The 2018 event


Gran Circuito del Sestriere
9th Commemorative Run - Carlo Merlo Trophy
Celebrations for the Vespa Rally’s 50th Anniversary


On 6th and 7th july 2018, the Pinerolo Vespa Club is hosting the 9th Run of the Gran Circuito del Sestriere - Carlo Merlo Trophy, an International touring sport event, to commemorate the 1947 to 1953 editions of the Gran Circuito, which was then a National regularity trial , strting and arriving in Pinerolo. The term “gara” (race) which you will find associated to the event is used informally, because the Gran Circuito commemorative runs launched in 2007 are actually tourist events in which pilots compete against the clock rather than against each other.

In 2015 Pinerolo Vespa Club had honoured the memory of the Piaggio Six-Days gold medallist with a Commemorative Run of the “Circuiti di Pinerolo”, coupled with the celebration of the Vespa Grand Sport’s 60th anniversary. The remarkable international appeal of the double event has urged us to host one more: the Gran Circuito del Sestriere will be flanked, with the support of the Registro Storico Vespa, by the “50 anni di Vespa Rally” a celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Vespa Rally, was launched in 1968 as a sort of updated Grand Sport, designed to satisfy the needs of both the Vespa Sportsman and the Vespa Tourist. The Gran Circuito take place on Friday 6th and Saturday 7th july while the “50 Anni di Vespa Rally” celebrations start on Saturday 7th and ends with an International Historic Rally on Sunday 8th. Details on the celebrations can be found on the club website www.ilvespino.it

The “Gran Circuito del Sestriere” takes you on a trip through the towns and villages of the Chisone and Susa Valleys in Piedmont so as to appreciate the beauty and cultural diversity of the Cottian Alps, and along mountain roads and alpine passes which have made the history of internation motoring and cycling events. For the first time in the history of the Gran Circuito, Vespas climb over the “Colle delle Finestre” to a hight of 2176 mt above sea level (the final 8 km are on gravel), and cross the border into France near Bardonecchia and climb the Col de L’Echelle.
Competitors in the timed run must follow a road book which contains clear instructions on how to navigate the course, which is divided into stages and is 300 km long. The average speed of 30 kmph takes into account that vintage Vespas may have some difficulty on alpine roads.
The event runs on roads thet are open to normal traffic and participants must follow traffic laws. A number of stamp checks are placed at strategic points
In special enclosed areas participants undergo time checks and timed sectors. Neither sidecars nor passengers may partecipate.

Points are awarded to participants who can successfully navigate the route, keep to the mandatory speed and deliver split-second timing. Participants in the untimed (tourist) run undergo stamp checks.

All Vespa models first launched before 1977 are eligible for entry, in the following categories:

• Vespa Faro Basso.
• Vespa Sport (125 Sport, 150 GS, 160 GS, 50, 90, 180 SS).
• Vespa Rally (180, 200 rally).
• Vespa Classiche (all other models launched before 1977)
• 8 inch wheels
• 10 inch wheels

Further information on logistics, rules and regulations and the full programme will be posted as soon as possible and updated on this site.

You can contact our Club by:

Mail: viale della Rimembranza 65/a, 10064 Pinerolo (TO),Italia
email: pinerolo@vespaclubditalia.it
Phone (English spoken) +39 3381970831

Rules and regulations


Vehicles and Groups

All Vespa models launched prior to1977 are eligible for the Commemorative Run and will be assigned to the following categories :

• Faro basso
• Sports Models (125 sport, 150GS, 160GS, 50SS, 90SS, 180SS)
• 180 Rally, 200 Rally
• 8 inch wheels
• 10 inch wheels

All vehicles must comply with National traffic standards and be roadworthy, have valid MOT stamped documents and insurance.


• must be members of a National Vespa Club recognised as such by the Vespa World Club
• if under age, must have written parents’ consent. Drivers must have a valid driving licence
• must have a 2018 MOTOASI (or foreign equivalent) C1 tourist licence.
• will be asked to state in writing that they are generally in good health, will not run under the influence of alcohol/drugs ,accept the risks of participating in a motoring event, understand and accept the rules and regulations, indemnify the Promoters and Federations involved against legal liability in case of injury or damages

The event is a commemorative run: vintage clothing in encouraged, but approved helmets must be worn and feet, arms and legs must be properly covered and protected.
No passengers are admitted. Club banners and number stickers must be shown on vehicles, numbered vest must be worn at all times.


Controls at checkpoints will be signposted with conventional rally signs and will be shown on diagrams and in writing with Italian abbreviations (see below).

Drivers in the “Timed Run” of the “ Gran Circuito del Sestriere” will undergo:

• 2 Timed Stages (PA)
• 2 Stamp Checks (CT)
• 10 Passage Controls (CO)

The “Untimed Run” (Categoria Turistica) group will have
• 2 Stamp Checks (CT)

Clerks may carry out secret stamp checks, whiich will be clearly signposted.

Time Checks (Controllo Orario – CO)
Passage (time) checks are placed at strategic points of the Circuit to ensure that pilots keep to the mandatory speed. Each pilot’s time card has his/her target time printed on it. Penalties are given for wrong timing. A non-stop sector precedes each CO. Riders who show up late at the Checkpoint will be awarded 500 penalties. They will be allowed to continue the run only if they get their time card signed by the Checkpoint Marshal. Official time-pieces will be visible at all Checkpoints. Riders failing to be registered at COs will be disqualified .

