Logo



Bona (Bugatti)Valpreda (Chiribiri)Valle (Bugatti)

CIRCUITO DI ALESSANDRIA

Alessandria-Valenca-Castelletto (I), 8 May 1927.
8 laps x 32.0 km (19.88 mi) = 256.0 km (159.1 mi)



No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

Category I up to 1100 cc
Virgilio CavannaV. CavannaSénéchalGS1.1S-4
Tommaso SaccomaniT. SaccomaniAmilcarC61.1S-6DNA - did not appear
Alfonso ZampieriA. ZampieriAmilcarC61.1S-6DNA - did not appear
Leopold VenturiL. VenturiSalmson1.1S-4DNA - did not appear
Elio PistarinoE. PistarinoFiat5091.0S-4
Gino CassoneG. CassoneFiat5091.0S-4
Antonio Briviomarchese A. BrivioDerbyScap s/c1.1S-4
Ermele TraversoE. TraversoDerbyScap s/c1.1S-4DNA - did not appear
Guido LuriaG. LuriaPetromilli1.1DNA - did not appear
31Abele ClericiA. ClericiSalmsonGSS1.1S-6
Mario SaettiM. SaettiAlfieri1.1DNA - did not appear
Aldo CrostiA. CrostiSalmson1.1S-4
Umberto CapelloU. CapelloFiat5091.0S-4
 
Category II up to 1500 cc
Francesco ValleF. ValleBugattiT371.5S-4
Carlo ToniniC. ToniniMaserati261.5S-8
Roberto SerboliR. SerboliChiribiriMonza C1.5S-4
Umberto CapelloU. CapelloChiribiri1.5S-4raced 1000 cc Fiat
22Pio BorgattaP. BorgattaBugattiT371.5S-4
Giovanni AlloatiG. AlloatiBugattiT221.5S-4
Luigi "Gigi" PlatèL. PlatèChiribiriMonza S1.5S-4
BindaBindaBugatti1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
18Federico ValpredaF. ValpredaChiribiriMonza C1.5S-4
Luigi BeccariaL. BeccariaCeiranoS 1501.5S-4
Giovanni CirioG. CirioBugattiT371.5S-4
 
Category III over 1500 cc
2Gaspare BonaG. BonaBugattiT35B2.3S-8
Giovanni CirioG. CirioX2.0raced 1500 Bugatti
Ogniben AlveràO. AlveràBugattiT35A2.0S-8
Pallavicinomarchese PallavicinoAlfa RomeoRL3.0S-6DNA - did not appear
6Umberto PugnoU. PugnoBugattiT35B2.3S-8
Giorgio CerattoG. CerattoAlfa RomeoRL SS3.0S-6
Ugo DondeU. DondeBugatti2.0S-8DNA - did not appear
Paolo PavesioP. PavesioAnsaldo4 CS2.0S-6


Gaspare Bona wins at Alessandria

by Hans Etzrodt
There were 21 cars at the minor race on the Alessandria Circuit. They were divided into three categories, in each of which the lap records and distance records were broken. Bona (2300 Bugatti) won unchallenged ahead of Valpreda (1500 Chiribiri), Valle (1500 Bugatti), Clerici (1100 Salmson and Brivio (1100 Derby) in fifth place, followed by seven other finishers, while nine cars retired.
The Alessandria race had been held annually since 1924 and this was the fourth in the series, all of which were organized by the Automobile Club di Alessandria held on the Circuito di Alessandria. The winding 32 km circuit started in Alessandria leading through twisting curves to the Valmadonna suburb and then through a fast and difficult climb to Valenza Po. The circuit then led through San Salvatore and Castelletto Scazzoso, and back to Alessandria. Driving eight laps, the cars completed a total of 256 km. The 32 entries were divided into three categories: up to 1100 cc, from 1101 to1500 cc and over 1500 cc. The popular race at Alessandria on May 8 was on the same day as the Coppa Messina for the Coppa Vinci, which was part of the newly introduced Italian Automobile Championship. Many Italian drivers entered at this more important event including the Maserati team.
Entries
From 32 entries, all Italian drivers, only 21 made it to the start. The favorites were Bona and Pugno in the large supercharged Bugattis while Alverà was in another large Bugatti but it was not supercharged. A list of all 32 entries is at the beginning of this report. Some race numbers could be identified from photographs.
Race:
Thousands of spectators were scattered along the circuit. Just before the beginning of the race a rain shower interrupted proceedings, and at times returned during the race, annoying both the public and the race drivers.
 
