Count Giannino Marzotto was an Italian racing driver and entrepreneur. Marzotto served as President of the Mille Miglia Club, twice winner of race in 1950 and 1953, he was one of four sons of Count Gaetano Marzotto. Soon after his 20th birthday, he entered his father's Lancia Aprilia in the Giro di Sicilia and finished second in class. Marzotto met Enzo Ferrari in 1948 with the task to build a 2L Grand Touring Coupe, believed to be the fourth customer car built by Ferrari, a Ferrari 166 Inter, he started racing with an Aprilia for an Italian National Championship Event in 1948. Marzotto drove the Aprilia for ten races over a period of three years. In 1950, he and his three brothers, Vittorio and Paolo all entered the 1950 Mille Miglia, driving Ferraris. Gianni started last, would score his first major success, when he piloted a Ferrari 195 S to victory, he was accompanied by Marco Crosara. This was the famous double-breasted victory, that Marzotto achieved wearing a double-breasted brown suit, he won fame not just for winning, but for his attire which seemed to catch the spirit of the Italian fans.
But this might not have happened at all. Upon testing his purchased Ferrari prior to the race, Gianni found it nothing compared to the previous car he drove. Suspecting some type of deviousness on the part of Scuderia Ferrari, he returned to the Maranello to confront Enzo Ferrari, it was explained that Luigi Bazzi, Ferrari's technician had purposely strangled the engine in order protect the young driver. Somewhat embrassed by this, Enzo promised to see that car would be prepared for the race. Marzotto decided for the following season he would improve on the 195 S, with an all-new design of his own based on Ferrari 166 with an engine from a Ferrari 212. Featuring a low slung body and rounded shape, the car went well in the 1951 Mille Miglia, but retired due to problems with the rear axle. In 1951. Marzotto undertook a limited campaign of Formula 2 races for the family team, Scuderia Marzotto, as well as in the works Ferrari, with some success, he won the Grand Prix de Rouen-les-Essarts, visited the podium in the Gran Premio di Roma.
Marzotto planned to race one of Alfa Romeo's new 6C 3000 CM, but upon returning from a business trip to Lebanon, he found that car had been assigned to another driver. After a call to Gianni Lancia found that the team was committed, Marzotto was forced to turn to Ferrari, with whom he had developed a strained relationship for a car. At Maranello, he was shown Luigi Villoresi's 340MM which a won the Giro di Sicilia; the car had not been touched since its last race and had suffered a loss of brakes towards the end of the event. He was left without any other option, so he decided to take the car out of storage and have it restore it to racing trim, he was not delivered to Marzotto until a few hours before the race. This meant. Just past Siena, Marzotto remembered that the Ferrari mechanics did not change his engine oil at the last control point, as they were unable to open the bonnet. After making a U-turn, he raced back to Siena, where his mechanics cut a hole in the bonnet, directly over the engines oil filler cap, topped the oil up accordingly.
Meanwhile, Juan Manuel Fangio's Alfa was now leading, but surrender to the chasing Marzotto when his steering started to play up along with fading brakes. Although Marzotto suffered two minor crashes, he took it all the way to Brescia, to win his second Mille Miglia, repeating his success of 1950, again accompanied by Crosara; the following year's event, would prove to be Marzotto last international race. He was partnered by Gioia Tortima, instead of his regular co-driver Crosara in the full works Ferrari, however did not return to Brescia, as he withdrew during the event through illness." A man with a strong personality and fascinating dialectical skills for a young man as curious as I was, with numerous clear ideas about a great number of topics." Enzo Ferrari, to whom the Marzotto brothers represented important customers, was taken by Giannino. "He was a young Varzi in his cold, calculating earnestness. The successes in the Mille Miglias were a sure sign of his dedication and enough to show that he would have made an excellent professional driver even a champion."
