GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA|
Autodromo di Monza (I), 7 September 1924.
80 laps x 10.0 km (6.214 mi) = 800 km (497.1 mi)
The Italian Grand Prix on September 7 was cancelled in the last moment when more than half the field, Mercedes and Fiat, were not ready to start, to be postponed until October 19.
On September 5, it was announced that the race on September 7 did not take place and was postponed until October 19. Despite the six-week delay, the preceding activities of this event are
worthy to be remembered, like the original field of starters for the September 7 race.
Bugatti was expected to enter for the September 7 race but withdrew for unknown reasons. Fiat had tested early at wild practice with two of their Lyon cars and a group of mechanics, at the
same time when Neubauer began practicing with a 4-cylinder Targa Florio Mercedes. AUTOMOBIL-REVUE stated that the supercharged 8-cylinder Mercedes type Grand Prix 1924 appeared late on
Tuesday, September 2 in the back of a specially built racecar transporter. Dr. Porsche who was already in Monza wanted Werner to drive the untried car right away to see how fast it was.
After just one lap the car stopped at the pits trailing white steam from the hood louvers. The porous bronze cylinder heads, that had leaked on the test bed, were leaking also on the track.
Werner brought the car immediately back to Stuttgart with the special transporter. On Tuesday, September 2, DMG notified the Monza race management that Mercedes could not start because the
cars especially designed for the September 7 Italian Grand Prix could not be made ready in time, which was later officially confirmed by the organizers. Subsequently, the Fiat company also
decided to withdraw its cars from the Italian Grand Prix due to diminished efficiency by two of its drivers, Salamano and Bordino. The two Fiat drivers were still suffering from left arm
injury for Bordino for the exacerbation of last year's dislocation, and Salamano from a bruise recently reported in practice.
The driver for the fourth Mercedes had not yet been decided but could be Count Zborowski. If that would be the case, then de Alzaga or Silvani would drive the Miller. Ascari and Campari did
some fast laps, which was before Campari was injured during official practice. When driving at 130 km/h his car hit an oil spot in a turn, started skidding, hit the outer wall, overturned and
ended up standing on the grass. Campari was thrown out several meters from the car and had to be transported to hospital with his mechanic. His injuries could not have been serious as he
complained only about pain in his left arm and could soon leave hospital. His mechanic had to remain in bed longer. Pre-race predictions viewed the race outcome as very open, as Fiat,
Alfa Romeo and Mercedes were all supercharged 8-cylinder 2-Liter cars and appeared very similar. The best tires could probably make a deciding difference. During practice Ascari drove with
his Alfa Romeo for several laps in 3m38s and 3m39s. For the road section he took 2m10s and for the oval 1m28s. The oval speed was at 180 km/h average speed. In previous years 4 minutes was
the average and 3m50s was the best time.
Gazzetta dello Sport reported that Mercedes practiced on Thursday, September 4. Sailer made a brief appearance in the morning with the 4-cylinder car. Later, from noon to 1.50 pm, Neubauer
drove the 8-cylinder Grand Prix type with a fast, uninterrupted and regular drive. At 4.30 pm Zborowski made a few laps on a Mercedes, practicing simultaneously with Sailer who was driving
the other practice car.
After the Mercedes-Fiat withdrawals, the Italian Grand Prix had experienced a postponement of six weeks. Arturo Mercanti, President of the RACI, went to Paris to arrange for two Delages with
Divo and Benoist to start at Monza and Schmid likewise promised two cars. Then on October 10, Delage withdrew their two entries because the time of three weeks between San Sebastian and Monza
was too short to repair the cars. Also, it was known that Bordino had been given permission by Fiat to start with factory support. But on October 3, Fiat announced that they would not
participate at Monza, as Bordino, who had been entered, was travelling to America where he was to start at a race on October 29 [actually on December 14 at Culver City]. Eventually, a total
of 12 cars were nominated and confirmed to take place on October 19.
GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA
Autodromo di Monza (I), 19 October 1924.
80 laps x 10.0 km (6.214 mi) = 800 km (497.1 mi)
Ascari wins the Italian Grand Prix with Alfa Romeo
by Hans Etzrodt
The race in October had only 12 starters, four Italian Alfa Romeos driven by Ascari, Campari, Wagner and Minoia fighting against four German Mercedes with Werner, Neubauer, Masetti and Zborowski,
two French Schmid cars with Goux and Foresti, and by invitation two Italian 1500 Chiribiris driven by Marconcini and "Nino". Only the first ten laps were of interest before the cars had sorted
themselves out. From the tenth lap forward the 4 well-tested Alfa Romeos were in the lead which they never relinquished. The 4 newly designed Mercedes racecars which were untried and not ready
for racing, unstable and tricky to handle, lacked the power and speed to challenge the leading Italians and kept busy attending to their own ailments, mostly changing spark plugs. The two Schmidt
followed behind the German team and the Chiribiris trailed at the very end of this boring procession. Masetti retired after 38 laps. Soon after mid-race, Zborowski had a fatal crash, and one
Mercedes still in the race was later withdrawn out of respect for their driver's death. After 800 km Ascari won unchallenged ahead of his three team mates whom he had lapped several times.