Cars started at intervals.

Shortly after 2:45 PM the cars were assembled at the start and were quickly covered when rain began to fall persistently and violently. As soon as the rain had stopped, commendatore Felice Nazzaro, the great retired race driver who was the starter, released the five cars of Category III over 1500 cc with 30 seconds intervals between each car. Bona in the #2 Bugatti started first, followed by the other four large cars. Category II for 1500 cc comprising nine cars followed next ahead of seven cars in Category I for 1100 cc cars.
      At the end of the first lap, Bona in the large blue Bugatti finished in 21m42s, Valpreda (1500 Chiribiri) passed his opponents in 21m32s, Serboli (1500 Chiribiri) with 22m05s and Cirio (1500 Bugatti) with 22m26s.
      After the second lap Bona was leading in 43m09s followed by Ceratto (Alfa Romeo) in 46m52s. Alloati was leading the second category in 43m02s, while Valpreda's Chiribiri was about 40 seconds behind.
      On the third lap Alloati had an accident in front of the press and time keepers stands when his car skidded on the slippery road and it seemed as if he would hit a roadside post but he avoided it. The light car rolled over on its side at 90 km/h, spun round repeatedly sliding fast on the ground, without turning over. It finally resumed its normal direction while the spectators, freed from their horror burst into deafening and prolonged applause. On the third lap at Valenza, Alloatti had another accident when the car skidded and crashed with both the driver and his mechanic Certana shaken. While the driver was uninjured, his mechanic was in hospital for thirty days.
      On lap six Pugno in the 2300 Bugatti drove the fastest lap in 19m15.2s. Ignition problems had delayed him at first, but he then drove in furious pursuit, however it was to no avail as he crashed on the next lap.
      Bona finished first, eight minutes ahead of the second placed Valpreda in the Chiribiri who won the 1500cc class, which was characterized by battles between five drivers each of whom appeared from time to time as major candidates for success. Eventually Valpreda won by over four minutes ahead of Valle's 1500 Bugatti.
      Clerici's victory with the Salmson in the 1100 class was expected. However, the best lap time was made by Brivio with the fast Derby on the last lap in 22m02.4s, finishing second in class.

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.2Gaspare BonaG. BonaBugattiT35B2.3S-882h47m19.4s
2.18Federico ValpredaF. ValpredaChiribiriMonza C1.5S-482h55m37.2s + 8m17.8s
3. Francesco ValleF. ValleBugattiT371.5S-483h00m00.0s + 12m40.6s
4.31Abele ClericiA. ClericiSalmsonGSS1.1S-683h00m55.4s + 13m36.0s
5.Antonio BrivioA. BrivioDerbyScap s/c1.1S-483h04m15.4s + 16m56.0s
6.22Pio BorgattaP. BorgattaBugattiT371.5S-483h07m22.0s + 20m02.6s
7.Gino CassoneG. CassoneFiat5091.0S-483h07m47.6s + 20m28.2s
8.Luigi BeccariaL. BeccariaCeiranoS 1501.5S-483h10m27.0s + 23m07.6s
9.Giorgio CerattoG. CerattoAlfa RomeoRL SS3.0S-683h12m20.0s + 25m00.6s
10.Ogniben AlveràO. AlveràBugattiT35A2.0S-883h14m12.8s + 26m53.4s
11.Elio PistarinoE. PistarinoFiat5091.0S-483h17m23.0s + 30m03.6s
12.Aldo CrostiA. CrostiSalmson1.1S-483h18m42.6s + 31m23.2s
DNF6Umberto PugnoU. PugnoBugattiT35B2.3S-86crash
DNFGiovanni AlloatiG. AlloatiBugattiT221.5S-42crash 
DNFGiovanni "Nino" CirioG. CirioBugattiT371.5S-4   
DNFUmberto CapelloU. CapelloFiat5091.0S-4   
DNFVirgilio CavannaV. CavannaSénéchalGS1.1S-4   
DNFCarlo ToniniC. ToniniMaserati261.5S-8   
DNFRoberto SerboliR. SerboliChiribiriMonza C1.5S-4   
DNFLuigi "Gigi" PlatèL. PlatèChiribiriMonza S1.5S-4   
DNFPaolo PavesioP. PavesioAnsaldo4 CS2.0S-6