After retiring from Motor Racing, Marzotto joined the Factory Lane G. Marzotto & F. Spa to become a director in 1953 before being promoted to Managing Director in 1956. In 1958, he gained a further promotion to vice-president and managing director before becoming the company president in 1968, he had three daughters. Marzotto was known to generously donate to the Fondazione Club Mille Miglia, encouraging its grants and giving of an international prize known as Courageous Intelligence. Marzotto served as President of the Mille Miglia Club between 1988 and 1990, again from 2011 until his death, he was the Honorary President of the Luigi Bonfanti Automobile Museum, which dedicated a permanent section to him in its Romano d'Ezzelino site. There is a gallery known as Galleria del Motorismo, Mobilità ed Ingegno Veneto – Giannino Marzotto and this explore the story of Marzotto's life of motor racing and shows his talent, it is dedicated to his career. Crosara, Marzotto co-driver in those two Mille Miglia victories, died on 19 July 2012, just five days after his great friend.
Giannino Marzotto - Career Statistics
The Mille Miglia was an open-road, motorsport endurance race which took place in Italy twenty-four times from 1927 to 1957. Like the older Targa Florio and the Carrera Panamericana, the MM made grand tourers like Alfa Romeo, BMW, Maserati, Mercedes Benz and Porsche famous; the race brought out an estimated five million spectators. From 1953 until 1957, the Mille Miglia was a round of the World Sports Car Championship. Since 1977, the "Mille Miglia" has been reborn as a regularity race for vintage cars. Participation is limited to cars, produced no than 1957, which had attended to the original race; the route is similar to that of the original race, maintaining the point of departure/arrival in Viale Venezia in Brescia. Unlike modern day rallying, where cars are released at one-minute intervals with larger professional-class cars going before slower cars, in the Mille Miglia the smaller, lower displacement cars started first; this made organisation simpler as marshals did not have to be on duty for as long a period and it minimised the period that roads had to be closed.
From 1949, cars were assigned numbers according to their start time. For example, the 1955 Moss/Jenkinson car, #722, left Brescia at 07:22, while the first cars had started at 21:00 the previous day. In the early days of the race winners needed 16 hours or more, so most competitors had to start before midnight and arrived after dusk - if at all; the race was established by the young Counts Aymo Maggi and Franco Mazzotti, sports manager Renzo Castagneto and motoring journalist Giovanni Canestrini in response to the Italian Grand Prix being moved from their home town of Brescia to Monza. Together with a group of wealthy associates, they chose a race from Brescia to Rome and back, a figure-eight shaped course of 1500 km — or a thousand Roman miles. Races followed twelve other routes of varying total lengths; the first race started on 26 March 1927 with seventy-seven starters — all Italian — of which fifty-one had reached the finishing post at Brescia by the end of the race. The first Mille Miglia covered corresponding to just over 1,005 modern miles.
Entry was restricted to unmodified production cars, the entrance fee was set at a nominal 1 lira. The winner, Giuseppe Morandi, completed the course in just under 21 hours 5 minutes, averaging nearly 78 km/h in his 2-litre OM. Tazio Nuvolari won the 1930 Mille Miglia in an Alfa Romeo 6C. Having started after his teammate and rival Achille Varzi, Nuvolari was leading the race, but was still behind Varzi on the road. In the dim half-light of early dawn, Nuvolari tailed Varzi with his headlights off, thereby not being visible in the latter's rear-view mirrors, he overtook Varzi on the straight roads approaching the finish at Brescia, by pulling alongside and flicking his headlights on. The event was dominated by local Italian drivers and marques, but three races were won by foreign cars; the first one was in 1931, when German driver Rudolf Caracciola and riding mechanic Wilhelm Sebastian won with their big supercharged Mercedes-Benz SSKL, averaging for the first time more than 100 km/h in a Mille Miglia.
Caracciola had received little support from the factory due to the economic crisis at that time. He did not have enough mechanics to man all necessary service points. After performing a pit stop, they had to hurry across Italy, cutting the triangle-shaped course short in order to arrive in time before the race car; the race was stopped by Italian leader Benito Mussolini after an accident in 1938 killed a number of spectators. When it resumed in April 1940 shortly before Italy entered World War II, it was dubbed the Grand Prix of Brescia, held on a 100 km short course in the plains of northern Italy, lapped nine times; this event saw the debut of the first Enzo Ferrari-owned marque AAC. Despite being populated by Italian makers, it was the aerodynamically improved BMW 328 driven by Germans Huschke von Hanstein/Walter Bäumer that won the high-speed race with an all-time high average of 166 km/h; the Italians continued to dominate their race after the war, now again on a single big lap through Italy.
