Bernina Gran Turismo – Historic racing returns to the Swiss Alps
After re-imagining the Bernina Grand Prix from 1929-1930, this closed road hillclimb event is now in its third year.
Bernina Gran Turismo is a historic competition event with a difference. Taking place along a closed 5.7km stretch of tarmac between La Rösa and Hospizio Bernina – the most appealing part of the Swiss Bernina Pass.
Over 50 corners wind up 459 vertical meters from 1871m to the very top at 2330m. The surface is super-smooth – you couldn’t wish for better – and along with the fantastic barriers, makes the track suitable for sports cars and even more extreme Formula cars.
Inspired by the original Bernina Grand Prix, which was the most important part of the ‘Automobilwoche St. Moritz’ back in 1929 and 1930, it’s now in it’s third year. It’s hoped that in future years, there will be additional events built up around the race, to revive the St. Moritz Car Week in full scale.
There are six runs on the closed road, two of which are test runs and a total of four timed competition runs. This, together with the wild nature of the weather and the unbelievable scenery makes for a stunning driving environment. Organisers are keen to keep Bernina Gran Turismo relatively small, with a maximum of 80 starters. The focus is on great cars with great drivers and great camaraderie – all this within a very friendly grass-roots event.
Racing is first class, with extensive safety arrangements. The soon to be famous BGT-Kick-Off Party in St. Moritz’s – infamous though mysterious Dracula Club – will become a key feature.
A new partnership between Bernina Gran Turismo and Rhaetische Bahn – the railway with UNESCO World Heritage status. The history of the Rhätische Bahn dates back to the late 19th century, when brave and forward minded engineers developed a plan to bring public transport to the Engadine valleys. Participants will enjoy a ride on a chartered train, but visitors will have the chance to ride on one of the ten historic trains running up and down the Bernina Pass between St. Moritz/Pontresina and the top of the pass at Hospizio Bernina.
The event is set for 22-24 September, and while you could start planning the 2018 event, there are still one or two places open for the 2017 edition. We’d suggest getting in touch with the organizers fairly quickly though…