1956 Mille Miglia
The 23. edizione Mille Miglia was an auto race held on a 992.332 mile (1597 km) course made up entirely of public roads around Italy, mostly on the outer parts of the country on 28–29 April 1956. The route was based on a round trip between Brescia and Rome, with start/finish, in Brescia. It was the 3rd round of the 1956 World Sportscar Championship.
As in previous years, the event this not strictly a race against each other, this is race against the clock, as the cars are released at one-minute intervals with the larger professional class cars going before the slower cars, in the Mille Miglia, however the smaller displacement slower cars started first. Each car number related to their allocated start time. For example Peter Collins’s car had the number 551, he left Brescia at 5:51am, while the first cars had started late in the evening on the previous day. Some drivers went with navigators, others didn't; a number of local Italian drivers had knowledge of the routes being used and felt confident enough that they wouldn't need one.
This race was won by Scuderia Ferrari driver Eugenio Castellotti without the aid of a navigator. He completed the 992-mile distance in 11 hours, 37 minutes and 10 seconds- an average speed of 85.403 mph (137.442 km/h). The Italian finished 12 minutes in front of their second-placed team-mates, the English pairing of Collins and . Luigi Musso and Juan Manuel Fangio were next ensuring Ferrari finished 1-2-3-4.
A total of 426 cars were entered for the event, across 13 classes based on engine sizes, ranging from up to 750cc to over 2.0-litre, for Grand Touring Cars, Touring Cars and Sport Cars. Of these, 365 cars started the event.
Following Daimler Benz AG and Lancia both withdrawing from motor sport at the end of 1955, this left the World Sportscar Championship wide open for Ferrari to regain the title their held in 1953 and 1954. Although Maserati had other ideas. After one win apiece from the first two races, Ferrari had the upper hand, and led the championship by four points.
For this year's Mille Miglia, the only factory teams were Ferrari and Maserati. Scuderia Ferrari brought cars for five cars; two 290 MMs for Castellotti and Fangio, two 860 Monzas for Collins and Musso, with a 250 GT SWB for Olivier Gendebien. The other works team was Maserati, who entered three cars driver by Stirling Moss (350S), Piero Taruffi and Cesare Perdisa, both in 300S. Meanwhile, there was a significant contingent of Mercedes-Benz cars – no less than 14 semi-works Mercedes-Benz 300SL. With the numbers of participants being reduced by the organisers, many international racing teams and their drivers stayed away from the race.
Ferrari’s race plan was, on the first half of the race, Castellotti and Fangio would push hard in their faster cars, with Collins and Musso, saving their strength for the return leg, arriving fresh in Rome, then able to attack over the rough and winding mountain passes of Radicofani, Futa and . Despite this plan Maserati of Taruffi took the lead between Ravenna and Forlì, but problems with wet brakes forced him to stop at . The Mercedes of Wolfgang von Trips took over the lead, ahead of Castellotti and the Mercedes of Fritz Reiss. The early race sensation were the two Osca drivers Giulio Cabianca and Umberto Maglioli that were laying in fifth and seventh in their little 1.2 litre 4-cylinder cars. But von Trips left the road in Pescara, while Moss did the same in Antrodoco. By Rome, Reiss would be the only threat to Ferrari, but he too was forced to slow down, eventually finishing tenth overall. Castellotti went on to win the event. In the fast mountain passes down to Pescara, the Osca drivers could keep up the pace and soon fell back the standings.
However, the event was a terrible race with heavy rain throughout Italy which led to many crashes. In spite of the attempt by the organisers to make the event safer, there were still a number of fatal accidents, including one that resulted in the death of the Englishman, . He came off the wet road before Ravenna and overturned into a ditch. He died the next day from his injuries in a local hospital. Another fatality occurred in the small town of Montemarciano, when the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL, driven by the German pairing of and . At the time of the accident, Piwco was driving when the car hit a wall, killing he instantly, while Busch suffered only minor injuries, also one spectator injured. A third accident also claimed the life of Swiss navigator, .