Mercedes made another good effort in 1952 with the underpowered Mercedes-Benz 300 SL Gullwing, scoring second with the German crew Karl Kling/Hans Klenk that in the year would win the Carrera Panamericana. Caracciola, in a comeback attempt, was fourth. Few other non-Italians managed podium finishes in the 1950s, among them Juan Manuel Fangio, Peter Collins and Wolfgang von Trips. In 1955, Mercedes made another attempt at winning the MM, this time with careful preparation and a more powerful car, the Mercedes-Benz 300 SLR, based on the Formula One car different from their sports cars carrying the 300 SL name. Both young German Hans Herrmann and Briton Stirling Moss relied on the support of navigators while Juan Manuel Fangio preferred to drive alone as usual, as he considered road races dangerous since his co-pilot was killed in South America. Karl Kling drove alone, in the fourth Mercedes, #701. Similar to his teammates and his navigator, motor race journalist Denis Jenkinson, ran a total of six reconnaissance laps beforehand, enabling "Jenks" to make course notes on a scroll of paper 18 ft long that he read
Rome is the capital city and a special comune of Italy. Rome serves as the capital of the Lazio region. With 2,872,800 residents in 1,285 km2, it is the country's most populated comune, it is the fourth most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. It is the centre of the Metropolitan City of Rome, which has a population of 4,355,725 residents, thus making it the most populous metropolitan city in Italy. Rome is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, within Lazio, along the shores of the Tiber; the Vatican City is an independent country inside the city boundaries of Rome, the only existing example of a country within a city: for this reason Rome has been defined as capital of two states. Rome's history spans 28 centuries. While Roman mythology dates the founding of Rome at around 753 BC, the site has been inhabited for much longer, making it one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe; the city's early population originated from a mix of Latins and Sabines.
The city successively became the capital of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, is regarded by some as the first metropolis. It was first called The Eternal City by the Roman poet Tibullus in the 1st century BC, the expression was taken up by Ovid and Livy. Rome is called the "Caput Mundi". After the fall of the Western Empire, which marked the beginning of the Middle Ages, Rome fell under the political control of the Papacy, in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. Beginning with the Renaissance all the popes since Nicholas V pursued over four hundred years a coherent architectural and urban programme aimed at making the city the artistic and cultural centre of the world. In this way, Rome became first one of the major centres of the Italian Renaissance, the birthplace of both the Baroque style and Neoclassicism. Famous artists, painters and architects made Rome the centre of their activity, creating masterpieces throughout the city.
In 1871, Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, which, in 1946, became the Italian Republic. Rome has the status of a global city. In 2016, Rome ranked as the 14th-most-visited city in the world, 3rd most visited in the European Union, the most popular tourist attraction in Italy, its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The famous Vatican Museums are among the world's most visited museums while the Colosseum was the most popular tourist attraction in world with 7.4 million visitors in 2018. Host city for the 1960 Summer Olympics, Rome is the seat of several specialized agencies of the United Nations, such as the Food and Agriculture Organization, the World Food Programme and the International Fund for Agricultural Development; the city hosts the Secretariat of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Union for the Mediterranean as well as the headquarters of many international business companies such as Eni, Enel, TIM, Leonardo S.p. A. and national and international banks such as Unicredit and BNL.
Its business district, called EUR, is the base of many companies involved in the oil industry, the pharmaceutical industry, financial services. Rome is an important fashion and design centre thanks to renowned international brands centered in the city. Rome's Cinecittà Studios have been the set of many Academy Award–winning movies. According to the founding myth of the city by the Ancient Romans themselves, the long-held tradition of the origin of the name Roma is believed to have come from the city's founder and first king, Romulus. However, it is a possibility that the name Romulus was derived from Rome itself; as early as the 4th century, there have been alternative theories proposed on the origin of the name Roma. Several hypotheses have been advanced focusing on its linguistic roots which however remain uncertain: from Rumon or Rumen, archaic name of the Tiber, which in turn has the same root as the Greek verb ῥέω and the Latin verb ruo, which both mean "flow". There is archaeological evidence of human occupation of the Rome area from 14,000 years ago, but the dense layer of much younger debris obscures Palaeolithic and Neolithic sites.
