Alfa Romeo has signed up to be part of a very good cause – by driving from Sydney to Melbourne.
The Italian Connection Trophy is a social motoring event that supports the Duchenne Foundation, raising money for research into Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, an extreme degenerative disease that attacks young boys.
The event runs from Friday, May 21 to Sunday, May 23, linking Australia’s most famous ‘Little Italy’ districts, Norton Street in Leichhardt (Sydney) and Lygon Street in Carlton (Melbourne).
The first two years the event was run (2008, 2009), it was won by Alfa Romeos, so it seems fitting that Ateco Automotive, which distributes Alfa Romeo in Australia, is providing an Alfa Romeo 159 JTDm to be used in the event by Angela Solomou and Tiina Raikko, committee members from the Duchenne Foundation and the Trophy’s first all-female team.
“We’re very grateful to Alfa Romeo for supporting the event, especially during its centenary year,” says event director Robert Gunn, who was with the ladies when they collected the car for a familiarisation run.
“The Italian Connection Trophy is dominated by Alfa Romeo even though we also have a good mix of other Italian marques. By Alfa providing a car for our first all-female team, they have provided a wonderful opportunity to the Duchenne Foundation to lift the profile of the charity and raise money for a great cause.”
Andrei Zaitzev, General Manager, Alfa Romeo Australia, says the company is very happy to be involved.
“We are very pleased to be able to support, once again, the Italian Connection Trophy and its work with the Duchenne Foundation, especially as there is a growing tradition that, as well as raising both awareness and funds for the Foundation, the event is usually won by an Alfa Romeo!”
This is the third year the event has been run. This year’s goal is raising $100,000 to fund research into muscle deterioration. The research will contribute to the development of new drugs to prolong the mobility of boys with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and, hopefully, help find a cure.
The motoring tour is open to any type of European car, of any age, and the current entry list includes everything from a 1972 Lancia Fulvia through to a 2009 VW – with a wide range of Alfa Romeos and other marques in between.
Entrants are assured of having fun, especially during the overnight stops in Gundagai in southern NSW, and Myrtleford in northern Victoria. Both towns are providing plenty of good Italian food and wine to welcome competitors at the end of each day and Myrtleford has a special Italian Festa to celebrate the event.
The rally only uses sealed roads, but it’s not just a straight run down the Hume Highway. The event’s Clerk of Course is Jeff Whitten, well known in Australian rallying circles, and he has chosen some of the best driving roads in both states. The resulting route is both fun to drive, and spectacular.
Entry fee for the Italian Connection Trophy is $2300, which covers breakfast, dinner and accommodation for both the driver and co-driver/navigator as well as a donation. More funds will be raised through other activities across the weekend.
Numbers are limited but there are a few entries still available. Check the website: www.italianconnection.com.au
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For more media information, please contact Liz Swanton: 0417 232 643 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Pic caption: Tiina Raiko from the Duchenne Foundation collecting the keys to her Alfa Romeo 159 JTDm from Andrei Zaitzev, General Manager, Alfa Romeo Australia, in readiness for the start of the Italian Connection Trophy.