Fastest lap over 1500 cc: Umberto Pugno (Bugatti) on lap 6 in 19m15.2s = 99.7 km/h (62.0 mph).
Fastest lap up to 1500 cc: Federico Valpreda (Chiribiri) on lap 7 in 20m50s = 92.2 km/h (57.3 mph).
Fastest lap up to 1100 cc: Antonio Brivio (Derby) on lap 8 in 22m02.4s = 87.1 km/h (54.1 mph).
Average speed of over 1500 cc winner, Bona: 91.8 km/h (57.0 mph).
Average speed of up to 1500 cc winner, Valpreda 87.5 km/h (54.3 mph).
Average speed of up to 1100 cc winner, Clerici 84.9 km/h (52.8 mph).
Weather: intermittent rain showers.

Primary sources researched for this article:
ACI - rivista, Torino
AUTOMOBIL-REVUE, Bern
La Gazetta dello Sport, Milano
La Stampa, Torino
L'AUTO ITALIANA, Milano
RACI, Roma
Special thanks to:
Ms. Paola Masetta
Alessandro Silva


Bona (Bugatti)Stefanelli (Bugatti)Presenti (Alfa Romeo)

CIRCUITO DEL SAVIO

Circuito del Savio - Ravenna (I), 15 May 1927.
20 laps x 14.5 km (9.01 mi) = 290.0 km (180.2 mi)



No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

Class I for 500 to 1500 cc
1Tommaso SaccomaniT. SaccomaniAmilcarGGS1.1S-4DNA - did not appear
2Luigi FagioliL. FagioliSalmson1.1S-4
3Antonio BrivioA. BrivioDerbyScap s/c1.1S-4
4Giuseppe GrossiG. GrossiFiat509S1.0S-4
5Massimo "Nino" LasagniM. LasagniMarinoGS1.1S-4
6Alfonso ZampieriA. ZampieriAmilcarC61.1S-6DNA - did not appear
7Manlio SpangiaM. SpangiaSalmson1.1S-4DNA - did not appear
8Mario SaettiM. SaettiAlfieri1.1
9Omero GrazianiO. GrazianiBugattiT37A1.5S-4
10Abele ClericiA. ClericiSalmson1.1S-4DNA - did not appear
11Antonio ZanelliA. ZanelliFiat509S1.0S-4
12Affrico TonucciA. TonucciFiat509S1.0S-4DNA - did not appear
14Antonio TestiA. TestiMaserati261.5S-8
15Alvaro BacchilegaA. BacchilegaFiat509S1.0S-4
16Federico ValpredaF. ValpredaChiribiri12/161.5S-4DNA - did not appear
17Cleto NenzioniC. NenzioniBugattiT371.5S-4
18 Carlo ToniniC. ToniniMaserati261.5S-8
19Roberto SerboliR. SerboliChiribiri12/161.5S-4DNA - did not appear
20Giovanni GaraviniG. GaraviniBugattiT371.5S-4
21Gigi PlatèG. PlatèChiribiri12/161.5S-4
22Ignazio AvezzuI. AvezzuBugatti1.5S-4
23BartolettiBartolettiBugattiT37A1.5S-4
24Emilio RomaniE. RomaniBugatti1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
25Adolfo SansoniA. SansoniBugattiT37A1.5S-4
26Enzo FerrariE. FerrariAlfa Romeo6C-15001.5S-6DNA - did not appear
 
