia on Sunday morning (18 May). [caption id="attachment_1271" align="alignleft" width="199"] AC/DC singer Brian Johnson[/caption] Jaguar Heritage Racing is fielding 10 1950s models in this year’s Mille Miglia, including XKs and C-types, driven by top racers as well as celebrities such as AC/DC singer Brian Johnson and model Jodie Kidd. Bentley Motors is competing in the event with two of the company’s famous 4ö-litre supercharged “Blowers”. The 1930 Le Mans “Team Car”, once owned by Sir Henry “Tim” Birkin, one of the “Bentley Boys” group of British gentlemen racers, has been joined by a former company demonstrator Blower with its original Vandem Plas Open, Sports Four Seater body. [caption id="attachment_1253" align="alignright" width="300"] Picturesque Marbella setting[/caption] Returning to Marbella, for those planning to enjoy the venerable attractions of Marbella’s first classic grand prix race, a local home base will be essential – and one of the most convenient and sophisticated locations is La Alzambra. Offering views out to sea and over Puerto Banús – the start and finishing point of the race – this three-bedroom duplex penthouse is part of a luxury development set in a picturesque tropical environment with 24-hour security and facilities including a large outdoor swimming pool, fully equipped gymnasium and spacious state-of-the-art sauna. (It has been reduced from €1,150,000 to €849,000.) Click here to see more.