When Castellotti arrived back in Brescia, he had more than a ten-minute advantage over Collins. With Musso in third, Fangio in fourth and Gendebien fifth competing a top five clean sweep for Ferrari. Maserati experienced a debacle with only Jean Behra making back to Brescia after making several repairs on his way to 20th overall. Behind the Ferrari, were three Mercedes of Paul von Metternich, Wolfgang Seidel and Jacques Pollet, in sixth, seventh and eighth respectively. Cabianca would eventually finish in ninth after a spirited drive. Reiss was plagued by engine problems late in the race, arrived in tenth. Castellotti reached Brescia at 17:25; 11 hours and 37 minutes after he left Brescia at 05:48, arriving a speed of 85.403 mph.
Of the 365 starters, 182 were classified as finishers. Therefore, only a selection of notably racers has been listed below.
Class Winners are in Bold text.
|Pos.||No.||Class||Driver||Entrant||Car - Engine||Time||Reason Out|
|1st||548||S+2.0||Eugenio Castellotti||Scuderia Ferrari||Ferrari 290 MM Scaglietti||11hr 37:10|
|2nd||551||S+2.0||Peter Collins||Louis Klementaski||Scuderia Ferrari||Ferrari 860 Monza Scaglietti||11hr 49:28|
|3rd||556||S+2.0||Luigi Musso||Scuderia Ferrari||Ferrari 860 Monza Scaglietti||12hr 11:49|
|4th||600||S+2.0||Juan Manuel Fangio||Scuderia Ferrari||Ferrari 290 MM||12hr 26:50|
|5th||505||T/GT+2.0||Olivier Gendebien||Jacques Washer||Ferrari 250 GT LWB Scaglietti||12hr 29:58|
|6th||504||T/GT+2.0||Paul von Metternich||Wittigo von Einsiedel||Mercedes-Benz 300 SL||12hr 36.38|
|7th||454||T/GT+2.0||Wolfgang Seidel||Helmut Glöckler||Mercedes-Benz 300 SL||12hr 38:24|
|8th||450||T/GT+2.0||Jacques Pollet||P. Flandrak||Mercedes-Benz 300 SL||12hr 49:58|
|9th||428||S1.5||Giulio Cabianca||Osca MT4||12hr 57:11|
|10th||443||T/GT+2.0||Fritz Riess||Hermann Eger||Mercedes-Benz 300 SL||13hr 06:31|
|11th||106||T/GT1.3||Luigi Zanelli||Alfa Romeo Giulietta SV||13hr 06:42|
|12th||120||T/GT1.3||Pasquale Cazzato||Alfa Romeo Giulietta SV||13hr 12:41|
|13th||529||S2.0||Giorgio Scarlatti||Maserati A6GCS||13hr 19:02|
|14th||326||T/GT2.0||Renato Canaparo||Fiat 8V||13hr 19:02|
|15th||050||T/GT1.3||Jo Bonnier||Bo Beesen||Alfa Romeo Giulietta SV||13hr 20:58|
|16th||455||T/GT+2.0||Mario Bongiasca||Mercedes-Benz 300SL||13hr 26:05|
|17th||507||T/GT+2.0||Nereo Cantuseno||Lancia Aurelia||12hr 26:23|
|18th||255||T/GT1.6||Gunnar Blomquist||Porsche 356 Carrera||13hr 32:64|
|19th||323||T/GT2.0||Adalberto Parenti||Fiat 8V||12hr 56:11|
|20th||433||S1.5||Jean Behra||Officine Alfieri Maserati||Maserati 150S||13hr 34:09|
|21st||314||T/GT2.0||Aurelio Schoen||Fiat 8V Zagato||13hr 38:12|
|22nd||248||T/GT1.6||Gert Kaiser||Porsche 356 1500 Carrera||13hr 40:07|
|23rd||037||T/GT1.3||Porsche 356A 1300 Super||13hr 40:29|
