Posted on 20 June 2016
Thornley Kelham supported two cars in this year’s iconic Mille Miglia event in Italy, a 1000 mile scenic race which starts in Brescia and passes through Parma, Rome and Rimini before finishing back at the start in Brescia. Two teams from Thornley Kelham transported a 1950 Ferrari 195S and a 1954 Lancia Aurelia B20GT, and supported them throughout the event to ensure both cars ran smoothly and finished successfully.
The Ferrari 195S, driven by the car’s owner, Dr Wilfried Bechtolsheimer and co-driven by Colin Banstead, Thornley Kelham’s Race Mechanic, was very well supported by Robin Rich and Ade Rudler. It finished a highly commendable 86th on points and 96th overall out of a total 442 cars, after a very smooth run. It also was the second Ferrari home out of a total of 365 cars that finished.
The Lancia Aurelia B20GT Series 4, driven by the car’s owner, Brad Tank, and co-driven by Colin Comer (both from the USA), was extremely well supported throughout the event by Wayne Kelham and Danny Kerger. They ensured the car was well prepared before the start of each leg, with servicing sometimes continuing during the small hours of the night, when necessary. Overall, the Aurelia finished a very respectable 338th.
A sign of how special this event is to both participants and spectators alike was epitomized during a refueling stop en route. During the race, one of the headlight bulbs on the Ferrari had blown. Stopping at a petrol station to refuel, Robin spotted some bulbs in boxes and asked whether the attendant had a replacement. The owner shook his head but then nipped out the back and quickly returned with, not only an original bulb, it was still in its original box. If that wasn’t enough, he also refused payment!
Overall, it was a great accomplishment and Thornley Kelham are looking forward to repeating this year’s success in 2017.