The new Targa Florio “has incredible charm and great potential”
Fritz Kaiser, you were involved in Formula 1 for a long time as co-owner of the Red Bull Sauber-Petronas team, so you know the motor racing business inside out. Now you have experienced the new edition of the Targa Florio in Sicily, do you think the two types of racing have a lot in common?
No, not really. Formula 1 is an international racing operation that is taken to the very limit in all respects: from the technology involved, to the race itself, to the marketing. The Targa Florio has a huge tradition of a different kind, and in its new edition it has an incredible charm and great potential.
With your 1955 Lancia Aurelia Spider America you delighted the crowd and elicited spontaneous applause – how did the car cope with the race?
The car is simply fantastic, and we had a lot of fun.
The three stages went from Palermo to Ragusa and then Catania (with mountain trials on Mount Etna) before heading back to Palermo – what was your biggest challenge during the race?
The style of time trial was new to us. The Mille Miglia drivers, of whom there were many, have practiced driving to the 1/100th of a second for years. In the end we usually managed to get within a second. Our personal target was to finish in the top two-thirds of the 136 classic car contestants. We managed to do this, despite the often very difficult stage on the wet roads of Etna.
With your wife as co-driver you drove a great race and arrived back in Palermo on Saturday evening having avoided any mishaps. You then attended the celebration to mark the end of Targa Florio in the Teatro Massimo. What happy memories of the Targa Florio 2012 are you taking back to Liechtenstein?
The Targa Florio was a fantastic experience. Sicily has a lot to offer, and the organizers did their job extremely well. I enjoyed the fast drive round the coast in our open-top roadster, and also the speedy night-time drive behind a police escort back to Palermo. And finally of course we have very happy memories of all the enthusiasts we met along the way.
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