TARGA FLORIO - THE SICILIAN SCRAMBLE
The Targa Florio was an open road endurance race that combined all the best elements of motor sport. Raced from 1906 to 1977, the beautiful but crumbling Sicilian country roads played host to all the important exotic sports cars of the day. Ferrari, Alpha Romero, Porsche and others all came and battled for the prestigious trophy in what was Europe's first real organised motor race.
The roads that the race took place on were open to all the islands general traffic right up until the day of the race. This meant exciting and reckless practice runs took place the week before, drivers hurtling around corners attempting to dodge tractors, stray donkeys and children hoping to catch a glimpse of bright red paint and a screaming V12.
It was known to be one of the toughest motor races in Europe in its day, the islands rough roads snaking over the landscape in tight hairpins, and climbing to higher altitudes that often saw quickly changing weather. The race wound down and was discontinued in 1977 over rising safety concerns, with driver Helmut Marko describing the race as, "totally insane".