A Clock For The Mille Miglia And 1000 Pas Rallies

I recently acquired a clock that was developed specifically developed for competition in the Mille Miglia rally.  And because of the event similarities, it would also be very suitable for the 1000 Pas in Argentina.  This clock is made by Blizz Timing in Italy.  Many of the top teams in the Mille Miglia use Blizz Timing clocks for time keeping in the Mille Miglia.  My Blizz Timing C-200 clock is shown below.

Blizz Timing C200 (2)

Blizz Timing C-200 Clock

When I bought my Blizz Timing C-200 clock, it was used and it needed some servicing.  As a result, I sent the clock over to Italy to the manufacturing facility for the Blizz Timing clocks for repair.  After the Italian customs folks held my clock hostage for a few days, they finally released it to the Blizz Timing folks.  Once they got the clock they were able to make the necessary repairs and they sent it back to me with no major problems.  In addition, they included a very nice carrying case for the clock.  The total cost of purchasing the clock and having it updated/serviced by the Blizz Timing folks was considerably less than the cost of a new clock.

The picture below shows a Healey Silverstone that finished 24th Overall and 2nd in Class in the 2015 Mille Miglia.  As you can see, just in front of the navigator’s head, they are using a Blizz Timing clock for timing.  I also see that they used a Halda Twinmaster as their calibrated rally odometer.

Mille Miglia Car With Blizz (1)

A Mille Miglia Competitor With A Blizz Timing Clock Fitted

The Blizz Timing C-200 has the ability to keep track of multiple countdown goals.  The two main timing challenges in the Mille Miglia and the 1000 Pas are the CO Controls (which are the overall starting and stopping times) and the PC controls which are the various time trials that must be achieved during the day within the overall daily or CO time.  The Blizz Timing C-200 allows up to 120 CO times and 120 PC times to be stored in memory.  This allows for the entire Mille Miglia to be entered into the clock, and checked, before the event starts.

The clock also will provide beeps as the time counts down.  The extent and frequency of the beeping can be adjusted.  I suspect that most drivers would at least have the beeps occur each second for the last 10 seconds.  The ability to hear the clock countdown in a clear and consistent manner allows the driver to better internalize the time and therefore be able to better focus on the closing speed and distance as the timing line is approached.

Blizz Timing C-200 (11)

Normal Time-Of-Day View –  Hour:Minute:Seconds

In order to enhance the performance of the C-200 clock.  I have fitted the clock with a set of removable earphones which will allow the driver to better hear the beeps during the final moments of the countdown.

The other improvement that I made was to go to a great electronic store in Needham, Massachusetts, “You Do It” (this is the type of store that you would want Radio Shack to actually be) to purchase the needed switches and connection components that allowed me to makeup a remote hand-held “START” switch.  For me, I find that this remote switch is much easier to use with accuracy than the push button “START” button on the clock face.

Blizz Timing C-200 (13)

Split Time View Showing Minute:Seconds:Hundredths

The clock is very useful and it is in great shape after its re-build by the Blizz Timimg folks in Italy.  However I am in the process of re-writing the operating instructions for this clock using language and terms that I am more familiar with.  The existing Blizz Timing instructions for the C-200 are a little confusing, so I am re-writing them based on my own experience and testing as well as words and phrases related to the Mille Miglia competition.  Some of the instruction modifications are likely due to word choices in the original translation from Italian to English.

For those who are interested I have attached the official instructions for this clock prepared by Blizz Timing.  Just click on the file below.  Over the next year I will integrate my revised C-200 users instructions  into updates to the navigation and timing notes that I have prepared for the Mille Miglia.


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Harald’s Mini Cooper S Is About To Move On

I got an email from my friend Harald von Langsdorff the other day.  Harald wrote that he was going to sell his Mini Cooper S.  Harald and I have done a lot of rallying in that Mini.  Our first real event was the 2003 Targa Newfoundland.  We had a glorious week in Newfoundland.  We cleaned 34 of 35 stages and finished second in the Touring Class.

Mini At Targa Newfoundland 2003 (2)

Harald & I At Targa Newfoundland In 2003

The weather and the rally experience was great and the Mini Cooper S performed flawlessly.  As I recall, all we did was wipe the windshield, wash it, and put gas in it.