These were the only finishers. The two Schmidt exceeded the maximum time. "Nino's" Chiribiri was at the very end.
The Gran Premio d'Italia was held for the fourth time. The Commissione Sportiva des RACI and the Società Autodromo di Monza carried out the organization under supervision of Arturo Mercanti, the
President of RACI. The race took place on the famous 10-km Autodromo Monza A-circuit, comprising the original 4.5 km high-speed oval track and the 5.5 km asphalt circuit, an 80-lap race over a
total of 800 km. The maximum allowable time was one hour after the first finisher.
The 12 starters are shown above in the October 19 list of entries. In the Alfa Romeo pits were Nicola Romeo, Commentatore Edouardo Fucito and the engineers Giorgio Rimini, Giacomo Memini for the
Memini-Valenti carburators and Vittorio Jano who had designed the car. Drivers were Antonio Ascari, Giuseppe Campari, Louis Wagner and Ferdinando Minoia with Bruno Presenti as reserve and a large
group of mechanics. Since Lyon the P2 engine and car had been modified for Monza by adoption of two Memini carburetors instead of one which raised the power from 135 hp at 5200 rpm to 145 hp at
5,500 rpm. Probably only one car had been improved and assigned to Ascari. Due to higher fuel consumption fuel and oil tanks had to be altered.
At the Mercedes pits were Dr. Ferdinand Porsche, the designer of the new car, team manager and Technical Director Max Sailer, engineer Gross and Mr. Saporiti. Christian Werner, Alfred Neubauer,
Count Giulio Masetti and Count Louis Zborowski were the drivers with Otto Merz, Richard Sailer and Rudolf Caracciola as reserve. The Porsche designed straight-eight 2-Liter Grand Prix car was
fitted with Mercedes' first 8-cylinder engine, labeled M218, while the car was simply named "Grand Prix", but later was also called "Monza". The engine output was optimistically claimed as
170 hp at 7000 rpm but figures mentioned for Monza were considerably lower. These cars had been built in a short time, were untried, not race ready and were sent to Monza.
At the Schmid pits was the Swiss engineer Ernest Schmid, who had designed a 2.0-Liter 6-cylinder sleeve-valve engine installed in a Rolland-Pilain chassis in Annecy, south-eastern France.
These Rolland-Pilain racecars were entered under the name Schmid with Jules Goux and Giulio Foresti as drivers.
It could not be confirmed that in the Chiribiri pits the engineer Antonio Chiribiri and Mr. Lamanna were present. The drivers Alete Marconcini and "Nino", who actually was Dr. Giovanni "Nino"
Cirio, a surgeon from Torino, were independently entered. AUTOMOBIL-REVUE stated that Chiribiri cars had been entered only after special invitation. These small cars were not yet
supercharged in 1924.
Gazzetta dello Sport reported that on Monday, October 13 practice Alfa Romeo and Mercedes were present at Monza, not wasting their time and turning laps until sunset. Werner, the lead driver
of Mercedes, tested the 8-cylinder car which he would race on Sunday. However, he did not drive at great speeds, did laps in 4m4.5s and stopped frequently. The engine of the German car,
characteristic for its lacerating and metallic sound, gave the impression of working well. Speculation was that the German company had decreased the number of revolutions per minute,
sacrificing some power and speed, but raising engine safety. Werner drove alternating with the 8-cylinder GP car and the 4-cylinder TF car of Neubauer, also driven by Zborowski and Sailer.
All German cars were fitted with Pirelli Balloon low pressure tires of the same type fitted by all other cars. Masetti was present but did not practice.
On Tuesday the registration of two 1500 Chiribiri was reported to start at the Grand Prix and then there would be 12 starters. The arrival of the two Schmid for Goux and Foresti was
announced for Thursday.
Wednesday, the 15th, was the first day of official practice and was not very eventful. Alfa Romeo had already completed their preparation before official practice and were absent.
Marconcini with the Chiribiri went on the track in the afternoon and Werner with the eight-cylinder Mercedes stopped long and often at the pits where the managers and a swarm of mechanics
waited for the impressions of their lead driver. He advised all work for setting up the cars. The turns provided problems for Neubauer who probably tried to reach the times of Werner,
who deliberately slowed down on the straights. In other words, the usual tactic of secrecy. In the morning Werner reached 3m48s on the complete circuit which was an average of 157.9 km/h
and in the afternoon, he certainly lowered this time by one or two seconds.
The other Mercedes cars were expected Thursday evening, but had been stopped in Chiasso for customs clearance. On Friday, the 17th, the second eight-cylinder arrived at the racetrack with
the usual transport wagon with Sailer and some mechanics. Masetti, Zborowski and Neubauer were always present at the tests of Werner. Neubauer was next to start practicing with the
eight-cylinder. Masetti was still waiting for his car, while Zborowski did not waste time and immediately helped to unload the eight-cylinder, destined for him, and went on the track before
the onset of darkness after asking the Commissioner General for authorization. After the spark plug problems experienced during practice, the Mercedes team seriously contemplated if they could
start in the race under these conditions. Out of consideration for the Club and the Monza track, they decided to participate. The busines viewpoint was put back towards the sporting aspect.
