The 24th annual Winter Marathon was held 19-22 January 2012 in Madonna di Campiglio situated in the Dolomites of Italy.
The father and daughter team of Ezio and Francesca Salviato took overall honors in their 1939 Lancia Aprilia, as they braved tough conditions to place a win over the other 158 teams in the 2012 Winter Marathon. Second and third place went to the official drivers from the Alfa Romeo Historical Museum: Alessandro Gamberini (Alfa Romeo Giulietta TI, 1962) who crossed the line in front of Fabio Salvinelli (Alfa Romeo Giulia TI Super, 1964). Seventh and eighth, Cavagna-Bossini (Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spider, 1960) and Cibaldi-Costa (Porsche 356 SC Coupe, 1963), first crews completely from Brescia, third in this particular ranking, Lorenzo and Mario Turelli (son and father), who led their 1954 Austin-Healey 100 BN1 to the 14th place in the general classification.
The heart of the 2012 Winter Marathon began at 2pm hrs on Friday, January 20th when the 1932 Fiat 508 S Balilla Sport of Spagnoli-Parisi, with the number 1, left Madonna di Campiglio under a few snowflakes to face more than 400 km, 40 time trials, five time controls and one passage control.
After the first nine time trials between Carciato and Caldes, the team Cane-Rossi jumped to the lead with 30 penalties (after cancelling the worst time trial until then and calculating the coefficient), in front of Bresciani-Perletti (Alfa Romeo Giulia 1300 TI, 1967) with 40, Arzoni-Gregori (Fiat 850 Spider, 1968) with 45 and Salvinelli-Gastaldi with 54. Equal fifth Aliverti-Maffi (59) in their 1968 Morris Mini Cooper S and Rampello- Migliorati (MG A, 1955). In the seventh position two crews: Gamberini-Fanti and Cavagna-Bossini, with 66, in front of the Salviato family, in ninth position with 71 followed by another crew from Varese: Crugnola-Vida (Triumph TR3A, 1958) with 76.
After the three demanding time trials on the Palade Pass and the four ones in the modern safety driving centre “Safety Park” in Vadena (Cane scored only 8 penalties in the 4 PC on the track!), the race animated and at the 16th time trial Cane consolidated his position with 72 penalties, followed by Salvinelli (102) while Bresciani-Perletti from Bergamo were third (112), Riboldi-Guerini in the 1936 Fiat Morettini 508 S fourth (117) in front of the top driver Rampello (129). Sixth place for Aliverti and Arzoni from Cremona with 133 followed by Salviato with 2 penalties more. Gamberini lost positions and he was ninth with 149 together with Mario Sandrolini Cortesi, very good at taking his beautiful 1937 Citroen 11 AL Roadster inside the top ten.
After Bolzano, the crews went to the Lavaze Pass where the cold (-9.5°C) and a bit of snow fallen in the early afternoon made the road slippery. After the time trials of Tesero, Ziano di Fiemme and the break in Canazei, the provisional classification at the trial 26 (with the cancellation of the PC no. 17 and 18), confirmed the first place of Cane (127) with the tough but very far away, Salvinelli still in the second place (185) and Salviato on the podium with 192, in front of the other driver of the Alfa Romeo Historical Museum with 201 penalties like Riboldi. Rampello slipped to the sixth place with 212, Aliverti was seventh with 237, Cavagna eighth with 3 penalties more, in front of Scotto-Corradi Rolla from Genova (252) in the 1939 Lancia Aprilia, authors of a good recovery with Lui-Vicchi from Mantova (Fiat 1100/103, 1953) who were in the tenth position with a total of 257.
The snow completely changed the landscape, and the road conditions put a strain on the crews who were called to deal with ten time trials, climbing in quick succession the Passes Pordoi, Campolongo, Gardena, Sella and Costalunga. After the time trial number 36, Cane was confirmed leader (287) with Salviato at 324 who overtook Salvinellli (only fourth with 354), while Riboldi-Guerini were excellent third with 333 penalties. From the fifth to the seventh place there were Rampello (369), Gamberini (377) and Cavagna (386) controlling each other, followed by Crugnola (404), Lui (405) and Aliverti (412), while Armando Fontana with Giovanni Adorni (Porsche 911 T, 1968) appeared in the eleventh place. At the time control of Carezza, Giuliano Cane, favourite to win, made a mistake passing with two minutes delay, imitated by Spagnoli and by Rampello, who paid one.
There were the last four time trials to face when Alberto Riboldi was forced to retire crashed by a car (not in the race), while the heavy rain at the beginning of the climb towards the Mendel Pass turned into snow. The classification took its final shape: Salviato put his hands on the victory with 360 penalty, Gamberini finished in the second place with 400 ahead of Salvinelli, third with 428. Fontana ended surprisingly fourth at 450, Crugnola took the fifth place (453), Mauro Clerici and Deborah Restelli (Porsche 356 SC Cabriolet, 1965) sixth, recovering six places in the last four time trials. Cavagna- Bossini confirmed the seventh place (458) in front of Michele Cibaldi (473); Aliverti (477) and Lui (483) exchanged the ninth and tenth place: Rampello-Migliorati, penalized by the mistake at the time control, fell down to the eighteenth place, just before Cane that closed twentieth. The heavy snowfall started on the Mendel Pass lasted until the Time Control in Folgarida and the final Passage Control of Madonna di Campiglio, where the cars found over 15 centimetres of snow.
The former Formula 1 driver Ivan Capelli, today “voice” of the world championship on Rai, the Italian television, thanked Volvo “who gave me the opportunity to take part in this great race in a PV544 built in 1965. I must admit that it was more difficult than I expected. In addition to the difficulty of driving on the snow and ice, these races require a great attention both by the driver and the navigator. Gianni Lenzi and I have driven for twelve consecutive hours without a lapse of concentration in order to avoid going the wrong way and accumulating too many penalties during the time trials”, for them an excellent 50th place, while the Senator Filippo Berselli (Porsche 356 SC Coupe, 1963) got the 86th final position. Robert ‘Bob’ Paltrow, uncle of Gwyneth, the Hollywood actress, raced in a 1955 Austin-Healey 100 BN1 together with Angelo Pontiroli and finished with satisfaction at the 105th place his first experience at the Winter Marathon.
The Ermini 1100 Sport built in 1952 driven by Emanuel Piona and Geronimo La Russa ended at the 94th place, while a delay at a time control cost Giuseppe Lunardi (Austin-Healey 100 BN1, 1953) the exclusion from the final classification. In the Ladies’ cup, the success went to Laura Bonzi and Federica Bignetti Bignetti who, in the rare Abarth 1000 Bialbero, gained the 80th place.
The special classification reserved to the foreign crews was won by the Canadian Brian Harper and Matthew Bubbers (Porsche 356 C Cabriolet, 1964), while in the challenge among the CSAI racing teams (the greatly desired model designed by Co.Fe.Mo.) the victory went to F.M. from Brescia (present with 20 crews) in front of the ClassicTeam from Mantova and of the other “cousins” from Brescia, the Emmebi 70.
“I have to congratulate all the participants,” said the president of the organizing committee Roberto Vesco, “because despite the evident difficult weather conditions, they did not give up and continued with great determination. The road system of the province of Bolzano had informed about little problems, but probably the wind and cold have worsen the situation.” 38 of the 40 foreseen time trials were carried out regularly, only a technical problem of a time instrument forced the clerk of the event to cancel two trials. Andrea Vesco added “We must thank all Race Marshalls (by Pine Motori) and the timekeepers of Brixia Crono, despite the severe weather conditions, they have done their job extremely well.”