|24th||448||T/GT+2.0||Giorgio Meier||Ferrari 250 GT LWB Scaglietti||13hr 40:35|
|25th||509||T/GT+2.0||Erwin Bauer||Eugen Grupp||Mercedes-Benz 220A||13hr 42:20|
|26th||310||T/GT2.0||Danilo Brancalion||Fiat 8V Zagato||13hr 44:57|
|27th||338||T/GT2.0||Alfa Romeo 1900||13hr 45:49|
|28th||547||S+2.0||Cesare Perdisa||Maserati 300S||13hr 47:17|
|29th||118||T/GT1.3||Robert Barbey||Alfa Romeo Giulietta SV||13hr 47:19|
|30th||346||T/GT2.0||Emanuele de Amicis||Alfa Romeo 1900||13hr 48:22|
|40th||245||SP||Jaguar XK140||14hr 07:15|
|49th||451||T/GT+2.0||W. Heuberger||BMW 507||14hr 21:50|
|50th||107||T/GT1.3||Montano Lampugnani||Siata 1250GT||14hr 22:04|
|54th||7||T/GT750||Alpine-Renault A106MM||14hr 34:55|
|55th||76||T/GT1.0||Robert Manzon||L. Borsa||D.B.-Panhard HBR||14hr 36:54|
|56th||518||S2.0||Maserati A6GCS||14hr 38:42|
|57th||2348||T/GT1.1||Ludovico Scarfiotti||Fiat 1100/103 TV||14hr 39:15|
|62nd||404||S1.1||Osca MT4 1100||14hr 48:42|
|70th||229||SP||Tom Haig||MG A||15hr 02:15|
|72nd||254||T/GT1.6||Sheila van Damm||Peter Harper||Sunbeam Rapier||15hr 04:37|
|77th||247||SP||Tommy Wisdom||Walter E. Monaco||Austin-Healey 100M||15hr 09:08|
|82nd||75||T/GT1.0||Renault Dauphine||15hr 14:10|
|105th||61||T/GT1.0||Maurice Trintignant||A. Drouot||Renault Dauphine||15hr 39:53|
|106th||210||S750||Osca S750||15hr 41:15|
|107th||73||T/GT1.0||Louis Rosier||Renault Dauphine||15hr 41:24|
|110th||62||T/GT1.0||Paul Frère||Renault Dauphine||15hr 41:24|
|130th||155||S750||Roger Faure||Stanguellini 750 Sport||16hr 17:04|
|137th||219||S750||Roberto Lippi||Alberta Ralli||Stanguellini 750 Sport||16hr 31:32|
|151st||301||T/GT1.6||Gregor Grant||MG Magnette||16hr 57:56|
|182nd||2341||T/GT1.1||Vittorio Baldini||Fiat 1100||21hr 38:18|
|DNF||424||S1.5||Umberto Maglioli||Osca MT4 1500||6hr 15:18||DNF|
|DNF||436||S1.5||Luigi Villoresi||Osca MT4 1500||6hr 34:42||DNF|
|DNF||419||S1.5||Hans Herrmann||Werner Enz||Porsche 550 RS||9hr 55:20||DNF|
|DNF||68||T/GT1.0||Jean Rédélé||Louis Pons||Renault Dauphine||DNF|
|DNF||112||T/GT1.3||Max Berney||Alfa Romeo Giulietta SV||Fatal accident|
|DNF||200||S750||Élie Bayol||D.B.-Panhard HBR||DNF|
|DNF||215||S750||Louis Chiron||Osca S750||Clutch|
|DNF||234||SP||Franco Dari||Bruno Ferrari||AC Ace||Accident|
|DNF||242||SP||Leslie Brooke||Stan Asbury||Austin-Healey 100M||Accident|
|DNF||358||S1.1||Osca MT4 1100||DNF|
|DNF||425||S1.5||Consalvo Sanesi||Alfa Romeo Giulietta Spyder||DNF|
|DNF||434||S1.5||Alejandro de Tomaso||Maserati 150S||DNF|
|DNF||446||T/GT+2.0||Wolfgang von Trips||Horst Straub||Mercedes-Benz 300 SL||Accident|
|DNF||502||T/GT+2.0||Wolfgang Piwco||Mercedes-Benz 300 SL||Fatal accident|
|DNF||545||S+2.0||H. W. Motors||HWM-Jaguar||Fatal accident|
|DNF||553||S+2.0||Piero Taruffi||Officine Alfieri Maserati||Maserati 300S Fantuzzi||Accident|
