Winterace, Italy’s Hottest Car Event, Takes Place in the Snow-Covered Dolomites

Established just a decade ago, Winterace has already become a chicer alternative to Italy’s more famous Mille Miglia. After all, not many races build in stops at Michelin-starred restaurants, a coffee break at the Italian confectioners Loacker and a rest stop within the historic Novacella Abbey.Then there’s the concours event and gala at Grand Hotel Savoia, fortunately enough the only grand hotel in the region with 100 parking spaces.

This year some 25 of the teams — which consist of a driver and co-driver, from Mexico and Chile, Holland and the U.K., among other home countries — drive the route in what the organizers call Icon cars: modern, if still rare, Maseratis, Lamborghinis, Ferraris and, to mark its 110th anniversary, plenty of Aston Martins. They benefit from power steering, ABS brakes and, most welcome of all, reliable heating.

“Sure, the conditions can be challenging [in the ways that other classic road races are not], but that’s all part of the appeal,” reckons Alessio De Angelis, who restores classic cars and, remarkably, won this year’s category race in a 1925 Bugatti that once belonged to Jack Lemon Burton, founding member of the Bugatti Owners Club back in 1929.

But it’s not just the unusual driving conditions that draws drivers from all over the world — and the numbers coming from abroad are growing every year. It’s the postcard surroundings, she says, the glamor of the event and Cortina’s “remarkable charm.” Taken together, these make the Winterace, she suggests, “the perfect mix of sports activity, culture and luxury vacation — and I think it had to be that magical mix in order to gain the recognition it already has.

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