San Giorgio Racing Team's debut at the Mille Miglia in 1948
1948 is the year which marked the debut of the San Giorgio Team
at the 15th edition of the Mille Miglia (One Thousand Miles) racing
The racing Team's debut is described in a very interesting historical source, a "single issue" published by Team itself on May 2, 1948 and edited by Alfredo Tiocchi. In it, the atmosphere of the time - one which remains unchanged today - is illustrated as follows:
"The San Giorgio Team is now an accomplished fact! Although extremely young, it comes to the baptismal font of the 15th Mille Miglia Cup to consecrate its chances for success in what has been called 'the most beautiful race in the world'". The practical experience offered by the competition would also allow the Team to test its actual strengths.
Not so long ago, on October 17, 1947, fourteen great sportsmen - vibrant with enthusiasm and unafraid of the great hardship lying ahead - met at Edmondo Bucci's house, the current President of the Team. There, they laid the foundations of their game plan, whose potential for success would often be met by doubts and smirks of skepticism.
However, perseverance and enthusiasm helped the young men overcome every obstacle, and the San Giorgio Team - alive, energetic and well aware of its strengths - is now an official member of the country's motor racing history. As such, it is ready to share with every sportsman in Ferrara - and in general, in Italy - its point of view and beliefs about this great sport.
Before the Team's drivers and vehicles could be measured against older, more famous teams along the country's roads - unraveling in the sun like beautiful ribbons - San Giorgio had already set a record. They were, in fact - and still are - the largest team to take part in the famous competition.
For weeks and months the heart of the Team's body shops throbbed behind closed doors, and it was thanks to their enthusiasm and intense working rhythm that the little mechanical gems San Giorgio is famous for could be created. Renato Turolla helped to prepare them, while brothers Morelli and Gaetano Marmini manufactured the slim, aerodynamic body shells that would cover the Team's vehicles.
Without discrimination, technicians, general mechanics, body-shop mechanics and promoters pooled their resources and did their best to prepare the vehicles. The night of May 2, the Team's cars would drive at full throttle along the 1,823 kilometers of the Mille Miglia, trying to attain success and personal achievement - San Giorgio's gift to the town of Ferrara and to their fellow citizens. However, the kind of 'success' the San Giorgio Racing Team was aiming for was not absolute triumph: in such a hard competition as the Mille Miglia, known for its fierce and skillful contestants, it would have been simply unrealistic. The Team was hoping for a different type of achievement - or in other words, for a result which would prove their strength and reward the efforts made by the people who had pursued this success with dedication, loyalty and hard work.
With this 'single issue', dedicated to the debut of the San Giorgio Racing Team and to the 15th edition of the Mille Miglia Cup, we would like to celebrate these two closely related events. It is also our intention to give our blessing - a very well-deserved and solemn one - to everyone who helped make this possible. Dear San Giorgio Team drivers, the eyes of thousands and thousands of sport fans are on you! At the same time, they are on other fellow citizens who may not be racing with you, but will nevertheless leave no stone unturned to attain personal achievement. Bring honor to your name, repay the immense trust which has been placed on you, and always remember deep down in your heart that your town, Ferrara, is proud to cheer for you and wish you good luck. Signed: The Dragon.
Ferrara teams taking part in the
"The San Giorgio Team is entering exactly ten vehicles to the 15th edition of the Mille Miglia Cup. These vehicles fall into three separate categories, all of which are part of the international sports class, and are distributed as follows: one vehicle in the 1,500 category, one in the 1,100 and eight in the 750. The Fiat 1,500, which will be driven by Bucci and Gullini, has been dramatically changed and now boasts a power of 66 HP, as well as excellent speed, stability, high endurance and brakes. It can drive as fast as 155 km/h - a remarkable advantage over other vehicles like Lancia-Aprilias, which have been taking part in today's competition in large numbers.
The Fiat 1,100 will be driven by the Bernardi-Romeri crew. Although more appropriate for a "Golden Cup" type of competition, it is nevertheless a fast vehicle, with good brakes and excellent pickup and sprint. Unfortunately, it is still at a disadvantage to the ultra-modern 1,100's, which are much faster and much more manageable. However, considering its excellent road-handling ability, it will stand a good chance of coming in at an honorable position. In addition, it is not to be forgotten that both Bernardi and Romeri are determined to give all they have in this Cup.
On the other hand, the crews Canè-Bignardi, Turolla-Turolla, Giardini-Cassai, Strozzi-Caretti and Lamburghini-Baglioni will be driving Fiat 750 vehicles, enhanced with ultra-light racing bodies (made by the Morelli Brothers Company, Ferrara, for the first three crews; by the Marmini auto body shop, Ferrara, for Strozzi-Caretti and by Ala D'Oro in Reggio Emilia for the Lamburghini-Baglioni crew). These cars can drive as fast as 130 km/h, which, combined with their excellent pickup, stability and brakes, will allow these machines to reach very high levels of average speed on this race course - one which, as everyone knows, is much faster than the racing track in use before the War.
The Vito and Vittorino Barion crew will be driving a Fiat 750 with a chassis similar to the other Fiat vehicles in the category, but equipped with a 'Giannini' engine, featuring a special crank shaft and a molded central bearing. The vehicle also sports a sedan body (created by the Morelli Brothers body shop in Ferrara), as well as an exceptionally attractive line. This Fiat is also extremely light - it weighs only 65 kilos - and in spite of its light weight, it still offers all the comforts of a touring car. It performs just like any other vehicle, and we are certain that Vito and Vittorio Barion will do great with it.
The Garbini-Casoni crew and the Geris will be driving actual mass-produced vehicles, enhanced with a special engine. Although one can hardly say that these drivers are on the same level as their team fellows, they can still cut a fine figure in their category.
As may be easily noticed after this short review, the San Giorgio Team has tried to enter this classic competition with the widest range of vehicles, and although lack of time hasn't allowed the team to achieve all its goals, we are sure it will do fairly well in all the categories it has entered.
On the other hand, it is important to remember that the Mille Miglia Cup is the toughest car race in the world. As such, it entails many potentially negative factors which make its result extremely unpredictable for the contestants. Nevertheless, we are confident that if Fortune smiles on them, our drivers will do everything in their power to turn the debut of the San Giorgio Racing Team at the Mille Miglia into a real triumph."
Page edited by Nunzia Manicardi
Informative materials courtesy of the San Giorgio Racing Team