|DNF||554||S+2.0||Stirling Moss||Denis Jenkinson||Officine Alfieri Maserati||Maserati 350S Fantuzzi||Accident|
|DNF||557||S+2.0||Gerino Gerini||Maserati 300S Scaglietti||DNF|
|Sport oltre 2000||548||Ferrari 290 MM Scaglietti||Castellotti|
|Sports 2000||529||Maserati A6GCS||Scarlatti|
|Sports 1500||428||Osca MT4 1500||Cabianca|
|Sports 1100||404||Osca MT4 1100||Brandi|
|Sports 750||210||Osca S750||Capelli|
|Speciale vetture sport aperte com limite di prezzo||245||Jaguar XK140||Guyot|
|Vetture serie special da turismo e grad turismo di serie oltre 2000||505||Ferrari 250 GT LWB Scaglietti||Genedebien / Washer|
|Vetture serie special da turismo e grad turismo di serie 2000||326||Fiat 8V||Toselli / Canaparo|
|Vetture serie special da turismo e grad turismo di serie 1600||255||Porsche 356 Carrera||Persson / Blomqvist|
|Vetture serie special da turismo e grad turismo di serie 1300||106||Alfa Romeo Giulietta SV||Sgorbati / Zanelli|
|Vetture serie special da turismo e grad turismo di serie 1100||2348||Fiat 1100/103 TV||Scarfiotti|
|Vetture serie special da turismo e grad turismo di serie 1000||76||D.B.-Panhard HBR||Manzon / Borsa|
|Vetture serie special da turismo e grad turismo di serie 750||7||Alpine-Renault A106 MM||Michy|
Standings after the race
- Note: Only the top five positions are included in this set of standings.
Championship points were awarded for the first six places in each race in the order of 8-6-4-3-2-1. Manufacturers were only awarded points for their highest finishing car with no points awarded for positions filled by additional cars. Only the best 3 results out of the 5 races could be retained by each manufacturer. Points earned but not counted towards the championship totals are listed within brackets in the above table.
- "Mille Miglia 1956 - Racing Sports Cars". www.racingsportscars.com.
- "1956 Mille Miglia". www.teamdan.com. Archived from the original on 2015-09-24. Retrieved 2015-06-30.
- VJS-LOLE. "Un tributo al chueco... Mille Miglia 1956". www.jmfangio.org.
- "Mille Miglia - 1956". www.grandprixhistory.org.
- https://www.klemcoll.wordpress.com/2013/12/28/eugenio-castellotti-1956-mille-mihlia/[permanent dead link]
- "Heritage - Moto-Lita". www.moto-lita.co.uk.
- http://www.teamdan.com/wsc/1956/56mille.html[permanent dead link]
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2015-02-22. Retrieved 2015-04-28.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- Anthony Pritchard. The Mille Miglia: The World’s Greatest Road Race. J H Haynes & Co Ltd. ISBN 978-1844251391
- Leonardo Acerbi. Mille Miglia Story 1927-1957. Giorgio Nada Editore. ISBN 978-8879115490
|World Sportscar Championship|
12 Hours of Sebring
|1956 season||Next race:|
1000km of Nürburgring