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Mille Miglia: Historic test for man and machine

14 March 2019, 09:00

AGIP (currently known as Eni) served as the lubricant and fuels partner from the very first edition of the Mille Miglia.
Mille Miglia: Historic test for man and machine
A 1,600-kilometre road race would still be the ultimate test today. The Mille Miglia took place no less than 24 times between 1927 and 1957. The iconic race that wound its way through Italy put man and machine to the ultimate test. AGIP (currently known as Eni) served as the lubricant and fuels partner from the very first edition of the Mille Miglia. 

Driving from Brescia to Rome and back as fast as possible without a pit stop. 1,000 miles through rain, fog, blazing sun and the pitch darkness of night. The Mille Miglia demanded almost the impossible. This is why the race was hugely appealing to car makes such as Alfa Romeo, BMW, Ferrari, Lancia, Maserati and Porsche. They all longed for success in the ‘1,000 miles’. 

The Mille Miglia also played an undeniable role in the further development of automobile technology. ‘We learned important technical lessons in the Mille Miglia. This is true for both us as Ferrari and the parts suppliers and petrol and oil producers. It’s important to emphasise this,’ says Enzo Ferrari. AGIP/Eni served as Ferrari’s lubricant partner in the Formula 1 for many years. 

While the team endeavoured to drive as fast as possible, the engineers and mechanics faced the challenge of keeping the technology in top shape. As market leader and technical partner, AGIP/Eni supported the teams by providing special fuel and high-quality motor oils and brake fluids. The mechanics changed or filled the oils during very short stops along the course. 

Alfa Romeo is the most successful brand in the history of the Mille Miglia. The Milan-based car make won the road race no less than 11 times, including 7 consecutive wins (1932-1938). Stirling Moss and Denis Jenkinson hold the speed record. Driving a Mercedes-Benz, they finished the 1957 edition in 10 hours, 7 minutes and 48 seconds. That equals an average speed of 160 kilometres an hour!
 

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