Mini At Targa Newfoundland 2003 (1)

The Mini Cooper S Heading Toward Leading Tickles

In addition to Targa Newfoundland we also competed in several winter rallies as well.  The picture below shows Harald and I just outside of Minden, Ontario in the late afternoon as we were on our way to the Ontario Winter Rally.


Getting Ready For The Ontario Winter Rally

Not all of our rallies were a success.  The winter roads in Ontario can be a little icy and unfortunately one year we slipped into the ditch and just could not get the car back out.


The Mini Stuck In The Ditch

Harald and I had a lot of fun with the Mini Cooper S, but time has now caught up with the car.  It has been driven in the last few years by Harald’s son and now it is time to sell it.


The Mini Cooper S Was A Good Rally Car

The Mini Cooper S is a good performer as Harald had a pulley changed on the supercharger which increased the amount of the air that was delivered to the engine.  Somebody is going to get a good car.

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2015 Mille Miglia Final Results

The 2015 Mille Miglia is over and once again it was a very competitive rally.  Consider that the top teams had total timing errors of about 4 seconds over more than 70 controls measured to the 1/100 second!!  These people have amazing car control.

Car 33 (1)

Tonconogy/Berisso, The Overall Winners Of The 2015 Mille Miglia

It is not surprising that the winning team is from Argentina.  Argentina has its own version of the Mille Miglia, the 1000 Pas, which provides the Argentine competitors with a high level event in order to improve and measure their rally skills.

The top ten finishers in the 2015 Mille Miglia are presented in the following table.

 Top 10 Finishers 2015 Mille Miglia

Pos Car # Team Country   Year Score
1 33 TONCONOGY Juan/ RA Bugatti T 40 1927 49011
BERISSO Guillermo RA
2 66 VESCO Andrea I FIAT Siata 514 MM 1930 48780
3 40 SALVIATO Ezio Martino I Bugatti T 40 1928 47706
MOGLIA Maria Caterina I
4 28 FERRARI Bruno I Bugatti T 37C 1927 46170
5 31 MOCERI Giovanni I Chrysler 72 1927 46121
6 2 MOZZI Giordano I O.M. 665 SPORT SUPERBA 2000 1927 45967
BIACCA Stefania I
7 61 STALMAN Pablo USA Bugatti T 40 GRAN SPORT 1929 45695
8 86 EREJOMOVICH Daniel Andre RA Aston Martin Le Mans 1933 45232
9 29 CRISTINA Riccardo I Bugatti T 40 GRAN SPORT 1927 44630
BAROLI Sabrina I
10 32 CANE’ Giuliano I Bugatti T 37 GRAND PRIX 1927 44368
REICHLE Klaus Peter D


Car 66

The Runner Up Team Of Vesco/Guerini In A 1930 Fiat

There were a large number of American teams in the 2015 Mille Miglia.  An American driver, Pablo Stalman, finished 7th overall.  This is a great result!  Congratulations to Pablo and his navigator!

The results of the other American teams (and some Canadians as well) are listed below.