An estimated crowd of 35,000 spectators were present on an overcast Sunday morning. After 9:00 AM the cars were pushed from the pits to the starting grid where they lined up in numerical order.
When the loudspeakers announced that there was only one minute to go, a sunray broke through the clouds. The cars' engines were cranked up and rumbled, their hellish music startled the crowd.
The spectators leaned towards the track in anxious suspense. The minute passed and the starting signal was given at 10:00AM by lowering a blue flag. There was no gunshot. That the start had
been given was only realized by the roaring cars passing in front of our stands. Ascari pulled away into the lead, chased by Campari, Wagner and Masetti. Werner's engine would not start and he
lost 24 seconds before he got going. Zborowski with the same problem lost 1m43s.
At the end of the first lap Ascari was in the lead after 3m59s, ahead of Campari in 4m04s, Wagner 4m07.4s, Masetti 4m08s, Minoia 4m14s, Neubauer 4m17s, Werner 4m51.4s, Goux 4m59.2s, Foresti 5m20s,
Marconcini 5m25.2s, Nino 5m41.2s and Zborowski last in 5m54.8s.
After the second lap, Masetti had passed Wagner and Campari and followed 22 seconds after Ascari. Neubauer passed Werner for sixth place and Zborowski passed both Chiribiri drivers and
On the third lap Ascari's advantage to Masetti was 35 seconds, while Zborowski passed the Schmid of Goux. The three Mercedes followed the four Alfa Romeos including Masetti in second place.
At the end of five laps Ascari was leading after 18m32s at 161.870 km/h average race speed, ahead of Masetti in 19m33s, Campari in 19m35.2s, Wagner 19m36.2s, Minoia 19m41.4s, Neubauer 20m18.6s
Werner 20m30.6s, Zborowski 21m42s and the slow cars of Goux, Foresti, Marconcini and Nino. This situation did not change until lap eight when Werner passed Neubauer for sixth place but was
38 seconds behind Minoia in the last Alfa Romeo. On the eighth lap Ascari lapped the Mercedes of Zborowski in front of the stands.
On the ninth lap the Alfa pits signaled their drivers, who then all three passed the white Mercedes of Masetti, demoting him to fifth place. With this demonstration, the race had actually
been decided already. After 100 km, Ascari was leading at 162.586 km/h race average and his average lap time for the first ten laps was 3m41.4s with the 12-car field in the following
order after ten laps:
|1.||Ascari (Alfa Romeo)||36m54.2s|
|2.||Campari (Alfa Romeo)||38m58.0s|
|3.||Wagner (Alfa Romeo)||39m00.8s|
|4.||Minoia (Alfa Romeo)||39m05.2s|
|6.||Werner (Mercedes)||39m46.0s||1 lap behind|
|7.||Neubauer (Mercedes)||40m11.0s||1 lap behind|
|8.||Zborowski (Mercedes)||41m35.2s||1 lap behind|
|9.||Goux (Schmid)||46m11.6s||2 laps behind|
|10.||Foresti (Schmid)||46m44.2s||2 laps behind|
|11.||Marconcini (Chiribiri)||52m35.4s||4 laps behind|
|12.||"Nino" (Chiribiri)||53m27.2s||4 laps behind|
The Alfa Romeos gave an excellent impression. They drove with less sound despite their superchargers working constantly. Mercedes ran the superchargers also constantly, but it appeared
they used their superchargers mostly only on the straights, which sounded from some distance like a gigantic circular saw, and from nearby, due to the loud exhaust, it changed to a deadening
extent. In the banked turns, the Alfa Romeos, as they were 20 km/h faster than Mercedes, climbed to the upper edge, while the German cars always took the shorter way on the inside of the
turns. When they approached the turns, all drivers pulled the outer handbrake, which had not yet been seen in Monza. After 15 laps, Ascari was leading at 161.230 km/h race average after
55m28.6s, with Campari second in 57m53s, Wagner 58m01.6s, Minoia 58m12s, Masetti 58m37.2s, Werner 59m13.2s, Neubauer 1h00m39s and Zborowski in 1h01m44.4s. Goux, Foresti, Marconcini and
Nino followed at the end. After the 15th lap one could gain the impression that Mercedes did not participate seriously because their best driver, Masetti, had lost already three minutes
to the leader. Mercedes drove with Pirelli Balloon low pressure tires like all other cars. After 16 laps Werner stopped for 4m35s at the pits to change plugs. On the 18th lap he stopped
again to tighten a loose engine cover, changed again plugs, topped up with fuel and rejoined the race after eight minutes. Two consecutive stops lost him 19 minutes, which dropped him to
tenth pace behind Goux and Foresti. After 200 km Ascari led at 162.350 km/h average speed, and his average lap time for the last ten laps was 3m42 s with the 12-car field in the following
order after 20 laps:
|1.||Ascari (Alfa Romeo)||1h13m53.6s|
|2.||Campari (Alfa Romeo)||1h16m53.2s|
|3.||Wagner (Alfa Romeo)||1h16m58.2s|
|4.||Minoia (Alfa Romeo)||1h17m02.4s|
|5.||Masetti (Mercedes)||1h18m09.2s||1 lap behind|
|6.||Neubauer (Mercedes)||1h21m08.4s||2 laps behind|
|7.||Zborowski (Mercedes)||1h22m12.4s||2 laps behind|
|8.||Goux (Schmid)||1h31m16.4s||4 laps behind|
|9.||Foresti (Schmid)||1h32m16.4s||4 laps behind|
|10.||Werner (Mercedes)||1h33m06.0s||5 laps behind|
|11.||Marconcini (Chiribiri)||1h44m58.6s||7 laps behind|
|12.||"Nino" (Chiribiri)||1h48m41.4s||8 laps behind|
On lap 23 Zborowski went missing, when he lost some time at the Lesmo turn. Details were unknown but at the beginning of lap 25 he appeared again. On lap 24 Ascari lapped the fourth Alfa Romeo
of Minoia. At the end of lap 25 Ascari held the lead after 1h32m13.2s when he had lapped his teammates Wagner and Campari and was 10 km ahead of all other drivers in the order Ascari,
Campari, Wagner, Minoia, Masetti, Neubauer, Zborowski, Werner, Goux, Foresti, Marconcini and "Nino". On lap 26 Zborowski stopped for five minutes with plug trouble, changed spark plugs and
refueled. On the following lap stopped Masetti for 5m20s to top up oil and fuel. On lap 28, Neubauer stopped at the pits for 2m30s to refuel and reserve driver Merz took over the wheel.
