The inaugural COPPA FLORIO 12H Sicily paid tribute to the motorsport’s heritage in Sicily, at the Autodromo di Pergusa and on the ‘Coppa Florio’ itself.
Held at the Autodromo di Pergusa, a venue opened in 1951, the first official ‘Coppa Florio since 1981 (and only the 20th since 1905) was positively dripping with heritage and Sicilian culture as Qualifying drew to a close on Friday 9 October.
GT and TCE entrants had already driven their race cars through the mountains, on public roads, to the neighbouring city centre of Enna in tribute to the Coppa Florio’s road-rally origins, receiving a traditional Sicilian coppola for their efforts upon arrival. With all on-track activities concluded for the day on Friday evening, drivers and team personnel were invited to an exclusive wine tasting hosted by event sponsor, and Sicilian vintner, Cusumano. Never-before-seen prints of the 1976 Coppa Florio, shot by Roberto Barbato, were erected on easels all around, and as glasses were filled, bronze plaquettes adorning the original Coppa Florio bequeathed to drivers in the early 1900s were being handed around by the drivers at the 2020 event, another throwback to the event’s illustrious, but sadly long since forgotten, heritage.
On Saturday morning, traditional Sicilian folk dancers performed on the start grid, and at 1100 hrs local time sharp, the green flag for the COPPA FLORIO 12H Sicily was flown by three-time Targa Florio winner, and Sicilian motorsport legend, Nino Vaccarella. The first international motor race at the Autodromo di Pergusa in close to a decade was underway.
It’s no exaggeration to say that round five of this year’s 24H SERIES powered by Hankook was an event like no other the championship has experienced hitherto, as several drivers make clear HERE and via our traditional ‘Aftermovie’ demonstrates.
- Video by Daan Schel.
- Images by Petr Frýba.
- Our thanks also to David Vink.