American Team Results At The 2015 Mille Miglia

Pos Car # Crew Country   Year Score
7 61 STALMAN Pablo USA Bugatti T 40 GRAN SPORT 1929 45695
85 146 BILGERI Alexander D BMW 328 “MILLE MIGLIA” 1939 25003
123 225 CROUL Spencer USA Lancia AURELIA B20 GT 2000 BERLINETTA 1951 20981
128 58 SWARTZBAUGH Jim USA Chrysler 75 Le Mans 1929 20539
178 158 SMITH Thomas USA Healey 2400 ELLIOTT 1947 15714
186 362 SAVAGE Jonathan USA MG MG A “WORKS” 1955 15233
187 358 CHALHOUB Jean Claude CDN Porsche 356 1500 Speedster 1955 15225
STABIUMI Margherita CH
188 183 BERG Joel USA Jaguar XK 120 OTS LIGHTWEIGHT 1949 15175
LEANDER Kajsa Johanna Ly S
205 364 ROATH Kenneth USA Ferrari 250 GT Europa 1955 14272
259 342 MAYLANDER Bernd D Mercedes-B. 300 SL COUPE’ W 198 1955 8671
266 92 GRUSS Martin USA Alfa Romeo 6C 1750 GT CABRIOLET CASTAGNA 1933 6858
269 303 TANK Bradley USA Lancia AURELIA B20 GT 2500 BERLINETTA 1954 6333
COMER Colin Ernst USA
272 318 MCCOLLOUGH Kim USA Jaguar XK 120 OTS ROADSTER 1953 6152
275 274 URBINA Jeff USA Alfa Romeo 1900 C SPRINT PININ FARINA 1953 5914
282 328 BEAN Theo USA Ferrari 500 MONDIAL SPIDER PININFARINA 1954 3834
BEAN Ann Coffey USA
297 371 BRAYSHAW Nicholas GB AustinHealey 100 S 1955 -2126
BOND Warwick USA
303 439 MAGNUSSON Carl Gustav CDN Abarth FIAT 750 BERLINETTA ZAGATO 1957 -6986
309 405 WARNER William (Bill) USA Studebaker GOLDEN HAWK 1956 -10451
313 412 WORD David USA Alfa Romeo Giulietta Sprint Bertone 1956 -18910
OSBORNE Donald Wayne USA
320 272 TAYLOR James USA Jaguar C-Type 1953 -22978
321 96 BINNIE William USA Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 MONZA 1933 -23724
329 317 LOTMAN Jeff USA Lincoln CAPRI SPORT COUPE’ 1954 -63665
332 227 OBERTI Sylvia USA S.I.A.T.A. 300 BC 1951 -86209
334 116 KAZAMEK Tom USA Delahaye 135 SPORT 1935 -91604
345 259 LINDEMANN Adam USA Jaguar C-Type 1953 -162442
361 360 KARUBIAN John USA Mercedes-B. 300 SL COUPE’ W 198 1955 -636363
Did Not Finish
54 EICHENBAUM David USA Chrysler 75 1929 DNF
62 LISMAN Richard USA Aston Martin Le Mans 1929 DNF
FINK Clifton USA
244 SCHIGIEL Leo USA Cisitalia 202 cabriolet 1952 DNF
PIETZ Charles Wesley USA
448 FODOR Peter USA Alfa Romeo 1900 C SS TOURING 1957 DNF

Congratulations to all of the American entrants!  As I written before, just to be selected to compete in this rally is an honor.

Car 362

An American Team With Jonathan/Julia Savage In A 1955 MGA

From all accounts it seems that the 2015 Mille Miglia was a complete success.  It seems to have great support from sponsors and entrants alike.  And judging by the photos showing crowds everywhere, the event attracts lots of spectators as well.


A Real American Entry With Jeff Lotman/Brian Grozier In A 1954 Lincoln Capri

The compete final results of the 2015 Mille Miglia can be seen by clicking on the file below:

Final Overall Results


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Competition At The Mille Miglia Rally

In my previous post, I have noted that there is a tremendous amount of eye candy at the Mille Miglia, but while that is true, it is also a very competitive road rally, requiring rigorous timing, and to finish near the front of this large field of cars it takes a great deal of car control and timing input.  This aspect of the event often gets overlooked, but as a competitive road rally navigator who would like to compete in the Mille Miglia someday, it is of interest to me.  At the end of the first day of the 2015 Mille Miglia, the top 10 cars in the Mille Miglia rally are listed below.

 Top Ten Cars After Day One Of The 2015 Mille Miglia

Position Car # Crew Car
1 66 Andrea Vesco/Andrea Guerini 1930 Fiat 514 MM
2 2 Giordano Mozzi /Stefania Biacca 1927 O.M. Sport Superba
3 33 Juan Tonconogy/Guillermo Berisso 1927Bugatti T40
4 29 Riccardo Cristina/Sabrina Baroli 1927 Bugatti T40
5 40 Ezio Salviato/Catherine Moglia 1928 Bugatti T40
6 86 Daniel Erejomovich/Gustavo Llanos 1933 Aston Martin LeMans
7 140 Sergio Sisti/Anna Gualandi 1938 MG TB
8 38 Ezio/ Andrea Ronzoni 1928 Lancia Lambda Torpedo
9 31 John Moceri/Lucia Galliani 1927 Chrysler
10 61 Pablo Stalman/Fernando  Zinny 1929 Bugatti T40

I did not have the actual scores after the first day, but I have no doubt that the competition among these cars was quite close.