Class II for 1501 to 2000 cc
31Alfieri MaseratiOfficine A. MaseratiMaserati26B2.0S-8DNA - did not appear
32Giuseppina "Pina" ContiSignorina G. ContiBugatti2.0DNA - did not appear
33Giovanni "Nino" CirioG. CirioBugatti2.0DNA - did not appear
34Ugo Sisto StefanelliU. StefanelliBugattiT35A2.0S-8
35Della CaDella CaBugatti2.0S-8DNA - did not appear
36Ogniben AlveràO. AlveràBugattiT35A2.0S-8
37AlminiAlminiBugatti2.0S-8DNA - did not appear
38Luigi ForteL. ForteBugatti2.0S-8DNA - did not appear
39Gaspare BonaG. BonaBugattiT35C 2.0S-8
40Carlo RostiC. RostiBugattiT35C2.0S-8
 
Class III over 2000 cc
41Umberto PugnoU. PugnoBugattiT35B2.3S-8DNA - did not appear
42Giorgio CerattoCerattoAlfa RomeoRL TF3.0S-6
43Gastone Brilli PeriConte G. Brilli PeriBallotIndy 19194.9S-8
44Emilio MaterassiE. MaterassiItalaSpecial5.8S-4DNA - did not appear
45Bruno PresentiB. PresentiAlfa RomeoRL TF3.0S-6


Bona wins the Savio Circuit while Mario Saetti crashes to his death

by Hans Etzrodt
A field of 23 cars started in this minor event over 20 laps where most drivers raced in Bugattis. The 1926 winner Brilli Peri (Ballot) could not keep up with Bona’s supercharged Bugatti which led from start to finish. When Brilli retired on lap nine, Bona raced to an unchallenged win. A fierce battle developed for second place between the 2000cc Bugattis of Rosti and Stefanelli which ended when Rosti had to retire. Presenti (Alfa Romeo) held third place ahead of Alverà and Sansoni in Bugattis, followed by Tonini (Maserati), Ceratto (Alfa Romeo), Geravini and Bartoletti in Bugattis, Fagioli (Salmson), Brivio (Amilcar), Graziani (Bugatti) and Grossi (Fiat), the last finisher. Amongst the ten retirements were Testi (Maserati) in the fastest Class I car, and Mario Saetti who tragically lost his life in an accident.
The Savio Circuit race near Ravenna was important because it was the third event counting towards this year's newly introduced Italian Automobile Championship. The Automobile Club di Ravenna organized the fifth race on the Circuito del Savio. The event was first held in 1923 when Enzo Ferrari won with an Alfa Romeo on a 44.6 km circuit with the start in Savio. Ferrari also won the 1924 event, which was held over a 14.385 km course south of Ravenna. The start was at the town of Classe leading south through Fosso Ghiaia, further on at Campo Aviazione G. Novelli, the course turned west with Savio village further south. Next a turn to the right took a road north to the town of Ponte Nuovo where a sharp right turn headed south back to Classe. In 1926 the triangular route was slightly extended to 14.5 km and the same course was used in 1927, over 20 laps, a total of 290 km. The cars were divided into Class I, from 500 to 1500 cc; Class II from 1501 to 2000 cc and Class III over 2001 cc. At the end of the race the maximum allowable time limit was set at 30 minutes after the first driver for each category.
      The prize money was the same for each of the three classes: first place 10,000 lire, second 5,000 and third 2,000. Extra prize money was for the cars up to 1100 cc: first place received 5,000 lire and second 2,000. For the outright fastest lap 1,000 lire, but only if previous year's speed of 129.980 km/h by Brilli Peri (Ballot) was exceeded. The overall winner with the fastest race time received 25,000 lire. The total prize money available was 84,000 lire.
Entries
The Ravenna AC issued race numbers for 40 entries received, all from Italian drivers. The race was part of the 1927 Italian Championship and some of those drivers had raced here previously. Brilli Peri, the 1926 winner with his eight year old 4.9-liter 8-cylinder Ballot grand prix car, was the favorite. The 3-liter Alfa Romeos RL type Targa Florio of Ceratto and Presenti were also strong entries. There was the supercharged 2-liter Bugatti of Bona, while the 2-liter Bugattis of Alverà and Stefanelli were not supercharged. Tonini and Testi in 1500 Maseratis were strong contenders in Class I, which included the Bugattis of Sansoni and Garavini. Fagioli (Salmson) and Brivio (Derby) were the favorites amongst the little cars. Saetti, a former motorcycle champion, appeared with a newly constructed car, named Alfieri (no connection with Maserati), and entered as a 1100 cc car. A complete list of the 40 entries is at the beginning of this report.
Race:
The start began at 2:30 PM with two minute breaks between each Class. Cavaliere Macoratti, the chief time keeper, gave the start to the three drivers of Class III while Pugno and Materassi did not appear.
Pole Position
43
Brilli Peri

