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BEN Mille Miglia Rally » Rally History

BEN Mille Miglia Rally

In aid of BEN - The Automotive Industry Charity

BEN Mille Miglia Rally, England to Italy, 20th-29th June 2009

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Rally History

The original rally was first established in 1927 when the town of Brescia lost the Italian Grand Prix to Monza.  In total the rally took place 24 times, both pre and post war, and originated with a 1500km drive from Brescia to Rome and back.

The Italians dominated the race over the years but there were a small number of German drivers who won.  In 1957 our very own Sir Stirling Moss and his navigator motor race journalist Denis Jenkinson completed and won the race in their Mercedes-Benz 300SLR.  Due to the local knowledge of other racers, Moss and ‘Jenks’ were allowed 6 reconnaissance laps, in which Jenks made course notes on paper stretching 15 foot long!  Jenks would navigate Moss with a coded system of hand signals.  However, Moss’s innate ability was clearly the predominant factor.  Moss was the first and only Brit to win the race over the years.

The race was banned after a fatal crash in 1957 that took the lives of a driver and his navigator along with eleven spectators after a blown tyre caused the crash.

Jenks chose to spend the latter part of his life as a resident at Lynwood, BEN’s nursing and residential centre near Ascot.  Fellow residents were mightily impressed when Sir Stirling Moss popped in for the occasional chat with his long-time friend and motorsport colleague.  Following his death in 1996, we were proud to have a memorial garden dedicated to the memory of the Mille Miglia legend.

Our Mille Miglia rally promises to be a spectacular 10-day event, travelling through a number of Italy’s most famous towns and villages and provided a fitting tribute to our former resident, Denis Jenkinson.