On lap 30, Minoia advanced into second position. Goux stopped at the pits on lap 30 to refuel. After 300 km Ascari led at 165.552 km/h average race speed, and his average lap time for the
last ten laps was 3m41 s with the 12-car field in the following order after 30 laps:
|1.||Ascari (Alfa Romeo)||1h50m43.8s|
|2.||Campari (Alfa Romeo)||1h55m01.4s||1 lap behind|
|3.||Minoia (Alfa Romeo)||1h55m04.4s||1 lap behind|
|4.||Wagner (Alfa Romeo)||1h55m04.6s||1 lap behind|
|5.||Masetti (Mercedes)||2h04m08.6s||3 laps behind|
|6.||Merz for Neubauer||2h05m06.2s||3 laps behind|
|7.||Zborowski (Mercedes)||2h11m35.2s||5 laps behind|
|8.||Werner (Mercedes)||2h12m15.0s||5 laps behind|
|9.||Goux (Schmid)||2h16m00.4s||6 laps behind|
|10.||Foresti (Schmid)||2h16m54.0s||7 laps behind|
|11.||Marconcini (Chiribiri)||2h37m13.0s||12 laps behind|
|12.||"Nino" (Chiribiri)||2h41m15.6s||13 laps behind|
On lap 32, Minoia established a new lap record in 3m35.4s at 167.330 km/h average speed. On lap 33 Campari stopped at the pits to change all four wheels, refueled, topped up oil and was relieved by
Presenti as Campari, who had not yet fully recovered after his practice crash, where he had injured his left arm. Ascari improved the lap record on lap 35 in 3m34.6s with an average speed of 167.753 km/h
while his race time on that lap was 2h08m54s, followed by Minoia, Campari, Wagner, Masetti, Merz for Neubauer, Zborowski, Werner, Goux, Foresti and "Nino". The Chiribiri of Marconcini retired on
lap 35 for unknown reasons. As he was 12 laps behind, he completed at best 22 laps. At mid-race after 400 km, Ascari's average lap time for the last ten laps was 3m38.4 s with the 11-car field in
the following order after 40 laps:
|1.||Ascari (Alfa Romeo)||2h27m08.0s|
|2.||Minoia (Alfa Romeo)||2h31m54.8s||1 lap behind|
|3.||Wagner (Alfa Romeo)||2h33m23.4s||1 lap behind|
|4.||Campari (Alfa Romeo)||2h39m52.4s||3 laps behind|
|5.||Masetti (Mercedes)||2h45m15.2s||4 laps behind|
|6.||Merz for Neubauer||2h46m39.6s||5 laps behind|
|7.||Werner (Mercedes)||2h51m45.0s||6 laps behind|
|8.||Zborowski (Mercedes)||2h52m23.0s||6 laps behind|
|9.||Goux (Schmid)||3h02m56.4s||8 laps behind|
|10.||Foresti (Schmid)||3h04m54.4s||9 laps behind|
|11.||"Nino" (Chiribiri)||3h39m24.4s||19 laps behind|
On lap 41, Ascari and Minoia both stopped at the pits for tires, oil and gasoline. Shortly thereafter Wagner also stopped at the Alfa Romeo pit when three cars had stopped. The mechanics changed
the wheels while the drivers did the refueling with compressed air bins or with pipes also operated by pressure. They applied the same operation as practiced at the Lyon pit stops. On lap 42 Masetti
stopped the Mercedes at the pits as his mechanic had become unconscious and unknowingly had thereby broken the fuel line. After Masetti changed his mechanic with reserve driver Richard Sailer, he
retired on lap 43 after Lesmo just ahead of the following left Vialone turn. At that time Masetti was 4 laps behind and thus completed only 38 laps. On lap 43 Zbowowski stopped at the pits to change
rear wheels and spark plugs. After restarting, on lap 44 his car skidded in the dangerous Lesmo North Turn and hit the outer edge of the track from where the car shot across to the inside, hitting a
post which bent the front axle and right front wheel, ejecting the riding mechanic who suffered light injuries to his right knee, left arm and face. The car carried on ending up against a nearby tree.