Ballot

42
Ceratto

Alfa Romeo

45
Presenti

Alfa Romeo

After two minutes, the four cars of Class II lined up and were started.
Pole Position
36
Alverà

Bugatti

34
Stefanelli

Bugatti

40
Rosti

Bugatti

39
Bona

Bugatti

After another interval of two minutes, the 16 cars of Class I lined up in numerical order and were started.
Pole Position
3
Brivio

Derby

2
Fagioli

Salmson

5
Lasagni

Marino

4
Grossi

Fiat

9
Graziani

Bugatti

8
Saetti

Alfieri

14
Testi

Maserati

11
Zanelli

Fiat

17
Nenzioni

Bugatti

15
Bacchilega

Fiat

20
Garavini

Bugatti

18
Maserati

22
Avezzu

Bugatti

21
Platè

Chiribiri

25
Sansoni

Bugatti

23
Bartoletti

Bugatti

At the end of lap one, Brilli Peri was the first to pass and was cheered by the crowd. Presenti followed at a short distance while Ceratto stopped his Alfa Romeo at the pits but resumed almost immediately. The Class II cars of Bona, Stefanelli, Rosti and Alverà followed next. Sansoni, Tonini and Saetti the first three in the 1500 category followed after a short distance, while the others further behind were excluded from the top places. Although Brilli Peri was the first to pass the pits, Bona was actually in the lead, having made up some of the time that he lost having to start two minutes later in a Class II car. Positions did not change on the second lap. Rosti arrived slowly in front of the stands, stopped at the pits but resumed shortly afterwards. Bona steadily made up time on Brilli Peri who had started two minutes ahead of him. On the third lap Bona was 40 seconds behind Brilli Peri on the road but was leading in time. Rosti and Stefanelli were ranked second and third amongst the 2000 cars, closing on Presenti. The leading trio was in the following order after five laps:
1.Bona (Bugatti)32m53.6s
2.Brilli Peri (Ballot)34m01.6s
3.Presenti (Alfa Romeo)38m28.0s
4.Rosti (Bugatti)
5.Stefanelli (Bugatti)

