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Brescia, May 17, 2009

“The legend has won.  After last year's enormous success, the world's greatest road race has surpassed itself to become even greater”. With these words, Alessandro Casali, President of the Organizing Committee of the Mille Miglia, began his congratulatory speech at the Awards Ceremony which took place this morning at the Teatro Grande in Brescia.

The winners of the XXVII revival of the Mille Miglia are Carlo and Bruno Ferrari in a Bugatti Type 37 from 1927 who triumphed over their Argentine rivals- Carlos Sielecki and Juan Hervas in Bugatti Type 35 A from 1926-with only a two point lead.  Coming in third were the winners of last year's Mille Miglia, Antonio and Luciano Viaro, in an Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 Super Sport from 1928.

The race left from Brescia on Thursday.  Among the famous faces to be seen among the drivers were the Prince of Orange, Geronimo La Russa, Walter Burani, Arturo Bombassei, Massimo Ameduni and Mika Hakkinen who drove among the accompanying cars in a flashy Mercedes SLR Stirling Moss presented at the Salon in Geneva.

Great were the emotions of another famous Formula 1 racing car driver, David Coulthard, who, when he arrived in Ferrara at the end of the first leg, stated, “I am proud to participate in the Mille Miglia.  It is truly a special event, though very tiring and difficult.  There are so many regularity trials, and we got to Ferrara tired and dirty.  I don't care if I win, because I just want to take part and have fun.  For me it's a great honor to drive the car that took Stirling Moss  to victory in 1955, considering that I am one of his greatest fans.”

When they get to Ferrara the crew of Luciano and Antonio Viaro are in first place.  Some of the classic cars have already been forced to give up the race, but in the morning, the rest leave for Rome.  At the stop in S. Sepolcro, the Secretary General of the Mille Miglia, Sandro Binelli, meets the Prince of Jordan, Maijilis El Hassan.  The meeting, highlighted by the presentation of the Mille Miglia seal by Binelli to the Prince, comes to a conclusion with the promise to study in depth a Mille Miglia Tribute in Jordan for 2010.

Friday evening, the cars reach Rome on the second leg of their journeyStill holding on to first place are the Viaros.  A crowd of more than 10,000 people wait for the arrival of the first cars at Castel S. Angelo.  Among them is the “godmother” of the event, Manuela Arcuri, and many familiar showbiz celebrities among whom, Lorenzo Flaherty, Tiberio Timperi, Roberta Garzia, Flavia Vento, Maria Monsé, Pamela Camassa and Filippo Bisciglia, and Davide Ricci.  Rome welcomes the cars, and the Colosseum and the Roman Forum are lit up for the party.

Yesterday, that is, Saturday, the Mille Miglia leaves once again for the last leg to Brescia.  The action becomes more riveting, and the crew of Kristian Ghedina moves up from 118th place to 68th.  “I am living this experience on pure adrenaline,” he explains, “and I am really pleased with my results.  My car is fantastic, even though driving a BMW 328 Touring Coupé dating back to 1939 is definitely not child's play.  And I must say, it does make me feel proud.  This is not the first time that I am taking part in this magnificent race, and every year, the organization outdoes itself, like the warmth of the people.”

Even though his ranking was not up there, David Coulthard, who came in 243th, explains enthusiastically, “I am really happy.  Driving through all those marvelous cities and small towns of Italy is an incredible experience.  You see the cultural, artistic, and natural wonders of this stunningly beautiful country. It is difficult to describe the feelings I had in Rome or, say in Siena, even though the real adrenaline is on, is in, the route.  Only in Italy can a race like this be found.  A race that brings families out and crowds of people along the roads.”

Mika Hakkinen echoes his feelings.  “This is the third time I am taking part in this race, and each time is filled with yet more passion.  I would like to give my compliments to the organization, and my thanks to the volunteers and to the police forces.  Everyone gives it their all, to make the event a great success.  And I must say they have succeeded.”

Yesterday evening, the arrival in Brescia.  This morning, the Award Ceremony at the Teatro Grande where the President of the Organizing Committee, Alessandro Casali, along with the Secretary General, Sandro Binelli, the Mayor of Brescia, Adriano Paroli, and  Savina Confaloni gave the trophies to the winners.  “This year, the participation of the public along the route was just amazing,” Binelli exclaimed, “and what a close finish! Just two points between first place and second.  This shows the importance of the competitive aspect of the Event.”

 “The Mille Miglia,” added the Mayor of Brescia, Adriano Paroli, has once more shown itself to be a race for the people.  It is one of the few events that manages each year to out do itself.”

Alessandro Casali ended the Award Ceremony with the words, “I would like to thank once more all the government bodies, our partners, and everyone who worked to make the Mille Miglia 2009 such a great success.  We still have the last stops on the International Roadshow to look forward to, as we take the Mille Miglia's Freccia Rossa out across the globe as a symbol of Made in Italy and of Italian Lifestyle.”

The Mille Miglia 2009 is also a charity event.  At the Gala Dinner, on Wednesday, in Brescia, the Organizing Committee worked with the Italian Red Cross to gather approximately 40,000 euros to build a nursery school in Onna, the town destroyed by the earthquake in Abruzzo on April 6.

The Mille Miglia 2009 took place under the patronage of the President of the Italian Council of Ministers, the President of the Italian House of Parliament, the Minister for Foreign Affairs, the Minister for Economic Development, the Minister for Cultural Activities and Works, the Minister for Agricultural, Food and Forest Policies, the Minister for Youth, ICE (the Italian Institute for Foreign Trade), the Industrial Association of Brescia, Bresciatourism, the Mille Miglia Museum, the City of Brescia, the Province of Brescia, the Region of Lombardy, the City of Rome, the Province of Rome, the Region of Lazio, the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of Solferino, and the Italian Red Cross.  Thanks also to the support of A2A, Chopard, Stefano Ricci, Sixt, Allianz, Berlucchi, Grana Padano, Shüco, Bosh, Richard Ginori, Georgsmarienhütte Holding GmbH, State of Art, Alitalia, Arclinea, Dimmidisi, Brixia Expo Fiera di Brescia, Flos, Next, Quadriportico, Siglacom, Rubinetterie Bresciane, Foresti, Rcs Pubblicità, and Rds.