Exclusive 1976 Coppa Florio photos to headline Cusumano event at Autodromo di Pergusa

News | October 6, 2020

Never before seen images from the 1976 Coppa Florio by tenured photographer Roberto Barbato will be on display this Friday at the COPPA FLORIO 12H Sicily as part of a wine tasting exhibition by event sponsor, Cusumano.

CREVENTIC’s latest sponsor for the inaugural COPPA FLORIO 12H Sicily, Cusumano, has revealed further details surrounding its complimentary wine tasting on Friday 9th October, including an exhibition of exclusive photographs from one of the last official editions of the Coppa Florio in 1976.


Cusumano, among the most respected and expansive wineries in Sicily, will bring two of its most popular blends to the Autodromo di Pergusa and will invite competitors for this weekend’s COPPA FLORIO 12H Sicily – drivers and team personnel alike – to sample both blends when the GT and TCE qualifying sessions draw to a close at 15.45 hrs local time on Friday.


“It’s an honour to be part of such an extraordinary event full of heritage, style, elegance and commitment,” explained Cusumano’s marketing and communications officer, Mayra Bina. “We believe, along with the 2020 COPPA FLORIO 12H Sicily, that even on different territories, we can share the same passion.”

Details have also been provided regarding the two blends Cusumano will showcase at the Autodromo di Pergusa, the Angimbé 2019 Sicilia DOC and the Benuara 2017 Sicilia DOC. Interestingly, both represent two of Cusumano’s five bespoke territories, the former having been produced at the brand’s Tenuta Ficuzza vineyard in Piana degli Albanesi (700-800m above sea level), while the latter hails from the Tenuta Presti e Pegni in Monreale (250m slm).


“Tenuta Ficuzza is the first estate of our family,” Mayra continues. “This is where it all began. It’s surrounded by the woods of Ficuzza, in Piana degli Albanesi, on hills that reach over 700 metres above the sea level. Thanks to this feature, there’s a good daily temperature excursion: during the day, it is hot, thanks to the vineyards’ exposure to the sun; in the evening, temperatures go down, helped by the hill breeze. Here we grow Insolia and Chardonnay.


“From these two grape varieties our Angimbé is born. The name ‘Angimbé’ refers to a place that has everything: there’s the Mediterranean bush, giving character, the wind and the altitude, giving freshness and elegant aromas to the grapes, there’s Insolia which develops the acidity, elegance and minerals of a mountain white wine, and Chardonnay adding roundness.


“Of our estates, Tenuta Presti e Pegni probably best represents the image one normally has of the island. It is located in Monreale, on hills where the vineyards are exposed to the sun from dawn to dusk. The air is freshened up by the breeze coming from the sea, some 10km away, which disperses the heat. This is the home to our international varieties. Syrah, above all.


“Benuara is a small red flower that grows in the Mediterranean area in the spring. It’s red, just like this wine. This blend unites the Sicilian power of Nero d’Avola, with the complex character of Syrah, which in these compact and clayey vineyards found a place where it can develop its spiciness. The sun shines from dawn to dusk, guaranteeing a perfect ripening of the red grapes. We hand harvest the grapes, starting with Syrah in late August, and then Nero d’Avola in late September.”


Alongside the wine tasting, the post-qualifying exhibition will also include exclusive images of the 16th official Coppa Florio in 1976 taken by one of Sicily’s pre-eminent motorsport photographers, Roberto Barbato.


A professional photographer since 1971, Barbato has covered endurance racing and Formula 1 during his career as well as motorcycling, power boat racing and motocross. Away from the track, Barbato has also taken his craft into the classroom and has been teaching the history and significance of sports photography for some time.


His exhibition this weekend will include never before seen images of the 1976 Coppa Florio, round four of that year’s World Sports Car Championship which was also held at the Autodromo di Pergusa. Only the third running of the ‘Coppa Florio’ to be held since the event’s revival after a 45-year hiatus in 1974, the ’76 Coppa Florio was won outright by Jochen Mass and Rolf Stommelen aboard a Martini Racing Porsche 936. Interestingly, having also won the ’75 race alongside Arturo Merzario, Jochen Mass became only the third driver to take back-to-back wins on the Coppa Florio after Felice Nazzaro (’08 and ’14) and Albert Divo (’28 and ’29). 

Images courtesy of Petr Frýba.

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