Bernina Gran Turismo
Classics of all shapes and sizes compete in Switzerland
’The Bernina Gran Turismo boasts the most varied field in the world’
Where can you see the Ferrari 250 GT ‘bread van’ and a Jaguar D-type competing against a 1978 Fiat 127?
The Bernina Gran Turismo, held every September in the Swiss Alps region of Engadine, boasts the most varied field of competitors anywhere in the world. Recreated in 2015 as an homage to the original St Moritz Automobile Week of the 1920s, it now invites cars from that era all the way up to the 1980s to a hillclimb up the 3.5-mile Bernina mountain pass, which has more than 50 curves as it climbs 1470ft into the Alps, with conditions varying from sunshine to heavy snow.
Fifteen cars run in the competition class, where the fastest time wins, while the rest of the 80 teams run in ‘regularity’, where the driver closest to a pre-set time theoretically wins. In reality, however, even regularity racers go for the best time.
Entrants ranged from Carl Gustav Magnusson’s UK-registered 1957 Abarth Zagato 750 GT Corsa, to Ewan Cameron’s 1959 Jaguar D-type, with other classics including a Ford Lotus Cortina, Jaguar Mk2 and BMW 2002.
Organiser Claus Müller says: ‘We are an extremely relaxed bunch over here. For us, we are all having the same fun and we’re having it together, regardless if you have a million-euro Ford GT or a Volvo Amazon. It’s the passion that unites us.’ Axel Catton
Francesco Siccardi’s 1967 Lancia Fulvia Sport made easy work of the Bernina Pass.
Brits tackling the tough conditions included a 1965 Lotus Cortina and 1955 Jaguar D-type.
Ronnie Kessel took a class win in his Alfa Romeo Giulia GTA.
Matteo Kamata’s 1973 Alpine A110 coped with Sunday’s snowfall better than most.
Daniele Perfetti’s 1971 Porsche 911 ST came third overall in the run’s competition class.