Car 2 OM Superba

This OM Superba Was In 2nd Place After Day One Of The 2015 Mille Miglia

One interesting note about the Mille Miglia, is that the OM cars were built in the host city of Brescia.  These cars are held in high regard in Brescia and each year, the OM cars entered in the Mille Miglia are given the privilege of starting at the front of the field.  Hence the reason that the OM Superba, shown above and in second place after Day One, was assigned as Car #2.

The route of the Mille Miglia rally is very well outlined in the route book provided to all of the competitors.  I have included a sample page from the route book below.  As can be seen from this page, the route is clearly outlined.  The use of colors is good and the quality of the presentation of the route is a reflection of the quality of this event and the entry fee.

Route Book Example

Sample Page From The 2015 Mille Miglia Route Book

The timing requirements for the Mille Miglia are also provided in the route book.  The page below shows the timing goals for Day One of the 2015 Mille Miglia.  While it seems simple, remember that the car’s time at the timing lines is measured and points awarded based on timing errors of 1/100 of a second!

Timing Sheet

Timing Requirements For Day One

As can be seen from the timing sheet, the first day consists of one section as the cars travel from Brescia to Ferrara.  The cars have 4 hours 45 minutes to make that trip.  Within that trip there will be 4 “CT” controls or passage controls where the competitors must get their score card stamped, but there are no specific timing requirements at these Passage Controls.  The real competition is at the 15 “PC” controls.  Cars arrive at the start of each PC grouping and are started at a time assigned by the marshals at the start.  Note that the travel time between PC controls is provided.  These times are not cumulative, but are what they are shown to be – the time between controls.  The end of one control is the start of the next.  Therefore no matter what time you arrive at PC 3, you must arrive at PC 4 exactly 25 seconds later.

The route between PC 3 and PC 4 is presented in the route book in map form as shown below.

Example PC 4

The Illustrated Route From PC 3 To PC 4

From the timing page in the route book it can be seen that the total distance from PC 3 to PC 4 is only 0.35 kilometers or 350 meters and to meet the required travel time of 25 seconds, then the cars must have an average speed of 25.71 kilometers per hour between these controls.

This provides a brief look at the competition side of the Mille Miglia.  I have posted more extensive notes about navigation and timing requirements for the Mille Miglia focusing on rookie or first time entrants.  If anyone has any specific questions about the navigation or timing requirements for the Mille Miglia, then feel free to contact me by email at  shanna12@comcast.net and I’ll try to answer them.

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Eye Candy From Day 1 Of The 2015 Mille Miglia

Let the eye candy begin.  Yesterday the “world’s most beautiful race” got underway and judging from the photos that have emerged from the first day of the 2015 Mille Miglia, it has not disappointed.  At this time I don’t have any competition results, therefore I have included some photos from the first day.

Mercedes-Benz is a major sponsor of the Mille Miglia and as 2015 is the 60th anniversary of Sir Stirling Moss’ legendary 1955 victory in the Mille Miglia, Mercedes-Benz has gone all out in bringing many of their museum cars to this year’s Mille Miglia.

As most of the people who would read this post would know, Toto Wolff, along with Nicki Lauda, is the head of the Mercedes-Benz Formula 1 Team.  It is interesting to note that Toto Wolff’s wife, Susie Wolff, is a test driver for the Williams Formula 1 Team.  So while she is on the Williams payroll, marriage does have its privileges, so I was not really surprised to see that Susie Wolff is driving the Mercedes-Benz SLR that Juan Manual Fangio drove to a second place finish in the 1955 Mille Miglia.  “Happy wife = happy life.”

Susie Wolff With M-B SLR

Susie Wolff, Williams’ F1 Team Test Driver, Obviously Enjoying Driving a 1955 Mercedes-Benz SLR

In the Mille Miglia, in general, most of the older cars start near the front.  The photo below shows a line up of some of the older cars waiting to go over the starting ramp.


