In celebration of the event’s 120-year heritage, this year’s COPPA FLORIO 12H Sicily will kick off with a celebratory parade of race cars travelling to, and being displayed in, the neighbouring city centre of Enna.
Upwards of 20 GT and TCE cars that have signed up for the COPPA FLORIO 12H Sicily are set to make the near-15km drive through the mountains to the neighbouring city centre of Enna on Thursday 8 October. Escorted by the event’s official safety car, and with local constabulary diverting all tangential roads between the Autodromo di Pergusa and Enna, every participant of the parade will be invited to drive at up to 70kph on the road. As well as elevating this singular moment, this will also provide sufficient cooling air to every car’s engine and gearbox.
The latest city parade to be organized by CREVENTIC is also a celebration of the Coppa Florio’s origins. In 1905, the first official edition of the Sicilian road rally was contested over the 167km that linked Brescia, Cremona and Mantua, and the return leg to Brescia. Across their three laps, for a total distance of 500.7km, all 22 drivers would traverse numerous villages and town centres, rarely slowly down despite the multitude of spectators in attendance.
During the Coppa Florio’s heyday being run simultaneously with the Targa Florio at the ‘Medio Circuito’ intermittently from 1922 to 1929, competitors traversed an even more treacherous, 108km route from Cerda through Caltavulturo, Polizzi, Scillato, Collesano and Campofelice back to Cerda. Five times! What better way to celebrate the revival of the classic event?
Once in Enna, the grid of race cars for Saturday’s COPPA FLORIO 12H Sicily will be welcomed by the mayor of Enna Signore Maurizio Dipietro outside City Hall. Each driver will also be presented with a “gift of local significance” to mark the historic return of international motorsport to Pergusa. Indeed, the 2020 COPPA FLORIO 12H Sicily will not only be the first official running of the ‘Coppa Florio’ since 1981 but also marks the first international race meeting at the Autodromo di Pergusa since 2012.
This is not the first time of course that CREVENTIC has held a city parade of this ilk. Last year’s inaugural TCR SPA 500 weekend began with the full grid of 17 TCR cars driving in convoy from the start-finish straight at Circuit Spa-Francorchamps on the road to the city centre of Malmedy, 10km away. There, the cars that would compete in the 500-lap / 23-hour endurance event were displayed in Malmedy city centre for photographs and driver autograph sessions. At this year’s Hankook 24H DUBAI, the grid of 66 GT and TCE race cars drove from the start-finish straight at the Dubai Autodrome to Dubai’s neighbouring Motor City – again on the road, and led by Dubai police’s fleet of supercars – for a one-hour photography and autograph session.
Following two, 2hr private test sessions on Thursday, the city parade will get underway at 15.15 hrs local time. The following day, Friday 9 October, a 90-minute Free Practice session will run from 10.00 hrs to 11.30 hrs before two separate 45-minute qualifying sessions for the 2020 COPPA FLORIO 12H Sicily begin at 14.00 hrs (TCE) and 15.00 hrs (GT) respectively. The green flag for the opening six hours of the event will fly at 11.00 hrs on Saturday 10 October.
* Images from the 2019 TCR SPA 500 and 2020 Hankook 24H DUBAI courtesy of Petr Frýba.