Evidence of stone tools and stone weapons attest to about 10,000 years of human presence. Several excavations support the view that Rome grew from pastoral settlements on the Palatine Hill built above the area of the future Roman Forum. Between the end of the bronze age and the beginning of the Iron age, each hill between the sea and the Capitol was topped by a village. However, none of them had yet an urban quality. Nowadays, there is a wide consensus that the city developed through the aggregation of several villages around the largest one, placed above the Palatine; this aggregation was facilitated by the increase of agricultural productivity above the subsistence level, which allowed the establishment of secondary and tertiary activities. These in turn boosted the development of trade with the Greek colonies of southern Italy; these developments, which according to archaeological ev
Sports car racing
Sports car racing is a form of motorsport road racing which utilizes sports cars that have two seats and enclosed wheels. They may be related to road-going models. A type of hybrid between the purism of open-wheelers and the familiarity of touring car racing, this style is associated with the annual Le Mans 24 Hours endurance race. First run in 1923, Le Mans is one of the oldest motor races still in existence. Other classic but now defunct sports car races include the Italian classics, the Targa Florio and Mille Miglia, the Mexican Carrera Panamericana. Most top class sports car races emphasize endurance and strategy, over pure speed. Longer races involve complex pit strategy and regular driver changes; as a result, sports car racing is seen more as a team endeavor than an individual sport, with team managers such as John Wyer, Tom Walkinshaw, driver-turned-constructor Henri Pescarolo, Peter Sauber and Reinhold Joest becoming as famous as some of their drivers. The prestige of storied marques such as Porsche, Corvette, Jaguar, Aston Martin, Maserati, Alfa Romeo, Mercedes-Benz, BMW is built in part upon success in sports car racing and the World Sportscar Championship.
These makers' top road cars have been similar both in engineering and styling to those raced. This close association with the'exotic' nature of the cars serves as a useful distinction between sports car racing and touring cars; the 12 Hours of Sebring, 24 Hours of Daytona, 24 Hours of Le Mans were once considered the trifecta of sports car racing. Driver Ken Miles would have been the only to win all three in the same year but for an error in the Ford GT40's team orders at Le Mans in 1966 that cost him the win in spite of finishing first. According to historian Richard Hough, "It is impossible to distinguish between the designers of sports cars and Grand Prix machines during the pre-1914 period; the late Georges Faroux always contended that sports-car racing was not born until the first 24 Hours of Le Mans race in 1923, while as a joint-creator of that race he may have been prejudiced in his opinion, it is true that sports-car racing as it was known after 1919 did not exist before the First World War."
In the 1920s, the cars used in endurance racing and Grand Prix were still identical, with fenders and two seats, to carry a mechanic if necessary or permitted. Cars such as the Bugatti Type 35 were equally at home in Grands Prix and endurance events, but specialisation started to differentiate the sports-racer from the Grand Prix car; the legendary Alfa Romeo Tipo A Monoposto started the evolution of the true single-seater in the early 1930s. During the 1930s, French constructors, unable to keep up with the progress of the Mercedes-Benz and Auto-Union cars in GP racing, withdrew into domestic competition with large-capacity sports cars – marques such as Delahaye and the Bugattis were locally prominent. Through the 1920s and 1930s the roadgoing sports/GT car started to emerge as distinct from fast tourers and sports cars, whether descended from roadgoing vehicles or developed from pure-bred racing cars came to dominate races such as Le Mans and the Mille Miglia. In open-road endurance races across Europe such as the Mille Miglia, Tour de France and Targa Florio, which were run on dusty roads, the need for fenders and a mechanic or navigator was still there.
