International racing is to return to Enna-Pergusa for the first time in eight years with the revival of the historic Coppa Florio as a round of the 24H Series powered by Hankook.
The director of series organizer Creventic, Ivo Breukers, confirmed on Wednesday’s RSL Midweek Motorsport show that a two-part, 12-hour race at Enna will replace the now-canceled 12H Imola on October 9-11.
Imola has been scratched from the 2020 24H European Series calendar because of changes to the circuit’s calendar and heightened noise restrictions.
Its place has been taken up by Enna, which last hosted international racing in 2012 and regularly held rounds of the World Sportscar Championship in the 1970s.
The Sicilian circuit, which famously follows the shoreline of Lake Pergusa, also played host to the last edition of the historic Coppa Florio in 1981.
The 24H Series will resurrect the Coppa Florio almost 40 years on from that event, following approval from Chico Pallandino Florio, the grandson of race founder Vincenzo Florio.
October’s race is set to be held over two six-hour segments on two days, while GT and touring cars will be eligible to compete.
The event will be opened with competitors taking a 15km parade route on public roads from the circuit to Enna town center, passing through the local mountain scenery.
Class winners will receive replicas of the original Coppa Florio, which was presented during the earliest editions of the pioneering race.
One of the world’s oldest motorsport competitions, the Coppa Florio grew out of a series of open road races organized by Vincenzo Florio at the turn of the 20th century.
The first edition under the Coppa Florio name occurred in 1905, one year before the inaugural Targa Florio was held on the open roads of Sicily.
The original version of the race ended after the 1929 running, while the competition’s name was revived in 1975 as a World Sportscar event at Enna-Pergusa that was first won by Arturo Merzario and Jochen Mass in an Alfa Romeo T33 over 1,000km.
It continued in its World Sportscar guise on and off until 1981, when Guy Edwards and Emilio de Villota won the final Coppa Florio as a six-hour in a Lola-Ford T600.
International motorsport has been rare at Enna in recent decades. The FIA GT Championship held races there in 2002 and 2003, while the Italian-based International Superstars and GTSprint package visited most recently in 2012.
“This is an incredible opportunity and speaks volumes to the faith Signore Chico Pallandino Florio has placed in Creventic to revive one of the oldest endurance races in motorsport history,” said Creventic sporting co-ordinator Ole Doerlemann.
“We’re also very excited to welcome the Autodromo di Pergusa to the 24H Series calendar. It’s a venue that boasts vast amounts of character and heritage, and features a veritable ‘who’s who’ of motorsport icons among its previous winners.
“We’re very confident the new Coppa Florio can be one of the most anticipated 24H Series events in the years to come, and we’re really looking forward to seeing some fantastic on-track action in both the GT and TCE divisions this October in Sicily.”