Franz Hummel has seen a lot of amazing places as he travelled the world for his speed records and visited countless countries to host events. But one of the more recent ones really blew him away. Bolgheri, on the Tuscan coast. The little village in the Castagneto Carducci area isn’t just home to one of the world’s most famous wine designations.
Welcome To The Tuscan Coast!
Bolgheri. This heavenly village on the Tuscan coast is blessed by one god in particular: Bacchus. It may not have been born to be a temple of wine, but one man’s passion made it a wine hotspot in the 40’s with the creation of a now legendary name: Sassicaia.
The first Driver’s Rally Bolgheri base camp will be in Castagneto Carducci, home to Bolgheri. The 3-stage «road trip» rally covers around 230km per day. Your route takes you to the stunning Tuscan coast, on the tyre tracks of the legendary Sanremo Rally’s inland roads with a trip to Elba island for a day between the sea and sky.
The Driver’s Rally Bolgheri is an event open to automobiles whether they’re sporty, classical or modern, of any age, any type. It will take place totally on public roads. Which means that the Italian highway code must be strictly observed throughout the route. The road book is almost signed off and registrations are officially open. Get ready to enjoy a fun-filled rally with other enthusiasts.
3 Stages Surrounded by staggering scenery
1st stage in the north:
The stage takes all on «cinema roads» such as Viale dei Cipressi which starred alongside Robert Taylor in Quo Vadis, directed by Mervyn LeRoy in 1951. Or the coastal road north of Castiglioncellowhich appeared in The Easy Life directed by Dino Risi and starring Vittorio Gassman and Jean-Louis Trintignant in 1962.
2nd stage in the south:
The tour is going to Piombino Port to take the ferry to Elba island. This is the perfect time to soak up its roads and sights as the tourists are long gone.
3rd stage in the east:
A loop deep in Tuscany among its hills and cypress trees. Here are some legendary roads from the Group B heyday including the famous road into Chiusdino where thousands of excited fans would gather for the Sanremo Rally.
Bolgheri, so much more than fine wine
Bolgheri lies in Castagneto Carducci, a place with amazingly diverse landscapes and an exceptional microclimate. The area spans 142 km² and is home to a 14 km long sand beach, two medieval market towns, an umbrella pine forest, hills leafy with chestnut trees and age-old oak trees, a plain bursting with cypress trees, olive trees and, of course, vineyards: one of the most famous designations in the world. And one of the newest at that!
A designation born of one man’s passion.
Italy and wine may have always been a natural pairing, but this little slice of land between the sea and hills was no vineyard. All it needed was one passionate man to reveal its potential: Marchese Mario Incisa della Rocchetta.
He studied in Pisa in the 1920s and dreamt of making a fine wine in Tuscany. The French wine enthusiast planted cabernet sauvignon and cabernet franc from the Tenuta dei Duchi Salviati in Migliarino at an altitude of 393m near Castiglioncello di Bolgheri in the 1940s. One reason for choosing these varieties was he’d noticed the similarity between this part of Tuscany and Graves in Bordeaux.
The wine he called Sassicaia was only made for family and friends between 1948 and 1967. The Marchese soon realised that ageing his wine improved it significantly. Friends and family encouraged him to experiment further and fine-tune his revolutionary winemaking methods for the region. With advice from his cousin Piero Antinori and help from the wine expert Giacomo Tachis, he again elevated the standard of his wine. The 1968 vintage was the first to go to market. The «Super Tuscan» was given a welcome worthy of a Bordeaux Premier Cru.
Sassicaia achieved worldwide acclaim in the 70s after a Decanter Magazine event saw a 6 year old Sassicaia beat a shortlist of 33 wines from 11 different countries.
Its recognition caught the attention of the people we call pioneers today: Piermario Meletti Cavallari (Grattamacco), Piero Antinori (Guado al Tasso), Lodovico Antinori (Ornellaia) and Michele Satta. Their wine was initially sold as «table wine». It was given the Bolgheri designation in 1994. Sassicaia has its own designation in tribute: Bolgheri Sassicaia.
The land that was originally filled with olive trees, strawberry fields and fruit trees gradually opened up to vineyards. Join us to explore the land from Wednesday October 26th to Saturday 29th.
The organisation, a finely-tuned team
A rally can’t be set up with a click of the fingers. For the Driver’s Rally Bolgheri, Franz can count on a loyal team which has been working with him for a long time organising these signature events. The organisers focus on logistics on the ground so entrants have peace of mind.
Assistance, available at all 3 stages
Your peace of mind matters the most so you can count on AS Classic Engineering and its expert assistance team throughout the rally. They joined at the Driver’s Rally Chamonix and entrants appreciated their specialist skills. Included in the entry fee: light repairs, tyre checks, fluid level checks etc. plus a recovery vehicle to repatriate any vehicles which have broken down. Not included: major servicing or repairs.
What sets the driver’s rally Bolgheri apart?
The Driver’s Rally Bolgheri is an event open to automobiles whether they’re sporty, classical or modern, of any age, any type. The 3-stage «road trip» rally covers around 230km per day in Tuscany. It will take place totally on public roads. Which means that the Italian highway code must be strictly observed throughout the route.
Each team will receive the official Driver’s Rally Bolgheri kit.
Evening events with fellow enthusiasts
Relax and unwind at get-togethers with the «Driver’s Rally spirit».
About Franz Hummel (event organisator)
As a child, he would watch his father race round the mythical Autodrome de Linas-Montlhéry, close to Paris.And, since that moment, the car bug’s never left him!As a racing driver, he finished 3rd in the 1973 Volant Shell on the Magny-Cours Circuit and became an instructor for the prestigious Winfield Racing School.
In 1975, he took part in his first 24 Hours of Le Mans with a Lola Roc 2 liters. In 1977, he raced in the Monte Carlo Rally with a Renault Alpine and the 24 Hours of Le Mans with a Porsche 934 Turbo. In 1986, along with Jean-Pierre Malcher, he won the 6th edition of the 24-hour Chamonix Ice Race with a Works sponsored Citroën Visa. In 1992, he participated in the 1st edition of Paris-Moscow-Beijing.
As a record holder, he has literally pulverized several cross continental times, including the solo drive from Cape Town to Algiers. With this still-unbeaten record, he won the «1991 Master of Human Adventure» adventure ahead of Hubert Auriol & Ari Vatanen.
Franz was awarded the Legion of Honour in 2006 by the great mountaineer Maurice Herzog for his motor racing achievements and as automobile event organiser, his second passion. He was involved in the 1970 Ronde Hivernale (Wintertime Round) and continued to develop the 24-hour Chamonix Ice Race.
Based on an idea from Rémi Depoix, Franz launched the Festival Automobile de Chamonix handin-hand with Rémi. Franz also created ice races in Canada, Finland, Italy and Russia with the FIA. As well as Les Week-Ends de l’Excellence Automobile de Reims-Gueux and Les Grandes Heures Automobiles… on the Autodrome where he would watch his father race. Chamonix is still the base camp for all of Franz’s adventures, as he continues to live there today. With his perfect knowledge of this village and the best things it can offer you, Franz will welcome you with open arms to his delightful valley.
Franz is still bringing car enthusiasts incredible get-togethers today with the Driver’s Rally events. He will always be fuelled and driven by his passion.
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