As Italian cars and races defined the genre, the category came to be known as Gran Turismo, as long distances had to be travelled, rather than running around on short circuits only. Reliability and some basic comfort were necessary. After the Second World War, sports car racing emerged as a distinct form of racing with its own classic races, from 1953, its own FIA sanctioned World Sportscar Championship. In the 1950s, sports car racing was regarded as as important as Grand Prix competition, with major marques like Ferrari, Maserati and Aston Martin investing much effort in their works programmes and supplying cars to customers. Top Grand Prix drivers competed in sports car racing. After major accidents at the 1955 24 Hours of Le Mans and the 1957 Mille Miglia the power of sports cars was curbed with a 3-litre engine capacity limit applied to them in the World Championship from 1958. From 1962 sports cars temporarily took a back seat to GT cars with the FIA replacing the World Championship for Sports Cars with the International Championship for GT Manufacturers.
In national rather than international racing, sports car competition in the 1950s and early 1960s tended to reflect what was locally popular, with the cars that were successful locally influencing each nation's approach to competing on the international stage. In the US, imported Italian and British cars battled local hybrids, with very distinct East and West Coast scenes; the US scene tended to featu
France the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean, it is bordered by Belgium and Germany to the northeast and Italy to the east, Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic and Indian oceans; the country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Toulouse, Bordeaux and Nice. During the Iron Age, what is now metropolitan France was inhabited by a Celtic people. Rome annexed the area in 51 BC, holding it until the arrival of Germanic Franks in 476, who formed the Kingdom of Francia.
The Treaty of Verdun of 843 partitioned Francia into Middle Francia and West Francia. West Francia which became the Kingdom of France in 987 emerged as a major European power in the Late Middle Ages following its victory in the Hundred Years' War. During the Renaissance, French culture flourished and a global colonial empire was established, which by the 20th century would become the second largest in the world; the 16th century was dominated by religious civil wars between Protestants. France became Europe's dominant cultural and military power in the 17th century under Louis XIV. In the late 18th century, the French Revolution overthrew the absolute monarchy, established one of modern history's earliest republics, saw the drafting of the Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen, which expresses the nation's ideals to this day. In the 19th century, Napoleon established the First French Empire, his subsequent Napoleonic Wars shaped the course of continental Europe. Following the collapse of the Empire, France endured a tumultuous succession of governments culminating with the establishment of the French Third Republic in 1870.
France was a major participant in World War I, from which it emerged victorious, was one of the Allies in World War II, but came under occupation by the Axis powers in 1940. Following liberation in 1944, a Fourth Republic was established and dissolved in the course of the Algerian War; the Fifth Republic, led by Charles de Gaulle, remains today. Algeria and nearly all the other colonies became independent in the 1960s and retained close economic and military connections with France. France has long been a global centre of art and philosophy, it hosts the world's fourth-largest number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is the leading tourist destination, receiving around 83 million foreign visitors annually. France is a developed country with the world's sixth-largest economy by nominal GDP, tenth-largest by purchasing power parity. In terms of aggregate household wealth, it ranks fourth in the world. France performs well in international rankings of education, health care, life expectancy, human development.
France is considered a great power in global affairs, being one of the five permanent members of the United Nations Security Council with the power to veto and an official nuclear-weapon state. It is a leading member state of the European Union and the Eurozone, a member of the Group of 7, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the World Trade Organization, La Francophonie. Applied to the whole Frankish Empire, the name "France" comes from the Latin "Francia", or "country of the Franks". Modern France is still named today "Francia" in Italian and Spanish, "Frankreich" in German and "Frankrijk" in Dutch, all of which have more or less the same historical meaning. There are various theories as to the origin of the name Frank. Following the precedents of Edward Gibbon and Jacob Grimm, the name of the Franks has been linked with the word frank in English, it has been suggested that the meaning of "free" was adopted because, after the conquest of Gaul, only Franks were free of taxation.