Oskar Meier/Katerina Batouskova’s 1927 Bugatti T37A Leaves The Start Ramp

It seems that people must line the entire route of the Mille Miglia.  And why not!  What a great moving car show!  Plus the sound and smells from the vintage race cars would make the experience even better.


Marc Lenert/Paul Welbes’ 1951 Lancia B21 Berlina In A “Parade” Along The Harbor

The picture below “takes the cake” or should I say “takes the pizza”!  These have to be some of the top seats along the route.  Imagine you can sit there in the pizzeria and have your fill of wine and pizza while the Mille Miglia cars pass by just a few feet away.  Awesome!


Quirina Louwan/James Wood’s 1952 Aston Astin DB 3S

Some of the cars that are participating in the 2015 Mille Miglia also are actual cars that took part in the full race version of the Mille Miglia between 1927 and 1957.  This is the case for the Aston Martin DB 3S shown above and the Fiat Colli 110 Sport shown below.  When selecting cars to compete in the Mille Miglia, these cars are in a preferred position for selection.


Rik Ruebens/Sylvie Dekien’s 1951 Fiat Colli 1100 Sport

The 2015 Mille Miglia still has three days to run before it ends, back in Brescia, on Sunday afternoon.  I am sure that the flow of eye candy from this event will continue.  I can only imagine what a pleasure it must be to be there in person, or ultimately, to take part in the Mille Miglia itself.

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2015 Mille Miglia Getting Underway

This weekend the 2015 Mille Miglia will get underway.  The Mille Miglia is advertised, with good reason, as “the most beautiful race in the world”.   These days the Mille Miglia is a road rally, but from 1927 to 1957 it was a very challenging 1000-mile long sports car race with the fastest cars in the world being driven by the fastest drivers.  The picture below shows the famous Tazio Nuvolari in an Alfa Romeo in the 1930 Mille Miglia.

1930 alfa nuvolari 1930

Tazio Nuvolari Won The 1930 Mille Miglia In An Alfa Romeo

In 1957 there was a horrible accident that killed 10 spectators as well as one of the most talented and well-known drivers, Alfonso De Portago and his co-driver.  This bad accident, coming on the heels of the infamous 1955 Le Mans accident caused many objections to the Mille Miglia.  The result was that the Mille Miglia  was shut down and not held in that format anymore.  The picture below shows Piero Taruffi in a Ferrari, who competed in the Mille Miglia many times, finally taking the checkered flag by winning the 1957 Mille Miglia.  He was chased to the finish line by von Tripps  also in a Ferrari, but while it looks very close in the photo, vonTripps had started a few minutes ahead of Taruffi.

1957 taruffi von trips

Piero Taruffi Winning The Last Full Race Mille Miglia In 195a

The modern Mille Miglia was reborn in 1982 as a road rally and tribute to the original Mille Miglia race.  It has become a very prestigious event and just being selected to compete in the Mille Miglia is quite an honor.  In the last few days the 2015 Mille Miglia entrants have been gathering in Brescia getting the final paperwork done and getting their cars ready for this year’s event.


Michael Cotter’s 1952 Jaguar C Type  Readying For The Mille Migia

The cars taking part in the Mille Miglia must have been built between 1927 and 1957, the years of the original event.  This year about 430 cars are entered and 69 car brands are represented.  The following is a list of the cars and numbers in this year’s Mille Miglia.  For example, there are 38 Alfa Romeos entered.

Car Manufacturer And Number Of Cars Entered

Alfa Romeo 38 Gilco 2
Mercedes-Benz 38 Lotus 2
Jaguar 36 Talbot-Lago 2
FIAT 34 Allard 1
Lancia 30 Alpine Renault 1
Porsche 22 Autobleu 1
Bugatti 21 Benedetti-FIAT 1
Aston Martin 19 Borgward 1
Ferrari 19 Bristol 1
Healey 11 Cargem 1
Maserati 11 Citroen 1
Cisitalia 10 Cooper 1
BMW 9 Delage 1
O.M. 8 Delahaye 1
Austin Healey 7 FIAT Cisitalia 1
Bentley 7 Giaur 1
S.I.A.T.A. 7 HRG 1
Triumph 7 HW (poi HWM) 1
Zagato 7 HW Alta (poi HWM) 1
MG 6 Invicta 1
Riley 6 Kieft 1
Arnolt 4 Lincoln 1
Chrysler 4 Nash-Healey 1
Lagonda 4 Oldsmobile 1
A.C. 3 Peugeot 1
Alvis 3 Rally 1
Amilcar 3 Renault 1
Ermini 3 Rovelli-FIAT 1
Ford 3 Rover 1
O.S.C.A. 3 SS 1
Abarth 2 Stanguellini 1
B.N.C. 2 Studebaker 1
Bandini 2 Talbot 1
D.B. 2 Zanussi-FIAT 1
Frazer-Nash 2