Count Zborowski was pulled out of the car, totally disfigured with a bloody face due to a badly broken scull. He died during transport to the hospital. As Zborowski was 6 laps behind, he completed
at best 37 laps. After 45 laps Ascari led in 2h51m40.8s ahead of Minoia, Presenti for Campari, Wagner, Merz for Neubauer, Werner, Goux, Foresti, and "Nino". After 500 km Ascari's average lap time
for the last ten laps was 4m19.5s with the 9-car field in the following order after 50 laps:
|1.||Ascari (Alfa Romeo)||3h10m23.4s|
|2.||Minoia (Alfa Romeo)||3h15m03.4s||1 lap behind|
|3.||Presenti for Campari||3h21m21.2s||2 laps behind|
|4.||Wagner (Alfa Romeo)||3h21m49.8s||2 laps behind|
|5.||Merz for Neubauer||3h28m39.8s||4 laps behind|
|6.||Werner (Mercedes)||3h39m11.6s||6 laps behind|
|7.||Goux (Schmid)||3h49m14.2s||8 laps behind|
|8.||Foresti (Schmid)||3h52m48.6s||9 laps behind|
|9.||"Nino" (Chiribiri)||4h35m37.2s||19 laps behind|
On lap 51 Merz for Neubauer stopped at the pits with a flat left front tire and gave the car back to Neubauer. After 55 laps Ascari held the lead ahead of Minoia, Presenti for Campari, Wagner, Neubauer,
Werner, Goux and Foresti. "Nino"s Chiribiri was no longer shown by the time keepers. On lap 60 Presenti stopped to top up fuel and gave the car back to Campari, while Wagner had passed Campari who was
now in fourth place. Goux stopped the Schmid on lap 60 to refuel. After 600 km Ascari led at 158.409 km/h average speed, and his average lap time for the last ten laps was 3m41s with the 8-car field in
the following order after 60 laps:
|1.||Ascari (Alfa Romeo)||3h47m13.0s|
|2.||Minoia (Alfa Romeo)||3h55m51.4s||2 laps behind|
|3.||Wagner (Alfa Romeo)||4h01m10.2s||3 laps behind|
|4.||Campari (Alfa Romeo)||4h01m41.2s||3 laps behind|
|5.||Neubauer (Mercedes)||4h19m47.0s||8 laps behind|
|6.||Werner (Mercedes)||4h20m39.2s||9 laps behind|
|7.||Goux (Schmid)||4h35m19.4s||13 laps behind|
|8.||Foresti (Schmid)||4h48m03.0s||16 laps behind|
On lap 62 Werner stopped to top up with fuel and oil and was relieved by reserve driver Richard Sailer, who also was Masetti's second riding mechanic and now back at the pits after his retirement. On lap 63
Minoia stopped to top up water and to change a spark plug. After 65 laps Ascari held the lead at 159.384 km/h average race speed ahead of Minoia, Wagner, Campari, Sailer for Werner, Neubauer, Goux and Foresti.
After lap 65 Neubauer stopped to be relieved again by Merz. After changing several plugs, they had a problem restarting the car and Merz retired for unknown reasons after just half a lap. As Neubauer's car
was 8 laps behind, he completed only 57 laps. After the Mercedes team received the news of Zborowski's certain death, team manager Max Sailer withdrew the Richard Sailer for Werner car from the race, which
was lost anyway. The Sailer for Werner car was 9 laps behind and thus completed only 58 laps. Neubauers car had already retired and was not withdrawn. After 700 km Ascari led at 158.728 km/h average speed,
and his average lap time for the last ten laps was 3m44s. The 6-car field was in the following order after 70 laps:
|1.||Ascari (Alfa Romeo)||4h24m37.0s|
|2.||Minoia (Alfa Romeo)||4h38m55.0s||3 laps behind|
|3.||Wagner (Alfa Romeo)||4h39m40.0s||4 laps behind|
|4.||Campari Alfa Romeo)||4h43m23.0s||5 laps behind|
|5.||Goux (Schmid)||5h23m38.2s||15 laps behind|
|6.||Foresti (Schmid)||5h40m20.2s||20 laps behind|
After 75 laps Ascari held the lead at 158.827 km/h average race speed ahead of Minoia, Wagner, Campari, Goux and Foresti. At the end of lap 80 after 5h02m05s, Ascari crossed the finish line surrounded by the
cheers of the crowd. His average speed of 158.896 km/h was a new record for Monza. Wagner in second place kept on driving for three more laps to be classified. Likewise, Campari drove four more laps and
Minoia five as the last finisher. Goux and Foresti in the Schmid cars exceeded the maximum allowable time of one hour and were not classified. Der Motorwagen and La Stampa stated that "Nino"s 1500 Chiribiri
was flagged off on his 64th lap in 5h57m53.4s or as per Gazzetta dello Sport, 70 laps in 6h32m30s.