Another theory is that it is derived from the Proto-Germanic word frankon, which translates as javelin or lance as the throwing axe of the Franks was known as a francisca. However, it has been determined that these weapons were named because of their use by the Franks, not the other way around; the oldest traces of human life in what is now France date from 1.8 million years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras. Early hominids led a nomadic hunter-gatherer life. France has a large number of decorated caves from the upper Palaeolithic era, including one of the most famous and best preserved, Lascaux. At the end of the last glacial period, the climate became milder. After strong demographic and agricultural development between the 4th and 3rd millennia, metallurgy appeared at the end of the 3rd millennium working gold and bronze, iron. France has numerous megalithic sites from the Neolithic period, including the exceptiona
24 Hours of Le Mans
The 24 Hours of Le Mans is the world's oldest active sports car race in endurance racing, held annually since 1923 near the town of Le Mans, France. It is considered one of the most prestigious automobile races in the world and has been called the "Grand Prix of Endurance and Efficiency"; the event represents one leg of the Triple Crown of Motorsport. The race is organized by the Automobile Club de l'Ouest and is held on the Circuit de la Sarthe, which contains a mix of closed public roads and dedicated sections of racing track, in which racing teams must balance the demands of speed with the cars' ability to run for 24 hours without mechanical failure. Of the 60 cars which qualified for the 2018 race, 41 cars ran the full duration. Since 2012, the 24 Hours of Le Mans has been a part of the FIA World Endurance Championship; because of the decision to run a World Endurance Championship super-season in the period May 2018 to June 2019, the 24 Hours of Le Mans will be run twice in the same season: it will be both the second and the last round of the season.
In 2011 it was a part of the Intercontinental Le Mans Cup, it formed a part of the World Sportscar Championship from 1953 until that series' final season in 1992. Over time, Le Mans has influenced events that have sprung up all around the globe, popularizing the 24-hour format at locations such as Daytona, Nürburgring, Spa-Francorchamps, Bathurst; the American Le Mans Series and Europe's Le Mans Series of multi-event sports car championships were spun off from 24 Hours of Le Mans regulations. Other races include the Le Mans Classic, a race for historic Le Mans race cars from years' past held on the Circuit de la Sarthe, a motorcycle version of the race, held on the shortened Bugatti version of the same circuit, a kart race, a truck race, a parody race 24 Hours of LeMons; the 2019 24 Hours of Le Mans will be held on June 15–16 at the Circuit de la Sarthe, Le Mans, France. At a time when Grand Prix motor racing was the dominant form of motorsport throughout Europe, Le Mans was designed to present a different test.
Instead of focusing on the ability of a car company to build the fastest machines, the 24 Hours of Le Mans would instead concentrate on the ability of manufacturers to build sporty yet reliable cars. This encouraged innovation in producing reliable and fuel-efficient vehicles, because endurance racing requires cars that last and spend as little time in the pits as possible. At the same time, the layout of the track necessitated cars with better aerodynamics and stability at high speeds. While this was shared with Grand Prix racing, few tracks in Europe had straights of a length comparable to the Mulsanne. Additionally, because the road is public and thus not as meticulously maintained as permanent racing circuits, racing puts more strain on the parts, increasing the importance of reliability; the oil crisis in the early 1970s led organizers to adopt a fuel economy formula known as Group C that limited the amount of fuel each car was allowed. Although it was abandoned, fuel economy remains important as new fuel sources reduce time spent during pit stops.
Such technological innovations have had a trickle-down effect and can be incorporated into consumer cars. This has led to faster and more exotic supercars as manufacturers seek to develop faster road cars in order to develop them into faster GT cars. Additionally, in recent years hybrid systems have been championed in the LMP category as rules have been changed to their benefit and to further push efficiency; the race is held in June, leading at times to hot conditions for drivers in closed vehicles with poor ventilation. The race begins in mid-afternoon and finishes the following day at the same hour the race started the previous day. Over the 24 hours, modern competitors cover distances well over 5,000 km; the record is 2010's 5,410 km, six times the length of the Indianapolis 500, or 18 times longer than a Formula One Grand Prix. Drivers and racing teams strive for speed and avoiding mechanical damage, as well as managing the cars' consumables fuel and braking materials, it tests endurance, with drivers racing for over two hours before a relief driver can take over during a pit stop while they eat and rest.
