Apocalypse at the Mille Miglia. Enzo Ferrari's blackest hour in the book by Luca Dal Monte- Corriere.it

Apocalypse at the Mille Miglia.  Enzo Ferrari's blackest hour in the book by Luca Dal Monte- Corriere.it


Luca Dal Monte reconstructs for Cairo Editore the 1957 case in which the Drake was accused of an accident. The car driven by the Spaniard De Portago crashes into the crowd: 11 dead, including the driver

The hardest run. Off the track, in court. Real and "media" trials, the pain amplified by the loss of his son Dino a few months earlier. There was a before and an after in Enzo Ferrari's life. Mille Miglia, 12 May 195


Guidizzolo, upper Mantua. The village celebrates to witness the passage of the bo
shores, in the final stages of the "most beautiful race in the world". Farmers in good Sunday clothes, workers, Italy marching towards industrial transformation. Pursuing the same dream that Drake had made possible with his legendary cars, the Italian genius capable of beating the giants.

A roar to anticipate the «apocalypse»: the gash of a tyre, the 335S driven by Alfonso De Portago to draw a fatal parabola at kilometer 21 of the provincial «Bresciana». A massacre, eleven victims including the Spanish pilot and his crew mate, the American Edmund Nelson. Five are children. Torn apart by the flight of the Ferrari, the myth becomes "body of the crime". The crumpled 335S lies in a ditch: around blood, corpses, anger and tears.

Conceived as a cold casebut with the intensity of a novel and the depth and care of a reconstruction starting from the examination of hundreds of documents, Ferrari, presumed guilty, to be released on June 30 by Cairo Editore, sheds light on one of the darkest periods of the founder of the Cavallino. It tells of the end of the era of unconsciousness, that of street racing, completely devoid of safety measures, through one of the most serious accidents ever, which risked extinguishing the Ferrari star. With passion and boundless knowledge, Luca Dal Monte — author of Ferrari Rex (Giorgio Nada Editore), the most complete biography - describes the shock of a country, the justicialist air after the tragedy of Guidizzolo, combines historical elements and human traits, delving into Ferrari's soul.

Upset by those deaths, by the families of the victims in front of the gates of Maranello to ask for compensation. Charged with multiple manslaughter, deprived of passport, grilled by a commission improvised technique that accused him of having used unsuitable tires on De Portago's car. Treated as an amateur, as a "murderer", at 59 when he is not yet the "national heritage he will become".

The worst affront for someone who had carpeted the meeting rooms with broken engines and frames, as a warning to his engineers so that the breakdowns did not happen again. «An industrial Saturn who devours his own children, who makes the stopwatch a means of advertising even if he identifies himself with the statistics of the victims». Even without ever naming him in a 96-line editorial, «Osservatore Romano» moves against Enzo Ferrariin the aftermath of another tragedy, that of Luigi Musso in Reims in July 1958.

The harsh attack by the Vatican, in the Christian Democrat Italy of those years, dried up the solidarity around him. Displaces and isolates him, moral condemnation hurts more than the concrete risk of prison. «People who exalted me until Saturday, stayed away from me on Sunday». He doubts himself, he is tempted to retire from racing, the disappearance of another of his pilots, Peter Collins (German GP 1958), worsens the "existential" crisis.

Dal Monte is able to walk the double track of judicial and personal affairs, crossing them in a constant reversal of fronts. To paint the «tenacity of a character that goes beyond sporting and industrial victoriesendowed with an unshakeable moral strength, an incurable optimist in spite of everything».

It is what allows him to break the siege, to change the mind, after a five-hour conversation, of the Jesuit father Azzollini, who had struck him down as "immoral" in "Civiltà Cattolica". Unshakeable faith in his abilities, Ferrari retraces the last moments of De Portago's life to defend himself. With the microscope, at the scene of the accident. To overturn a sentence that seemed already written.

June 29, 2023 (change June 29, 2023 | 09:31)

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