【Day4 & Awarding Ceremony】28 Oct 2019
Mr. and Mrs. Takemoto wins their second consecutive title, showing overwhelming strength
|Day four, the final day, started and it was a clear morning. Just seeing the sunshine made me feel happy, maybe because we'd been lashed by the cold rain for three days. The entrants had a relaxing morning as today's travel distance was approximately 230 km, slightly shorter than the previous days. Both the entrants and the cars must have been worn out, but at the same time seemed to be feeling somewhat sad as the journey was coming to an end.
Although it was a weekday, many people gathered to cheer the entrants at today's first point, the square in front of Naritasan Shinshoji Temple. There were also many children waving hands enthusiastically and their cheers encouraged the entrants through to the finish line.
After leaving the square, the entrants passed through five points in Chiba Prefecture to Tokyo. The finish line in Meiji Jingu Shrine was just around the corner. They'd visited 30 stamp points, competed PC competitions in as many as 60 sections in 15 venues, and traveled approximately 1,300 km over six prefectures for four days. The continuous rain made everything harder this year. At Meiji Jingu Shrine, there were so many people waiting for the entrants to arrive.
The sun started to set and the finish ceremony began at 4:30 pm. The cars lit up on the Jingu-bashi Bridge were beautifully shining in the dusk, which created a fantastical atmosphere. Each of the cars that were able to complete the whole distance safely was introduced, and when interviewed, the entrants said with a smile, "It was really tough four days, but the people in Tohoku welcomed us warmly and I'll never forget this event." This year's event was held as a disaster-affected area support event. We were hoping the event would encourage local people even a little, but in fact, it may be us who were encouraged during the journey.
After the finish ceremony, everyone headed to the hotel for a farewell dinner and an awards ceremony. They enjoyed the party with Her Imperial Highness Princess Akiko while having a lavish dinner. Because the entrants had been trying not to drink for the past few days, they enjoyed drinking to their heart's content. Time flies when you're having fun. It's past 9 pm now and time for an awards ceremony.
This year, last year's second-place winner Mozzi and Biacca, who won the Mille Miglia in Italy twice, were not participating. In addition, last year's third-place finisher Yamazaki father-son team was unfortunately retired. Which team piled up points steadily in the bad weather and won the first place?
The third place was the No.28 of Mr. and Mrs. Matsushita. This veteran team, who has made 14 appearances, made it to the podium for the first time. They stood shyly on the podium but happiness was written all over their face. They kept second place for the first three days and finished third.
The second place went to the No. 39 of the Takigawa father-son team. The regular top-10 team won the second place for the first time in three years since 2016. They gradually moved up after day two and finished second.
The winner of 2019 went to the No.3 of Mr. and Mrs. Takemoto, this was their second consecutive title. As I expected, the pair dominated the rally this year too, holding on to the lead after day two and winning the first place by approximately 12,000 points. In their winning speech, Mr. Takemoto said jokingly with a smile, "I'm 65 and even I can win." and the attendees gave them a big applause.
Thus, this year's La Festa Mille Miglia came to an end. When the award ceremony ended, it was already the middle of the night. The cars are taking a rest in a quiet parking lot now. The entrants made some wonderful memories with their beloved car during the four-day journey. They will never forget the time they visited many places in the rain while encouraging people and encouraged by them.
The La Festa Mille Miglia 2019 will air on BS Fuji on Saturday, December 21. Spring's La Festa Primavera 2020 will be held on April 17.
（Historic Car Japan Mika Iwamoto）