Italian Champions

HOME » Magazine » » » Italian Champions

The 2 hours of Magione “20° Trofeo Anchise Bartoli” closed another season of the Italian Historic Championship, one of the most long-lived Italian series, sanctioned by ACI for over 30 years and promoted by Gruppo Peroni.  Since the FIA introduced the classes for cars up to 1990 (4th grouping), the Italian championship has seen the arrival of the “youngtimers” including Alfa Romeo 75 Turbo, Ford Sierra Cosworth, BMW M3 and 325i, Alpine GTA, Porsche 944 Turbo, Maserati Biturbo and Peugeot 205 GTI.

The Ronconi Porsche 930 lines up at Magione next to the Ambroso-Jarach- Zardo BMW 323i, with the Rondinelli Porsche, whish was the eventual winner, laying in wait Photo Claudia Cavalleri

The 2019 championship, divided into six one-hour races plus two endurance races, has seen some fierce competition in the four groups amongst both solo pilots and two-driver crews. The range of cars chosen by new recruits has confirmed that there is interest in racing cars of all ages.  Many of these drivers alternate in other championships with contemporary cars (such as Claudio Giudice in the Italian prototype Championship or Marco Guerra in rallies), and to aim for the title you don’t need the overall podium car.  Thanks to the scoring system the Mini, the Ritmo, the Alfa 2000 GT Veloce or the small Peugeot 205 can win.

On Sunday 24 November two competitions were held, divided according to periods and displacement to decide the winners. In the first group (now extended to cars up to 1969) the result was still open between the powerful TVR Griffith of Vito Truglia and Gilles Giovannini and the nimble Ginetta G12 of Matteo Panini and Andrea Pergreffi, representing two British schools of thought in a David and Goliath contest that finally went to the little Ginetta.

The results of the second grouping were already almost final.  Alessandro Morteo had only to pass his Alfa Romeo GTAm under the starting light to win the title to the detriment of Andrea Castronovo and Massimiliano Del Nibbio, always faster during the season but with a BMW 2002 Group 2 haunted by mechanical problems.  The third group had already been decided due to a lack of opponents at Imola when Marco Zorzi, Massimo Ronconi and Giovanni Gulinelli crossed the finish line first in the two-hour race on board a Porsche 930 Group 5.  In the fourth grouping, with the Sierra Cosworth of Gianni Giudici delayed by a bit of bad luck, it all looked set for Giovanni Ambroso and Bruno Jarach, who had the very fast professional Danny Zardo to help out with the BMW 323i IMSA and who were leading the championship by just one point over the Porsche 911 Carrera 2 of father and son Cesare and Enrico Rondinelli.  But it all went wrong when the BMW broke its differential 12 minutes from the end, handing victory to the Porsche crew.

In 2020, to favour the return of the pre-‘66 cars, so popular in series in other parts of Europe, the Gruppo Peroni will organise a trophy divided into six sprint races reserved for the older cars, certainly not less fun to admire and to drive.

Italian Championship Dates for 2020

28-29 March Misano

25-26 April Vallelunga

9-10 May Adria

20-21 June Misano

11-12 July Imola

5-6 September Cervesina (to be confirmed)

24-25 October Imola

These stories are all from the pages of Historic Motor Racing News.  Some have been abbreviated for this web site.  If you'd like to receive the full version, please visit our subscription page where you will find postal subscriptions available.  A full subscription also entitles you to access the current issue online (available soon), so you can take it with you and read it anywhere, and we are working on providing full access to our archives of back issues exclusively for our subscribers.