Motoring is as much a part of northern Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region as the distinct taste of barrel-aged olive oil or the overpowering stench of curing capocollo. Colloquially known as the Motor Valley, the area is home to vehicle manufacturers such as Ducati, Ferrari, Lamborghini, Maserati, and Pagani.
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It’s also the site and namesake of the inaugural Motor Valley Fest. Motor1.com teamed up with the festival to conduct this year’s Motor1Days at the Autodromo di Modena race track in Modena, Italy. The annual event is part car show, part track day, and completely captivating.
While rainy weather bogged down this year’s Motor1Days, not even the wet conditions could dampen the spirits of those in attendance. Attendees roamed the parking lot outside the track to get a peek at the trove of vehicles on display or waited patiently in line to get the chance to ride shotgun in one of the many new vehicles Motor1.com arranged to have driven around the track by skilled drivers.
And who could blame them? Parked in the rain-soaked lot were a bevy of rare and exciting vehicles that represented the full range of automotive tastes. The gamut included everything from a Rolls-Royce Ghost to a Lotus Exige. My personal favorite, though, was a 1989 Porsche Speedster that one attendee brought to the event (and later flogged on the track).
Gallery: Motor Valley Fest and Motor1Days 2019
The manufacturer presence was strong, too, and visitors ogled the new Toyota Supra, as well as supercars and track toys such as the Pagani Huayra Roadster, Pagani Zonda S, Bugatti Chiron Sport 110 Ans, Bugatti Divo, and Dallara Stradale from the comfort of each automaker’s designated booth.
Of course, the real thrills came on the track, and guests had the opportunity to ride in some of the most exciting new vehicles available today. This included the 992-generation Porsche 911, BMW M2 Competition, Ford Mustang GT, and 718 Cayman GTS, as well as forbidden fruits – well, at least to a Yank like myself – such as the latest Ford Fiesta ST, the mid-engine Alpine A110, and the Hyundai i30 N hot hatch.
Seeing the smiles on the faces of attendees exiting the passenger seats of these cars, following a spirited run around the 1.25-mile track, was truly my favorite part of Motor1Days. After all, spreading the gospel of automotive enthusiasm is what we at Motor1.com attempt to accomplish day in and day out.
The cars Motor1.com brought along for the event were far from the only ones on the track, though, and guests had the opportunity to register to take their own personal vehicles for runs through the Autodromo di Modena’s 11 twisting turns. The damp conditions provided an exhilarating, but safe, playground for the patrons to stretch their cars' legs. Drifts were plentiful and spins were few and far between.
The Motor Valley Fest and Motor1Days are a refuge for gearheads of all sorts, and there are arguably few places more fitting to hold this event than Emilia-Romagna. If motoring is an obsession of yours, then you must make a pilgrimage to the region. I recommend doing so during Motor1Days.