Current regulations mandate. Competing teams race in groups called "classes", or cars of similar specification, while competing for outright placing amongst all classes; the race showcased cars as they were sold to the general public called "Sports Cars", in contrast with the specialised racing cars used in Grand Prix motor racing. Over time, the competing vehicles evolved away from their publicly available road car roots, today the race is made of two overall classes: prototypes, Grand Touring cars; these are further broken down into 2 sub-classes each, constructors' prototypes, privateer prototypes and 2 subclasses of GT cars. Competing teams have had a wide variety of organization, ranging from competition departments of road car manufacturers to professional motor racing teams to amateur teams; the race has spent long periods as a round of the World S
Italy the Italian Republic, is a country in Southern Europe. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria and the enclaved microstates San Marino and Vatican City. Italy covers an area of 301,340 km2 and has a temperate seasonal and Mediterranean climate. With around 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth-most populous EU member state and the most populous country in Southern Europe. Due to its central geographic location in Southern Europe and the Mediterranean, Italy has been home to a myriad of peoples and cultures. In addition to the various ancient peoples dispersed throughout modern-day Italy, the most famous of which being the Indo-European Italics who gave the peninsula its name, beginning from the classical era and Carthaginians founded colonies in insular Italy and Genoa, Greeks established settlements in the so-called Magna Graecia, while Etruscans and Celts inhabited central and northern Italy respectively; the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom in the 8th century BC, which became a republic with a government of the Senate and the People.
The Roman Republic conquered and assimilated its neighbours on the peninsula, in some cases through the establishment of federations, the Republic expanded and conquered parts of Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. By the first century BC, the Roman Empire emerged as the dominant power in the Mediterranean Basin and became the leading cultural and religious centre of Western civilisation, inaugurating the Pax Romana, a period of more than 200 years during which Italy's technology, economy and literature flourished. Italy remained the metropole of the Roman Empire; the legacy of the Roman Empire endured its fall and can be observed in the global distribution of culture, governments and the Latin script. During the Early Middle Ages, Italy endured sociopolitical collapse and barbarian invasions, but by the 11th century, numerous rival city-states and maritime republics in the northern and central regions of Italy, rose to great prosperity through shipping and banking, laying the groundwork for modern capitalism.
These independent statelets served as Europe's main trading hubs with Asia and the Near East enjoying a greater degree of democracy than the larger feudal monarchies that were consolidating throughout Europe. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, science and art. Italian culture flourished, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Machiavelli. During the Middle Ages, Italian explorers such as Marco Polo, Christopher Columbus, Amerigo Vespucci, John Cabot and Giovanni da Verrazzano discovered new routes to the Far East and the New World, helping to usher in the European Age of Discovery. Italy's commercial and political power waned with the opening of trade routes that bypassed the Mediterranean. Centuries of infighting between the Italian city-states, such as the Italian Wars of the 15th and 16th centuries, left the region fragmented, it was subsequently conquered and further divided by European powers such as France and Austria.
By the mid-19th century, rising Italian nationalism and calls for independence from foreign control led to a period of revolutionary political upheaval. After centuries of foreign domination and political division, Italy was entirely unified in 1871, establishing the Kingdom of Italy as a great power. From the late 19th century to the early 20th century, Italy industrialised, namely in the north, acquired a colonial empire, while the south remained impoverished and excluded from industrialisation, fuelling a large and influential diaspora. Despite being one of the main victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil, leading to the rise of a fascist dictatorship in 1922. Participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in military defeat, economic destruction and the Italian Civil War. Following the liberation of Italy and the rise of the resistance, the country abolished the monarchy, reinstated democracy, enjoyed a prolonged economic boom and, despite periods of sociopolitical turmoil became a developed country.
Today, Italy is considered to be one of the world's most culturally and economically advanced countries, with the sixth-largest worldwide national wealth. Its advanced economy ranks eighth-largest in the world and third in the Eurozone by nominal GDP. Italy owns the third-largest central bank gold reserve, it has a high level of human development, it stands among the top countries for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs. Italy is a founding and leading member of the European Union and a member of numerous international institutions, including the UN, NATO, the OECD, the OSCE, the WTO, the G7, the G20, the Union for the Mediterranean, the Council of Europe, Uniting for Consensus, the Schengen Area and many more; as a reflection