HOP IN . . . BELT UP AND FOOT DOWN
Registration has opened for The Italian Job Touring Event 2012 (one the most colourful events ever to be staged in the name of charity), which is set to raise as much money as possible for the children's charity Variety Club. Rally enthusiasts in the UK, Europe and further afield are being encouraged to sign up.
The long-running event is an essential fixture in any classic car enthusiast's calendar, and this year takes place between 25 October 25th to 2 November. The event epitomises all that is great about "social motoring", promising and delivering many varied surprises along the way for its lucky participants.
Every year, over 100 Mini and classic car enthusiasts head for the start line in Italy; this year, Rome will flag the cars off. Jobbers (as participants are known) spend eight adventure-filled days driving well off the beaten track through beautiful, unspoilt scenery, avoiding major roads and motorways and sticking to roads which their cars love best. They will enjoy a lap or two on the Mugello racing track, drive on the Ferrari circuit in Imola and will also visit Turin - famed venue of the Italian Job movie heist - where they go for a spin on the famous Lingotto rooftop test track used in the film.
Along the way, teams participate in an Italian Automobile Club sanctioned event, a navigational rally which puts their driving skills and navigational ability to the test, with penalty points awarded for any errors of skill, precision or timekeeping. Jobbers approach these trials variously as either an enjoyable bit of fun or with a more honed competitive edge! The winning team is that which receives the fewest number of penalties.
Mike Cooper - son of the legendary F1 constructor champion John Cooper and Patron of the Italian Job event - who participated in a Mini in 2005, says: "This brilliant event is a must for anyone mad about Minis, like me. It's fun, it's challenging, but most of all, it's a great way to raise money for the vital work the Variety Club does with children and young people across the U.K."
Places are limited to 100 cars - Minis and any cars featured in the 1969 film with Michael Caine. Inclusive cost per person sharing a double/twin room is £995pp. To sign up for this year's event, or for more information, please visit the website: www.italianjob.com.