One of the cars that I will be following is the lone Bristol in the event.  This 1949 Bristol 400 Pinin Farina convertible is crewed by Adrian Berry and Hannah Goodman., who have just recently competed in the Icelandic Saga in a Lotus Elan.  This year, the Bristol will wear number 178.

MM Bristol

1949 Bristol 400 Pinin Farina

For a listing of the entrants and their cars click on the Provisional Start List below.

Provisional Start List 2015

Best wishes to all of the competitors.  I look forward to seeing the results and interesting photos of this rally.

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My Heuer Monte Carlo Stopwatch

Through a rather strange path I recently acquired a very nice Heuer Monte Carlo stopwatch as part of my rally navigator’s kit.  This path started out when I saw the stopwatch for sale on eBay.  I had a feeling that it might sell for a reasonable price.  The problem was that I had to be in a business meeting when the bidding closed.  My friend Harald von Langsdorff and I often share information on items that might interest each other, so I contacted Harald to see if he could bid on this item for me.  By the time Harald got back to me, I had begun to get cold feet on this clock, as I was starting to formulate another timing approach.  So I told Harald that I changed my mind and that I would not be bidding.  Harald then said that if I was not going to bid, then he might be bidding on the Heuer Monte Carlo stopwatch.  As it turned out Harald did place the winning bid.  His winning bid was a price that was even lower than I had estimated.  Then it turned out that Harald, who I know has some nice stopwatches, said that he was having second thoughts about the stopwatch, although he would be satisfied with the stopwatch, so he offered to re-sell the watch to me at the price he had just paid for it.  The price was so good that I could not refuse, so I finally wound up with the Heuer Monte Carlo stopwatch shown below.

Heuer Monte Carlo (1)

My Heuer Monte Carlo Stopwatch

The Heuer Monte Carlo stopwatch is a 12-hour stopwatch.  The large white digit at the bottom of the face is a “jumping hour” display.  For example, in the photo above, the “0” will be displayed for the full first hour, then once the first hour is complete within about five seconds, the digit on display will change to “1”.  This process will continue for 12 full hours when the display will go back to “0”.

The shorter hand with the yellow arrowhead at the end is the minute hand.  The longer thinner hand is the “second” hand although the face on this stopwatch also has a display in 1/100ths of a minute in addition to the traditional seconds display.  This is important to me as rallies in the USA are mostly run using the 1/100 minute unit.  This timing method is much more navigator friendly than using seconds and constantly having to do “base 60″ mathematics.  Electronic calculators and Curta calculators all prefer decimal minutes as compared to seconds.  And having both scales on the stopwatch would allow for timing calculations to be done using decimal minutes then using the clock face to convert to seconds.

The stopwatch operates very simply.  The crown stem winds the clock spring.  By pushing the crown stem down the stopwatch starts.  A subsequent pushing of the crown stem will stop the clock.  Pushing the single offset stem will return both the second hand and the minute hand to zero.

I only have done one timing test with this clock up to now.  I wound the clock spring stiff and started the clock for a 12 hour test.  Every three hours, I gave the stopwatch stem about one full turn to return the spring to a stiff resistance.  After 12 hours, the stopwatch had gained 14 seconds as compared to my atomic clock.  This amounts to about a 1 second gain per hour.  I checked the time almost every hour during the test and the gain of 1 second per hour was consistent throughout the test.  I now am considering whether or not to have the clock adjusted.  And where to take or send it for adjustment.  Watchmakers are no longer common.

In summary, I am glad to have the Heuer Monte Carlo stopwatch in my rally navigator’s toolbox.

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