It is the year of the début: On the sixth of May 1906,
30 cars should be drawn up in the stands in Cerda, but there
were troubles in Genoa harbour ( hence the cars attending the
race should leave ) that did not allow all cars to be present.
At 6.00 A.M. there were drawn up cars. five “Itala”,
two “ Bayard- Clément”, one “ Berliet”,
one “Hotchkiss” and one “Fiat”. Pilots
of world-wide renown took part. The pilots left at a distance
of 10 minutes the one from the other; 148 Kilometers should be
covered, so making a total of 446,469 Kilometers.
The logistic organization was very careful. The “Hotel
delle Terme” in Termini Imerese became the headquarters:
there it was possible to make a bet on favourite pilots. In the
same town, near the Hotel, Florio rent the ground-floor rooms
in order to use them as warehouse. The route was sprinkled with
Fix, a bituminous mixture that could make the Sicilian ruined
streets more practicable, by assuring more adhesion for the cars
and , as a consequence, raising less dust. The town of Buonfornello
was endowed with a racing management, with a restaurant, with
a first-aid station and it had the international telegraph office,
which was the second one existing in Italy. Florio was interested
in building a 400 meters railway long, which was parallel to
the principal railway line. Thanks to this parallel railway the
Italian Railways organized special trains from Palermo to Buonfornello,
in order to let 12.000 people arrive.
During the whole race, two bands alternately entertained the
spectators who were in the stands. The event was not only sporting,
but also fashionable. There were not only Lady Franca Florio,
but also the Countess Morosini, the Countess Mazzarino, the duchess
Massari Zavaglia, the Princess Lanza of Trabia, the Princess
Pignatelli and the majority of the Sicilian aristocracy of old.
The home stretch in Buonfornello was cut by Alessandro Cagno
by driving the car “Itala”, after 9h32’22”.
His average per hour was 46,800 kilometers, he also realized
the fastest lap on track. 2h50’10” with an average
per hour of 52,474 Kilometers. Graziani ,who drove the car “Itala”,
came in second with a distance of 30 minutes; Bablot came in
third, by driving the car ”Berliet”.
The French photographic agency “Agence Rapide” was
the first one which distributed the photos about the Targa. Fame,
photos and reports about the Targa traveled round the world.
The myth of the Targa already exists.