Targa Florio

The Targa Florio was an endurance race on public mountain roads in Sicily. Created by entrepreneur Vincenzo Florio it was.

The Targa Florio (Italian for sign plaque ) was from 1906 to 1977 mostly partially carried out in May as a major international event with world championship status ( World Sportscar Championship). Thus, it is even older than the Indianapolis 500 since 1978, will continue as a rally.

As Targa Florio Rally this traditional event was held in the 2012 season as the running of the Intercontinental Rally Challenge.


The first Targa Florio was launched on May 6th, 1906 at 6:00 clock with 10 cars that went in the space of 10 minutes on the 148 km long circuit. The winner mastered the prescribed three rounds in 9 hours and 32 minutes.

In the 1920s, the Targa Florio was the most important sports car race since the 24 Hours of Le Mans or the Mille Miglia had not yet been established, just as the Grand Prix. The race at the time about 22 km long Stuttgart Solitude were called even Swabian Targa Florio. The Eifel race was originally held under similar conditions as the Targa Florio.


The track version of the Grande Madonie with their original 148 km could be compared with almost an island tour - if such a 1,000 km Sicily tour would not have actually been from 1912 to 1914 and from 1948 to 1950 on the program. From 1919 has been reduced to 108 km, from 1932 again.

The classic round of Piccola Madonie resulted in a counterclockwise direction from the launch site by Cerda in the west, past the 500 meter high Caltavuturo south down the valley in which runs a highway today, over 600 meters high mountain roads, in a hairpin by Collesano in the East, down to Campo Felice di Roccella, from where the cars raced on the Buonfornello straight along the sea, which was longer by about six kilometers as the Hunaudieres straight at Le Mans. This round had 72 km and was mostly completed ten times, the vehicles were started individually in 20 -second intervals, because overtaking is difficult on the narrow path, and a start in the throng unthinkable.

The fastest took less than 40 minutes for the round trip. Helmut Marko set in 1972 Alfa Romeo the lap record in the race with 33:41 minutes and an average speed of 128.253 km / h on. The Allerschnellste in training was Leo Kinnunen in 1970 in the Porsche 908/ 3, with an average speed of 128.571 km / h or 33:36 min. It should be noted, that was already practiced in traffic in order to memorize the sequence of about 900 curves. These race cars were equipped with road permits, even the Porsche 908 had a Stuttgart license plate on the rear. Ferrari paid even Formula 1 racing car with the " Prova " marks out (which was, however, necessary for insurance reasons ). In addition, the Zuffenhausen factory drivers should also watch movies with the route, which was unpopular with some pilots, as this could cause nausea.

Due to the success in this angular range, the first time in 1956 gave the first displacement weak car a sensational overall win in a major championship racing, Porsche named an open version of the 911 and 912 as " Targa ". Under ingenious use of the term, which means shield, called the Cabriolet with a broad roll bar like that. The name was adopted in analogy to the designation of the racing versions of some Porsche models that were as Carrera (Spanish for race) named after the Carrera Panamericana.


With the Ferrari 512S of local hero Nino Vaccarella thundered in 1970, a thoroughbred racing car with about 560 hp by Cerda, in the immediate vicinity of the local residents and spectators who gathered on the meadows and hillsides to watch the spectacle and cheer on their heroes. Enthusiastic spectators even tried in serpentine curves, the carriage to touch. Crowds, rocks, trees and precipices lined the track. Lost Nails of horses were a problem, or chicken on the road, and even the bumpy and dusty dirt road that could damage a race car without accident.

Prior to a Targa Florio was called to seal the flats at the edge of the track to lock up all the free-roaming pets and especially grazing animals and to supervise the children. This was a good idea even in the week before the race because there were unofficial practice rounds completed. An important precaution, the driver was going strong acceleration - for a loud exhaust noise warns passers-by.

Porsche renounced the use of large Porsche 917 and brought the short, light, agile and open Porsche 908/ 3 at the start.

For security reasons the world championship status was the Targa Florio in 1974 and withdrawn from the race only counted as Italian championship race. She was still continued with a reduced number of rounds, the interest waned among spectators and participants, some pilots were even at under a pseudonym. Second-class riders on fast sports prototypes at a very demanding and dangerous course without safety measures may not go well - in 1977 it was on the long straight to a fatal accident involving race was stopped, and the road race has been set.

The Targa Florio was from 1978 continued as a rally, with short stages on the mountain roads. In the anniversary year of 2006, the 90th edition was in order.

The name Targa will also be continued in the Targa Tasmania, a conference organized since 1992 rally in Tasmania.

Overall winner

1Wertungsfahrt with index coefficient


For many drivers the trip meant to Sicily and opportunity to new drivers shoes, which were then handcrafted by a traditional cobbler to buy. The extinction of the shoemaker crafts and increased security requirements, the comfortable suede only with a lining with Nomex permitted ( homologation ), meant that the custom died out.