Classic Swiss Bliss – Bernina Gran Turismo

Last year the 3rd Bernina Gran Turismo offered an amazing end to the summer classic car season in Europe. A total of 65 vehicles from 11 different countries took part in the hill climb at the famous Bernina Pass, close to St. Moritz. Some participants came all the way from the USA and Iran. For the next event, from 21st to 23rd September 2018, the organizers want to attract South African classic car enthusiasts as well.

It’s just you and 5.7 kilometers of almost race track quality tarmac between La Rösa and Hospicio. 448 vertivcal meters, from 1871 to 2330 meters. Only you and your classic car on the mountain. Well you and the stopwatch, more than 50 exhilarating curves and wild nature only the Alps can provide.
The reinvented Bernina Gran Turismo classic car ‘hill’ climb is inspiring another motoring highlight, the Bernina Grand Prix, which was first held in 1929 and 1930. And with the hill climb those days will come back as the new “St. Moritz Automobile Week”. The first indicators of which were already visible during the 2017’s Bernina Gran Turismo. The pilot project Autofilmtage St. Moritz was very well received and attracted spectators to come to the historical theatre of the Hotel Reine Victoria, where car film classics such as Le Mans and Rush were screened.

The Bernina Gran Turismo opening party on Thursday took place in the legendary Dracula Club, owned and run by Rolf Sachs. Even discerning guests were amazed by the style of the famous club, exclusively open for them. Dracula Club and Bernina Gran Turismo already decided to continue their cooperation for the next couple of years.

The scrutineering on Friday already attracted a lot of spectators. The race itself took place on Saturday and Sunday and offered the chance to watch some spectacular cars, such as the 1962 Ferrari 250 GT SWB bread van, the ex-Jean Behra 1956 Maserati 250F from 1956. Participating race cars ranged from pre-war Bugattis and Rileys to Ford Falcon, Shelby Mustang, Lotus XI and Lancia Delta S4.

The perfectly prepared race track saw a best time of 3:18:89 minutes, driven by Chris Ward (UK), in a 1965 Ford GT40. Second place was for Christian Klainguti (CH) in a 1970s Brabham BT-30 Formula 2 with a time of 3:24:75, third went to Daniel Perfetti in a Porsche 911ST with 3:32:39. There were more than 60 cars in the line-up, as well as a couple of historic bikes.  

Another highlight were two different vintage trains, which transported participants and up the Bernina Pass. The Rhaetian Railway runs on a route, that is part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage. Another 500plus visitors took one of the four gorgeous classic buses as a shuttle to get to the top of the pass.
All participants (and hopefully some new ones from SA) are now looking forward to the next Bernina Gran Turismo, taking place between 20th and 23rd September 2018 - then as part of the brand new Automobile Week St. Moritz.

More infos:


Watch last year’s event here and get hooked:


13 April 2018

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