The “Cronoscalata del Cavallino”

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A hill climb race for modern and classic cars along the road used for a long time as the Ferrari testing ground.

Before the construction of the Fiorano circuit in 1972, Enzo Ferrari used to test his cars, including racing cars, on Maranello’s roads, and especially on the section of the Via Giardini cross-Apennine highway from Maranello to Serramazzoni, which includes the iconic hairpin bend (or “Svolta”) at San Venanzio.

The residents of this small village often had the chance to watch champions at the wheel: for example, US driver Phil Hill used the road to try out the 250 Testa Rossa in which he and Olivier Gendebien were to win the Le Mans 24 Hour Race on 22 June 1958.

It was on this road into the mountains that Enzo Ferrari made the finishing touches to many of his creations. For several years starting from 1998, the via Giardini hosted the Cronoscalata del Cavallino, or “Prancing Horse Hill Climb” race for modern and vintage cars, which attracted large numbers of enthusiasts wishing to experience the thrill of driving this famous road at speed. Briefly, all the splendours and excitement of a mythical racing car age were brought back to life.

In those years Maranello also hosted other major sporting events. For example, the Italian Marathon started from the Galleria Ferrari museum, a fine setting for a race with a very long history and an iconic status of its own, and very fitting because before developing his passion for motorsports Enzo Ferrari had also practiced athletics in his youth: “At that time, motorsports held no appeal for me,” he wrote in his memoires. “Track and field athletics were my sport.”

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