Giro d’Italia reborn for 2011

The classic multi-discipline giro d’Italia tour is being brought back for next season after an absence of more than 20 years.

The revived event, like the original in the 1970s and ’80s, will pit GT machinery and rally cars against each other in a series of races, hillclimbs and asphalt rally stages next October. The format remains true to the old Giro, with cars driving on public roads in between.

The new Giro is the brainchild of former FIA rules expert Gabriele Cadringher, who was involved in the organisation of the event in the 1970s. He has described the revived Giro as a “big celebration of motorsport”.

The event will take in top circuits in Italy, including Monza, Imola, Mugello and Vallelunga. There will be a number of races at each track, with cars grouped according to performance.

The total mileage for the Giro, which will start in Turin and finish in Rome, will be 1000 miles, and approximately one third of that distance will be on competitive sections.

The rules will again allow for one car to be shared by one racer and one rally driver, switching seats to suit their specialities. For example, Riccardo Patrese won the 1980 event in a Gp5 Lancia Beta Montecarlo, sharing the driving duties with Markku Alen.

Eligible cars will include GT2, GT3 and GT4 machinery and Super 2000 touring cars. S2000 and Group N rally cars will also be invited, along with one-make race and rally cars.

Five-time Le Mans 24 Hours winner Emanuele Pirro, who took part in the 1980 event at the wheel of a Group 4 Lancia Stratos together with rally driver Fabrizio Tabaton, has declared a wish to take part in the new Giro.

“I did the circuit races and was usually third behind the Lancia Beta Montecarlos,” he said. “I hope the new event maintains the old spirit and that I can be part of it.”

The Giro d’Italia was first run in 1901. It was reinstated in 1973 and continued until 1980, before making a two-year return in 1988-89.