Bona gradually increased his advantage. On lap six, he made the fastest lap in 6m19.8s at an average of 137.441 km/h. On lap 8 Brilli Peri drove his fastest lap in 6m30s at an average of 133,608 km/h. In the smaller Class Sansoni made his fastest lap on lap six in 7m34.2s at an average speed of 114,800 km/h. On lap 9 Brilli Peri stopped at the pits. After careful scrutiny, the car was withdrawn due to differential failure. Bona remained the undisputed favorite to win and raced on with great regularity. Meanwhile, Presenti was passed by Stefanelli and Rosti, who had advanced to second and third place. The 1500 Class was led by Sansoni ahead of Tonini and Saetti. Tonini had fallen about two minutes behind Sansoni after a delay due to carburetor problems but he drove on determined to reduce the gap. Testi was in trouble with the carburetor of his Maserati and had starting problems as well. He stopped several times at the pit where he spent a long time, causing him to fall behind numerous laps. Testi eventually managed to set up his engine properly and although he could no longer regain anything in the race, he beat the lap record for his class on lap 10 in 7m10.8s at 121.400 km/h average speed. In comparison, Bona's average lap time for the first 10 laps was 6m33s. The field was down to 19 cars after the four retirements of Zanelli (Fiat), Nenzioni and Avezzu (Bugattis) and Brilli Peri (Ballot). The remaining field was in the following order after ten laps:
1.Bona (Bugatti)1h05m29.8s
2.Stefanelli (Bugatti)1h10m41.0s
3.Rosti (Bugatti)1h11m42.4s
4.Presenti (Alfa Romeo)1h11m52.6s
5.Alverà (Bugatti)1h15m56.0s1 lap behind
6.Sansoni (Bugatti)1h17m25.4s1 lap behind
7.Tonini (Maserati)1h19m53.0s2 laps behind
8.Saetti (Alfieri)1h20m43.2s2 laps behind
9.Platè (Chiribiri)1h21m42.0s2 laps behind
10.Ceratto (Alfa Romeo)1h22m35.2s2 laps behind
11.Garavini (Bugatti)1h24m19.6s2 laps behind
12.Fagioli (Salmson1h25m00.4s2 laps behind
13.Brivio (Derby)1h26m38.6s3 laps behind
14.Graziani (Bugatti)1h28m07.2s3 laps behind
15.Bartolotti (Bugatti)1h28m35.8s3laps behind
16.Bacchilega (Fiat)1h35m11.6s4 laps behind
17.Grossi (Fiat)1h35m13.0s4 laps behind
18.Lasagni (Marino)2h09m56.4s8 laps behind
19.Testi (Maserati)2h22m27.2s10 laps behind

Mario Saetti was followed with particular interest in his brand-new Alfieri 1100cc car in which he held third place amongst the little cars and was driving very fast. On lap 12 Saetti was tragically lost from the race in a fatal accident. At the bridge that preceded the Fosso Ghiaia curve Saetti was passed by Bona's fast Bugatti when Saetti moved abruptly to the right to make room for him. He travelled thirty meters in vain attempts to resume control of his car until he went full speed into the bridge parapet, demolishing it. The car was reduced to a scrap of waste by the impact. When he was extracted from the car, Saetti was already dead from his violent impact against the steering wheel. This was further aggravated by the rear fuel tank, which was torn off its mountings and projected against the head of the unfortunate driver.
      The accident was not easily explained because the steering, brakes and tires of the car were found to be in perfect condition. It is likely that the front wheels failed to follow the steering due to a lack of grip as sometimes happens at high speeds. In this case there was a contributory factor in that the front axle was rigidly attached to the frame without any suspension. This meant that the front wheels would not always be in contact with the road. Mario Saetti had many victories riding motorcycles and had been the Italian champion of the 500cc category in the years 1925-1926. The unexpected loss of Mario Saetti was of sincere regret.
      On lap 15 the order changed when Rosti passed Stefanelli to take second place. The ranking was as follows after 15 laps:
1.Bona (Bugatti)1h37m39.8s
2.Rosti (Bugatti)1h45m15.4s1 lap behind
3.Stefanelli (Bugatti)1h45m45.6s1 lap behind
4.Presenti (Alfa Romeo)
5.Sansoni (Bugatti)