Timed Stages (Prova Abilità)
These will be run in enclosed , traffic-free areas. Riders will have to complete a set course in a given time. The strtand finish lines will be clearly marked. Differences between set time and driver’s time will be converted to penalties

Stamp Checks (Controllo Timbro - CT)
Stamp checks are placed at strategic points of the Circuit to ensure that pilots run the correct route. They will be well signposted along the road, shown clearly on the Roadbook and will be punched into the Pilots’ time card.
Time Card (Tabella di Marcia -TM)
Drivers will be given a personal Time/Stamp Card (TM) with their target times for each control/check. Time cards must be handed in after the last CO in Pinerolo. Cards show phone numbers in case of emergency and break-down.

Road Book (RB)

Drivers will be given a Road Book ( Route Schedule) with all the neccessary information concerning times, mandatory speeds, and directions. The RB will be in Italian and English and will use tulips and other conventional signs to show the correct course. Some roundabouts and intersections will not be included in the RB if the route is “straight ahead”.
Speed will be shown as Km per hour and distances in Km and metres (2 ½ km. will be shown as 2,500 )


Timekeeping is carried out by third-party Officials belonging to the local chapter of the Italian Timekeepers’ Federation. They will guarantee timing according to the present regulations and will draw up official standings.
Timing posts are off-limits except for event staff, who will be clearly recognizable. Drivers who fail to comply will be penalised. Marshalls and Judges will report any infringement of this rule carried out by members of the public. Timing stations close 15 minutes after the last competitor’s target time.


A briefing is called proir to the start and any other time deemed appropriate in case the Steward has important information concerning safety or logistics . All drivers must take part.
During the Briefing drivers may request detailed explanations on any aspect of the event. The Steward will give clear and final answers to all questions.

Scrutineering and documentation

Vehicles must be regularly registered, insured, and roadworthy and will be scrutineered by Pinerolo Vespa Club Marshals. Other checks may be carried out by Local Police. No fuel must be carried: fueling must strictly take place at service stations along route.

Special equipment

Regularity equipment is allowed. This must not in any way alter the vehicle’s original features as to speed etc., but solely be of technical assistance for timing/distance measurements. Any type of stopwatch but no sound signals and/or connection to radio transmitters/receivers are allowed. Synchronisation must be manual. Use of GPS or Bluetooth comunication systems wil lead to being disqualified. Extra oil supplies and spare parts may be carried.

Penalties : TU (Time Unit) is 0,01 second)

• 1 point each UT early/late at CO
• 1 point each UT early/late at PA
• 50 points for foot down in PA and non stop zone
• 100 points for engine stalling in PS and non stop zone . Vehicles may be re-started with no extra penalties.
• 100 points for failng to keep on track in PS (taped side-lines are off-limits)
• 100 points for skipping or hitting cones and signs in PA
• 500 points for being over 30 secs. late at CO, thus skipping timed stage
• 1000 points for skipping CT
• 500 points for failing to hand in time card
• drivers will be disqualified for unsportsmanlike conduct (use of GPS, Bluetooth devices,etc)

In drawing up final standings, “ex-aequo” situations will be decided by bike age. Oldies come first. Subsequently, lowest penalties in a randomly picked Control will determine standings.

Starting order

Groups will start in the following order :Faro Basso, Sports Models, Vespa Rally models, all remaining 8” wheel and 10” wheels models. Individual start times for the Timed Run are 30 secs. apart.
Drivers in the Untimed Run leave last and will please give way to the Timed Run drivers, especially at or near Checkpoints


Awards will be given to.

  • First ten places in Overall Ranking
  • First, second and third place in the following categories:Faro Basso, Sport, Rally, 8 inch wheels, 10 inch wheels, Lady Drivers


Complaints must be handed to the Event Clerk together with a 100 euro charge, which will be given back if the protest is accepted.
Standings will be deemed definite and final 30 minutes after publication.

Legal matters

Drivers applying to take part implicitly state that they understand and will comply to the present Rules and Regulations and on receiving their event documents and guest-kit before the start of the event.will be asked to sign a personal declaration indemnitying Vespa Club Pinerolo, Vespa World Club, Marshals, Judges and Stewards and any official or Organisation involved in managing the Event.

V.C. Pinerolo President - Mauro Armando

Event Clerk - Enzo Secondo

Would you like to take part in the event?


You can download and edit  and save your forms. No printing needed.


Application form .pdf                           Application form .doc


Friday, 6th July

Pinerolo,  P.za Vittorio Veneto (in front of " Teatro Sociale").

• 3 PM Signing up, registration, collecting guest kit, scrutineering
• 4 PM  Guided tours
• 7,30 PM  Secretariat closing time
• 8,30 PM Evening appetizers and snacks at San Pietro Val Lemina, "Salone Polivalente"

Saturday, 7th July

Participants assemble in Pinerolo,   Stadio Olimpico del Ghiaccio ( Olympic Ice Rink) Via dei Rochis:

•  6.30 AM Signing up, registration, collecting guest kit., scrutineering
• 7.00 AM Briefing.
• 7.30 AM First participant starts
• 18.00/18.30 PM   Piazza Vittorio Veneto (in front of "Teatro Sociale") first participant arrives
• 21.00 PM Gala Dinner and prizegiving at  "Salone Polivalente", Piazza Piemonte , in San Pietro Vallemina.

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