The City of Sebring, FL, has the 12 Hours of Sebring. France has the 24 Hours of Le Mans. And now, the Town of Middleburg has the 1000 Miglia Warm Up USA—a precursor to one of the world’s most iconic automobile races.
The 500-mile race will take place from Oct. 23-26, with the first day dedicated to rally training at Summit Point Motorsports Park near Charles Town, WV, followed by the three-day race beginning in Middleburg and ending in Washington, DC. Day one of the race will see drivers travel 200 miles on a northern loop through Loudoun beginning and ending in Middleburg. Day two will see them do the same, but on a southern loop. Day three will see racers travel 100 miles from the town, through Point of Rocks with a stop at the Congressional Country Club in Maryland, past the U.S. Capitol Building and finishing on Italian soil at Villa Firenze, the Italian ambassador’s home in DC.
The race—a partnership between the Italian Embassy, Alfa Romeo, Chopard, Alitalia and Summit Point—will welcome up to 40 cars to Middleburg to compete in two classes—the 1000 Miglia Era Class, which is open to eligible cars manufactured between 1927 and 1957; and the Post-1000 Miglia Era Class, which is open to sports, grand touring and supercars manufactured from 1958 onward. Spectators will see supercars made by Alfa Romeo, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Porsche, Mercedes, Aston Martin and others race around the back roads of Loudoun come October.
The overall race winner will be awarded the inauguralCoppa USA, or USA Cup. The top two veteran and novice crews from each class will receive guaranteed entry into the 2020 1000 Miglia next May, which will stretch 1,000 miles from Brescia, Italy to Rome and back.
Town Administrator Danny Davis said the town would plan an event the morning of day three of the race to send the racers off to the finish line.
“It’s a really, really unique opportunity,” he said. “Hopefully we can build a great tradition around this.”
Mayor Bridge Littleton said that he spoke with the mayors of Loudoun’s six other towns and that they were “100 percent onboard” with the idea to be a part of the race in some way—perhaps by hosting a checkpoint in their respective towns.
“If we do this right, this will be a legacy that lives on,” he said. “It could be an endearing piece of something that happens in Middleburg year after year after year.”
Councilman Peter Leonard-Morgan clarified that the race wouldn’t be the type of event that comes to most residents’ minds when they hear the phrase “car race.” He pointed out that it would be a rally in which the racers individually go up against a clock and aren’t bashing doors with each other down Loudoun’s rural roads. “We do have law enforcement involved,” he said.
The 1000 Miglia—called the “Mille Miglia” in Italian—dates back to 1927. The endurance race took place 24 more times before ending in 1957.
Nearly three decades later, raceorganizers obtained permission from theAutomobile Club of Bresciato host a re-enactment of the 1000 Miglia and in 1982, the race was back on. Initially held every two years, the race has been held every year in May since 1987.
Last year’s 1000 Miglia Warm Up USA was held in DC and saw 18 cars participating.
To learn more about the race, go to 1000miglia.it.