|1.||1||Antonio Ascari||SA Ital. Ing. Nicola Romeo||Alfa Romeo||P2||2.0||S-8||80||5h02m05.0s|
|2.||9||Louis Wagner||SA Ital. Ing. Nicola Romeo||Alfa Romeo||P2||2.0||S-8||80||5h18m05.0s||+ 16m00s|
|3.||5||Campari/Bruno Presenti||SA Ital. Ing. Nicola Romeo||Alfa Romeo||P2||2.0||S-8||80||5h21m59.0s||+ 19m54s|
|4.||11||Ferdinando Minoia||SA Ital. Ing. Nicola Romeo||Alfa Romeo||P2||2.0||S-8||80||5h22m43.4s||+ 20m38.4s|
|DNC||3||Jules Goux||Schmid Automobiles||Rolland-Pilain||Schmid||2.0||S-6||78||6h10m22.0s|
|DNC||7||Giulio Foresti||Schmid Automobiles||Rolland-Pilain||Schmid||2.0||S-6||74||6h32m03.0s|
|DNC||8||"Nino" ||Dr. G. Cirio||Chiribiri||Monza Spinto||1.5||S-4||70||6h32m30.0s||flagged|
|DNF||2||C.Werner/Richard Sailer||Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft||Mercedes||Grand Prix||2.0||S-8||58||withdrawn|
|DNF||6||Neubauer/Otto Merz||Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft||Mercedes||Grand Prix||2.0||S-8||57||retired|
|DNF||10||Giulio Masetti||Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft||Mercedes||Grand Prix||2.0||S-8||38||broken fuel line|
|DNF||12||Louis Zborowski||Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft||Mercedes||Grand Prix||2.0||S-8||37||fatal crash|
|DNF||4||Alete Marconcini||A. Marconcini||Chiribiri||Monza||1.5||S-4||22||mechanical|
Fastest lap: Antonio Ascari (Alfa Romeo) on lap 35 in 3m34.6s = 167.8 km/h (104.2 mph).|
Winner's average speed: 158.9 km/h (98.7 mph).
Weather: overcast, warm, dry
Count Zborowski - based on the obituary published in 1924 Automobil-Welt #47 p8.
The speed fanatic, Count Zborowski, who recently had a fatal accident at the Italian Grand Prix, had an unsurmountable passion for speed. This might have been inherited, as his father in
1903 also had a fatal accident at the La Turbie hill climb. He also drove a Mercedes car at that time. At one time Count Zborowski, who was very rich, bought an airplane which he
flew himself. But already after a few weeks he again sold the plane because this sport was not exciting enough. He had a special liking for explosions, which he himself instigated
artificially. In his park he had a miniature railroad installed where he himself drove the locomotive. Once he intentionally brought the steam vessel of the locomotive to an explosion, to
delight himself on the effects. Count Zborowski had a large number of automobiles, of which his most favorite was a Mercedes with a 600 hp Zeppelin engine, which at a race attained
speeds of 219 km/h. The count was married with the operetta-singer Violet Leicester. A short time before his death he was involved in the divorce trial of flyer Marix's wife.
The final classification times for the three drivers that did not classify, deviated often by minutes between the various sources. We hope that we have selected the correct times.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
Der Motorfahrer, Berlin
Der Motorwagen, Berlin
La Domenica Sportiva, Milano
La Gazzetta dello Sport, Milano
La Stampa, Torino
Special thanks to:
CIRCUITO DEL GARDA
Circuito del Garda - Salo (I), 9 November 1924.
20 laps x 12.236 km (7.603 mi) = 244.720 km (152.069 mi)
Meregalli wins the Garda Circuit with Diatto
by Hans Etzrodt
The 21 starters were divided into three categories at the Garda race over 20 laps, where a group of seven Bugattis battled with two OMs, two Diattos, three Chiribiris,
one Fiat and one Ansaldo. Simultaneously five small 1100 cars had their own duel. Count Antonelli in the fastest car, a new Bugatti introduced at the European Grand
Prix at Lyon, led the race until the 11th lap when his car skidded off the track. Meregalli (Diatto), who had won in the two prior years, then took the lead which he
held until the end, winning for the third time. Masperi and Morandi, both in OMs, finished second and third. In fourth place was Count Maggi (Bugatti), winner of
the 1500 category, ahead of Antonelli in fifth place. A total of 13 cars finished, including Ernesto Maserati (Diatto) making his race debut.
The Reale Automobile Club Brescia organized this fourth race on Circuito del Garda. The first event dated back to 1921 and in the following two years the circuit
length was increased to 12.360 km. For 1924 the course was shortened to 12.236 km and driving 20 laps amounted to 244.720 km. The race was held near Salò on the
western shores of Lake Garda. Starting in Salò the circuit headed south, snaking up the curves of the Zette hill, reaching Cunettone after 4.3 km. Then the course
headed north-west past Villa for 4.5 km to Tormini, where the road dropped back to Salo after 3.4 km. The entries were divided into three categories, 1100, 1500 and
A complete list of entries is at the beginning of this report. Count Antonelli had the fastest car in the race, one of the latest blue Bugatti, introduced at the European
Grand Prix at Lyon. Ernesto Maserati made his racing debut in a 2-Liter Diatto with Luigi Parenti as riding mechanic. For the
1100 SAM car there were two Crespi, owners of the SAM factory. It is not known who was the one to drive the car.
"Deo" Chiribiri was Amadeo Chiribiri, the son of the constructor.
