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Dear Sir/Madam

This year´s Octane Awards shortlist has been revealed, and I am delighted to let you know that Bernina Gran Turismo has been shortlisted for Motorsport Event of the Year.

Hundreds of entries are received every year from all around the world. Standards are always extremely high and the shortlist represents the cream of the industry.  

2017 will see the Octane Awards move forward again, with even greater international representation, more widespread media coverage and more entries than ever.  

As you are a nominee, I would like to personally invite you to this year´s awards ceremony, which will take place on Thursday 16th November at the Underglobe in London.

I do hope you will be able to join us on the night.

Very best wishes,
"Imagine if Goodwood Festival of Speed and the Mille Miglia had a baby. That is Bernina Gran Turismo!"
This statement by Ted Gushue, Editorial Director for Petrolicious, posted on his Instagram page and so far liked over 9,700 times, says it all. This year`s third running of the Bernina Gran Turismo was an all-round successful event. For the first time, reception and scrutineering took place at Forum Paracelcus in St. Moritz Bad. The subsequent display of participating vehicles along the front of the Kempinski Grand Hotel des Bains gave St. Moritz locals and visitors alike a chance to chat to drivers and inspect their race cars from close up. 

One highlight for the participants was a nightly drive with a historic 100-year old train of the Rhaetian Railway up to Alp Grüm. Together with a second rail-bound classic, this train was also available on Saturday and Sunday for regular visitors on the way up to the Bernina pass to experience authentic train nostalgia at no extra cost.

The event itself offered spectacular racing scenes with rare automobiles like the 1961/62 Ferrari 250 GT SWB “Breadvan”, the 1956 Maserati F250 F1 racer formerly owned by Jean Behra, or the 1965 Ford GT40 brought by JD Classics, one of the Bernina Gran Turismo`s main event sponsors.

In this context we would like to thank all our sponsors! Apart from JD Classics we would like to extend a special thanks to VR meine Raiffeisenbank Altötting, Heineken, Jaguar Land Rover, Tectus Classic Car Insurance and Carficionado Collection Management as well as to all our other partners. Let`s not forget the towns of St. Moritz and Poschiavo who have been exceptional hosts once again this year and are named as representatives for all of our touristic partners.  
Photo: Laura Kukuk
But back to the race. The racing category was won by Chris Ward on Ford GT40 with a time of 3:18:89, followed by Christian Klainguti in his 1970 Brabham.BT-30 Formula 2 with a time of 3:24:75 and Daniele Perfetti on Porsche 911 ST (1970) with 3:32:39.

In the regularity class, Dr. Erek Nuener in his 1966 Ford-Shelby Mustang and Philip Mouser in a 1952 Jaguar C-Type came closest to the target time of 4:25:00, undercutting it with 4:23:83 and 4:23:63 respectively. Slightly above the target were Matteo Kamata in a 1973 Renault Alpine A110 Gr. 4 at 4:27:54 ahead of Thomas Hanna achieving 4:32:54 in his Mercedes 190  “Pontoon” Carrera Panamericana and Thomas Ward in his 1963 AC Ace coming in at 4:33:08. It appears that the rest of the field in the regularity class had no problems with the harsh penalties for undercutting the target time.

It has already become a tradition to hold the awards ceremony on Sunday afternoon in Poschiavo, the historic starting place for the original Bernina races in 1929 and 1930. Once again, the town with its almost Mediterranean flair was an exceptional host for the relaxed prize-giving event in its picturesque market square. 

Another memory was made with the kick-off party for the Bernina Gran Turismo being held in Rolf Sachs` Dracula Club. For the first time, Rolf had given the event access to the legendary club founded by his father Gunther Sachs. We are especially happy to announce that this party will now become the BGT`s in-official kick-off and one of its fixed elements going forward.  
Photo: Alberto Novelli
Ted Gushue`s aforementioned article in Petrolicious started with the no less meaningful headline "The Bernina Gran Turismo is the best event I have been to all year“ a sentiment echoed by everybody we spoke to during and after the event. However, the culmination of such praise came in mid-October when the
Bernina Gran Turismo wasn`t just nominated for OCTANE AWARDS`s "Motorsports Event of the Year" but ended up being one of the short-listed events in this category. The OCTANE offices receive hundreds of nominations for this award and to make it into the shortlist is an unbelievable recognition in itself. Only the best make it onto this list so we see this nomination as the best compliment the
Bernina Gran Turismo can receive.

In any case we see it as our motivation and mission to do everything just as well and better next year. We have already thought about the odd surprise with regards to the running setup and, of course, work on next year’s event has already started. What`s left is for us to announce the date for next year`s Bernina Gran Turismo: The mountain race will be held on the weekend 21-23 September 2018 as part of the
"St. Moritz Automobile Week". Which means the Dracula Club Part will of course be held on Thursday, 20 September 2018. Save the dates!

Let me finish with another quote, this time by Steve McQueen from the movie "Le Mans": "Racing is life. Anything that happens before or after is just waiting".

Claus Müller
Photo: Alberto Novelli
© 2019 Internationale St. Moritzer Automobilwochen AG
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