The eighth edition of Mexico’s Rally Maya is honored with the presence for the first time of the Italian Prisca Taruffi, daughter of the legendary pilot Piero Taruffi, who was a Formula 1 driver and won the 1951 Pan-American Race, one of the many successes that earned him with justice the nickname of The Silver Fox.
With the number 29, Prisca is driving a 1960 Alfa Romeo Giuletta Spring model, in the company of co-driver Marina Grassi, an Italian in love with Playa del Carmen with whom Taruffi met again by chance on the other side of the world 25 years later.
The Giulietta Sprint shows the effigy of her father on the hood, an opportunity that Prisca does not miss to keep the memory of the famous pilot alive in Mexico. The front-engine, rear-wheel drive car adopts disc brakes instead of drum brakes. With the original 1,300 engine, the 4-cylinder Alfa Romeo has been developed and raised to 2,000 cc, according to Testmotori360.
Prisca is an all-around athlete. She has practiced skiing, swimming, tennis, horseback riding, volleyball, golf, and, of course, car racing. In this last discipline she made her debut in the single-make Renault 5 Trophy, and then dedicated herself to rallies. She became an Italian Champion and runner-up in Europe at the wheel of a Ford Sierra Cosworth, and then competed with Alfa Romeo, Lancia, Porsche and Ferrari in various events such as the Rally Raid, the Rally des Gazelles (Morocco), the Rally des Pharaohs, at the Rally Raid Dubai Desert Classic. She also participated as an official Ferrari driver in the recreation of the Mille Miglia at the wheel of the legendary Ferrari 315, the same with which her father won the 1957 edition.
Contacted by Benjamín de la Peña Mora, CEO and founder of Mexico’s Rally Maya, the daughter of the Silver Fox was seduced by this Mexican initiative in the style of the Mille Miglia. So Prisca did not hesitate to be part of this “museum on wheels” that invites you to discover the natural, cultural, gastronomic and archaeological wealth of the Mayan world.
During the competition, more than 100 crews from Mexico, Europe, Central and South America will carry out transits and regularities, testing the ability of the pilot and co-pilot to accurately maintain the pre-established speeds in a given time.
For this competition, cars must be more than 40 years old and be 90 percent original in order to be able to participate in one of the three vintage categories: vehicles manufactured from 1915 to 1949 in category “A,” for the category “B” cars from 1950 to 1969, and from 1970 to 1980 in category “C.”
Seven decades after Piero’s victory in Mexican lands
However, Prisca’s debut in Mexico’s Rally Maya was preceded by an active career in the world of classic motorsports and in favor of gender equality.
In 2003 she participated in the Pan-American Race with an Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint and was crowned the winner in her category, thus paying a well-deserved tribute to her father’s victory in Latin American lands in 1951.
Seven decades after her father’s triumph in this competition, in 2021 Prisca had a significant role in the 34th edition of the contest, as she was chosen the “Grand Marshal” of the event, a recognition awarded for the first time to a woman.
Prisca participated in the race motivated by the cerebration of the 70th anniversary of Piero’s feat, but also with the firm intention of highlighting female participation in motorsports and making visible the achievements of women who have written their own pages in the history of a sport traditionally dominated by men.
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