The start was given at the Piazza del Carmine in Salò. The 21 cars were released separately with 20 seconds intervals from each other. The 1100 cars started first,
followed by the 1500 and the 2000 cars last. The starter was Cavalière Marcoratti , who at 12.50 PM gave the signal in the order of Silvani, Brambilla,
De Paoli, Conelli, Clerici, Compagnoni, Maggi, Deo, Tassara, Cirio, Cocchetti, Platè, Malinverni, Rosti, Alverà, Masperi, De Sterlich, E. Maserati, Meregalli,
Morandi and Antonelli last.
After the first lap, De Paoli stopped at the pits to change a wheel. Conelli didn't even make the first lap, when he retired between Cunettone and Tormini. Morandi made
the best times in the first two laps. De Sterlich gave up on the 2nd lap when he stopped at the pits due to severe carburation problems. On the third lap Compagnoni
overtook the competitors who preceded him. On the fourth lap he burst a rear tire at the Zette hairpin causing his Bugatti to overturn. Compagnoni was brought to the
Brescia Hospital while his mechanic escaped with slight facial abrasions. Antonelli led in the Grand Prix Bugatti with the order as follows after five laps:
|1.||Antonelli (Bugatti)||45m58.6s||2000 cc|
|2.||Morandi (OM)||46m03.0s||2000 cc|
|3.||Meregalli (Diatto)||46m49.8s||2000 cc|
|4.||Masperi (OM)||47m02.4s||2000 cc|
|5.||Tassara (Bugatti)||47mxx.xs||1500 cc|
|6.||Maggi (Bugatti)||47m46.2s||1500 cc|
|7.||Platè (Chiribiri)||48m16.4s||1500 cc|
|8.||De Paoli (Salmson)||48m23.8s||1100 cc|
|9.||Clerici (Salmson)||49m25.6s||1100 cc|
|10.||Brambilla (G.A.R.)||50m06.2s||1100 cc|
|11.||Silvani (Amilcar)||50m40.2s||1100 cc|
On lap six Merigalli made the best lap time of the day in 8m51.4s. The struggle between Antonelli and Merigalli, who had passed Morandi, had intensified. Deo and Tassara
stopped to refuel, which enabled Maggi to take the lead in the 1500 category. Tassara had to change a tire along the route, and on the following lap changed the bad one at the
pits. Deo stopped at the pits and continued slowly. On the eighth lap, Platè was coming downhill from Tormini and had to brake quick and hard before a collision with a wall,
which caused his mechanic to bang his head on the dashboard, causing a cut on his forehead. Platè left him by the roadside to regain his strength and stopped at the pits to
get another mechanic. Morandi had dropped to sixth place when he stopped at the pits with spark plug problems. Tassara burst another tire, causing a repeat visit to the pits
while Rosti stopped on the tenth lap with faulty plugs. The times of the field were as follows after ten laps:
|1.||Antonelli (Bugatti)||1h31m05.0s||2000 cc|
|2.||Meregalli (Diatto)||1h32m08.0s||2000 cc|
|3.||Masperi (OM)||1h33m04.0s||2000 cc|
|4.||Maggi (Bugatti)||1h34m46.4s||1500 cc|
|5.||De Paoli (Salmson)||1h36m15.0s||1100 cc|
|6.||Morandi (OM)||1h36m52.0s||2000 cc|
|7.||Tassara (Bugatti)||1h37m21.0s||1500 cc|
|8.||Clerici (Salmson)||1h37m32.0s||1100 cc|
|9.||Brambilla (G.A.R.)||1h39m17.0s||1100 cc|
|10.||Silvani (Amilcar)||1h40m29.4s||1100 cc|
On the 11th lap Antonelli lost his lead after he skidded off the road into some hay bales at Cunettone. Before he extracted his car to rejoin, Meregalli, Masperi and Morandi had
passed him and Merigalli's Diatto had taken the lead. On the 11th lap Deo picked up Platè's injured mechanic and retired from the race to bring him to hospital. On the 12th lap
Antonelli stopped at the pits to recover from his accident and dropped to fifth place, having lost over seven minutes. Cirio also visited the pits to change spark plugs. On the
13th lap Tassara stopped for the third time to change a wheel and Rosti headed for the pits to tighten wheel nuts. De Paoli also stopped to refuel. Cocchetti ended his race at
Cunettone with an unknown breakdown and could not restart. Rosti stopped along the way and retired for unknown reasons. Merigalli led the field in the following order after 15 laps:
|1.||Meregalli (Diatto)||2h17m29.4s||2000 cc|
|2.||Masperi (OM)||2h20m22.6s||2000 cc|
|3.||Maggi (Bugatti)||2h21m52.4s||1500 cc|
|4.||Morandi (OM)||2h22m36.0s||2000 cc|
|5.||Antonelli (Bugatti)||2h23m51.0s||2000 cc|
|6.||Tassara (Bugatti)||2h25m34.6s||1500 cc|
|7.||Clerici (Salmson)||2h25m38.0s||1100 cc|
|8.||De Paoli (Salmson)||2h28m53.0s||1100 cc|
|9.||Silvani (Amilcar)||2h29m47.4s||1100 cc|
|10.||Brambilla (G.A.R.)||2h39m18.0s||1100 cc|
Brambilla, who had desperately fought with Silvani for second place, went off the road, broke a wheel and retired after 15 laps. Platè ended his race on the last lap due
to a broken hub following a collision with a wall on the 8th lap, where he slightly had injured his mechanic. The end of the race was near and the drivers were within minutes
of each other. Merigalli crossed the finish line amid the enthusiasm of the public, applauding the daring driver who had just won the race for the third time. Masperi had
driven a regular race finishing ahead of his teammate Morandi, who lost time with plug problems. But in the last laps he was able to pass the young Count Maggi who finished
fourth. Not only did the Count win his class but he beat several cars of the larger class. Among the remaining nine finishers was Ernesto Maserati who had made his racing
debut, with a smooth and cautious race.
