Ferrari first competed in Italy's epic Mille Miglia road race 60 years ago. Steve Cropley joined the celebrations on this year's event in our Ferrari F430.
"Ferrari's celebrations meant the usual field of class cars that annually commemorates the famous old road race was joined this year by the Ferrari contingent," says Cropley, "all cars made since 1957 and including our own UK-registered 2005-model F430.
"Our group did almost exactly the same route as the rest, travelling only 45 minutes ahead, which meant you had to keep moving right along to stay ahead of the late 1920s OMs, Bugattis and early Alfas, which are driven with amazing speed by intrepid drivers who know the event and the roads extremely well.
"The plan was to join our car in Brescia for registration and scrutineering, to stay locally that night, present ourselves at the pre-event lunch on Thursday and make ready for the late-afternoon start in the ancient city centre, just like the rest of the field.
"Then we’d drive through the fading light for around 140 miles to Bologna, then nearby Imola, where there would be a time trial the following morning on the famous Enzo and Dino Ferrari circuit.
"The event is technically a regularity trial: you have departure and booking-in times on every one of the 12 major sections, and there are much shorter and rather difficult time trials scattered along the way. Most people make the effort, but a few just go for the thrash, and who can blame them?
"The 24 hours after registration and scrutineering passed in a blizzard of gala dinners, pre-start lunches, fettling sessions and crowded parades through old Brescia – until at last, as the sun faded, we rolled awkwardly but in strict number order on to the raised starting platform (too steep for a Ferrari F430 spoiler) and were flagged away."