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The Nardò Ring: A Weekend in Italy at Porsche Engineering’s Nardò Technical Center

 “In May 2012, Porsche Engineering took over responsibility for the Nardò Technical Center in Apulia, South Italy. The testing center was founded in 1975 and is today one of the most important and famous proving grounds in the world. The testing center remains—as always—open to all clients. The characteristic feature of the Nardò Technical Center is its Circular Track, 12.6 km long, 4 kilometers in diameter. Centrifugal force is compensated due to the banking, and it seems as if you are driving in a straight line even at high speeds of 240 km/h. Besides the impressive ring track, Nardò Technical Center also offers many other test tracks and facilities as well as an extensive range of testing services. An important advantage at Nardò is the unique climate in southern Italy—it is generally mild with only a few rainy days and hardly any frost. Thus testing at Nardò is possible the whole year round.” —Porsche Engineering Website

Dateline: March 9th, 2018 Nardò Italy. A few weeks ago Sports Car Market publisher Keith Martin shared a special email he received from Italy. Dallara is a storied race car manufacturer and they reached out to him with an invite to attend the exclusive introduction/test drive of their phenomenal new supercar—the Stradale. For Sports Car Market, it was an honor to receive the exclusive invitation given that only fourteen leading global automotive publications were selected to attend. Keith could not attend the Dallara event because each year he is a central figure at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance. Given Keith’s scheduling conflict, I jumped at the opportunity to represent Sports Car Market. The weekend activities with Dallara consist of driving the Stradale on the Nardò Ring (at the Porsche Engineering facility) and then spending Sunday calmly driving around the scenic roads of southern Italy.

Last night I took an overnight Alitalia flight from Miami to Rome. From Rome, I hopped a plane for the short fifty-five-minute flight to Brindisi. This afternoon I arrived at the Hotel Falli which is located in the beautiful seaside town of Porto Cesareo. I capped off my long day of travel with a wonderful dinner at Da Antimo.

Tomorrow the rubber literally meets the road. I will report more on my Italian driving adventure in future TG posts, however, the formal comprehensive overview of this epic journey (and the Dallara Stradale test drive summary) will be reserved for an upcoming article to be published in Sports Car Market magazine. Stay tuned—more to follow!

To learn more about the Porsche Engineering Group facility in Nardò click here. To learn more about Dallara’s history click here.

My night flight from Miami to Rome

Final destination

It looks like we will be blessed by great weather

Dinner at Da Antimo…..Bellissimo!! One of the best salads of my life!

We are talking real bolognese!

The variety of Straddle models….decisions decisions!

 

Probably the most practical choice….

The incredible fish market near my hotel

and more fish…

and even more!

A map of Porto Cesareo….a lovely small seaside village. It must be packed in the summer!

With Andrea Pontremoli CEO of Dallara and Italy’s famous test driver Loris Bicocchi

The Nardo Technical Center puts stickers on the lenses of your iPhone to be sure you don’t photograph all the prototype cars running around the facility. The stickers are very hard to get off your phone!

We got some nice Dallara schwag and info on the NTC.

The beautiful view from my room at the Hotel Falli

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2 Responses to The Nardò Ring: A Weekend in Italy at Porsche Engineering’s Nardò Technical Center

  1. David Beilman March 10, 2018 at 7:28 am #

    Philip,

    Keep it coming, someone has to do this…

    David

  2. Phil Cheney March 10, 2018 at 7:26 am #

    Look forward to hearing more, Philip.