|1.||23||Guido Meregalli||G. Merigalli||Diatto||20S||2.0||S-4||20 ||3h02m30.2s|
|2.||20||Antonio Masperi||A. Masperi||OM||665 S||2.0||S-6||20||3h06m54.8s||+ 4m24.6s|
|3.||25||Giuseppe Morandi||Officine Mecchaniche SA, Brescia||OM||665 S||2.0||S-6||20||3h07m44.4s||+ 5m14.2s|
|4.||8||Aymo Maggi||Count A. Maggi||Bugatti||T22||1.5||S-4||20||3h08m42.0s||+ 6m11.8s|
|5.||26||Domenico Antonelli||Count D. Antonelli||Bugatti||T35||2.0||S-8||20||3h10m34.4s||+ 8m04.2s|
|6.||10||Filippo Tassara||F. Tassara||Bugatti||T22||1.5||S-4||20||3h10m58.0s||+ 8m27.8s|
|7.||6||Abele Clerici||A. Clerici||Salmson||GS VAL 3||1.1||S-6||20||3h13m35.0s||+ 11m04.8s|
|8.||15||Roberto Malinverni||R. Malinverni||Bugatti||T22||1.5||S-4||20||3h18m08.6s||+ 15m38.4s|
|9.||1||Eugenio Silvani||Amilcar Italiana||Amilcar||CGS||1.1||S-4||20||3h20m08.2s||+ 17m38.0s|
|10.||11||"Nino" Cirio||Dr. G. Cirio||Chiribiri||Monza S||1.5||S-4||20||3h24m11.2s||+ 21m41.0s|
|11.||22||Ernesto Maserati||E. Maserati||Diatto||20S||2.0||S-4||20||3h27m49.8s||+ 25m19.6s|
|12.||3||Nino de Paoli||N. de Paoli||Salmson||1.1||S-4||20||3h30m57.2s||+ 28m27.0s|
|13.||19||Ogniben Alverà||O. Alverà||Ansaldo||2.0||S-4||20||3h32m57.2s||+ 30m27.0s|
|DNF||14||Gigi Platè||G. Platè||Chiribiri||Monza S||1.5||S-4||19||crashed|| |
|DNF||2||Cesare Brambilla||Cyclecars G.A.R.||G.A.R.||Chapuis-Dornier||1.1||S-4||15||crashed|| |
|DNF||18||Carlo Rosti||C. Rosti||Bugatti||2.0||S-8||14?||retired|
|DNF||13||Carlo Cocchetti||C. Cocchetti||Fiat||501 S||1.5||S-4||11||mechanical|| |
|DNF||9||"Deo" Chiribiri||Chiribiri & Co||Chiribiri||Monza S||1.5||S-4||11||helped Platè|| |
|DNF||7||Gino Compagnoni||G. Compagnoni||Bugatti||T13||1.5||S-4||3||overturned|| |
|DNF||21||Diego De Sterlich||Marquis D. De Sterlich ||Bugatti||T30||2.0||S-8||1||carburation|
|DNF||4||Caberto Conelli||C. Conelli||Amilcar||CGS||1.1||S-4||0||retired|| |
Fastest lap of 2000 cc: Guido Meregalli (Diatto) on lap 6 in 8m51.4s = 82.9 km/h (51.5 mph).|
Fastest lap of 1500 cc: Filippo Tassara (Bugatti) in 8m55.5s = 82.3km/h (51.1 mph).
Fastest lap of 1100 cc: Abele Clerici (Salmson) in 9m26s = 77.8 km/h (48.4 mph).
Average speed of 2000 cc (Meregalli): 80.5 km/h (50.0 mph).
Average speed of 1500 cc (Maggi): 77.8 km/h (48.4 mph).
Average speed of 1100 cc (Clerici): 75.9 km/h (47.1 mph).
Weather: sunny, warm.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
Domenica Sportiva, Milano
La Gazetta dello Sport, Milano
La Stampa, Torino
Special thanks to:
Giancarlo Cavallini for his book Circuito del Garda