The race was nearing its end and drivers held their positions. But two laps from the end, Brivio managed to pass Fagioli. However, on the straight to the finish, the Salmson of Fagioli managed to beat Brivio's Derby again. On lap 18 Rosti retired, leaving second place to Stefanelli. Bona ended up victorious and was honored by the authorities and congratulated as the magnificent race driver who had beaten the previous year's records. Meantime, the others had all been lapped at least once and kept on driving, in order to complete the full distance to be classified. The organization had been very good in every aspect and a large number of spectators attended the event.

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.39Gaspare BonaG. BonaBugattiT35C2.0S-8202h11m34.6s 
2.34Ugo Sisto StefanelliU. StefanelliBugattiT35A2.0S-8202h20m39.8s + 9m05.2s
3.45Bruno PresentiB. PresentiAlfa RomeoRL TF 3.0S-6202h22m33.8s + 10m59.2s
4.36Ogniben AlveràO. AlveràBugattiT35A2.0S-8202h31m03.4s + 19m28.8s
5.25Adolfo SansoniA. SansoniBugattiT37A1.5S-4202h35m14.4s + 23m39.8s
6.18Carlo ToniniC. ToniniMaserati261.5S-8202h35m18.0s + 23m43.4s
7.42Giorgio CerattoG. CerattoAlfa RomeoRL TF3.0S-6202h41m08.8s + 29m34.2s
8.20Giovanni GaraviniG. GaraviniBugattiT371.5S-4202h42m53.4s + 31m18.8s
9.23BartolettiBartolettiBugattiT37A1.5S-4202h49m22.4s + 37m47.8s
10.2Luigi FagioliL. FagioliSalmson1.1S-4202h51m29.6s + 39m55.0s
11.3Antonio BrivioA. BrivioDerbyScap s/c1.1S-4202h51m32.4s + 39m57.8s
12.9Omero GrazianiO. GrazianiBugattiT37A1.5S-4202h53m13.4s + 41m38.8s
13.4Giuseppe GrossiG. GrossiFiat509S1.0S-4203h03m40.6s + 52m06.0s
DNF40Carlo RostiC. RostiBugattiT35C2.0S-817  
DNF15Alvaro BacchilegaA. BacchilegaFiat509S1.0S-4out of time 
DNF5Massimo "Nino" LasagniM. LasagniMarinoGS1.1S-4out of time 
DNF8Mario SaettiM. SaettiAlfieri1.111fatal crash 
DNF21Gigi PlatèG. PlatèChiribiri12/161.5S-48+2 laps behind 
DNF43Gastone Brilli PeriG. Brilli PeriBallotIndy 19194.9S-88differential
DNF14Antonio TestiA. TestiMaserati261.5S-8   
DNF11Antonio ZanelliA. ZanelliFiat509S1.0S-4   
DNF17Cleto NenzioniC. NenzioniBugattiT371.5S-4   
DNF22Ignazio AvezzuI AvezzuBugatti1.5S-4   

Fastest lap, over 2000 cc: Gastone Brilli Peri (Ballot) on lap 8 in 6m30s = 133.8 km/h (83.2 mph).
Fastest lap, 2000 cc: Gaspare Bona (Bugatti) on lap 6 in 6m19.8s = 137.4 km/h (85.4 mph).
Fastest lap, 1500 cc: Antonio Testi (Maserati) on lap 10 in 7m10.8s = 121.2km/h (75.3 mph).
Winner's medium speed, over 2000 cc: Presenti (Alfa Romeo) at 122.1 km/h (75.8 mph).
Winner's medium speed, 2000 cc: Bona (Bugatti) at 132.2 km/h (82.2 mph).
Winner's medium speed, 1500 cc: Sansoni (Bugatti) at 112.1 km/h (69.6 mph).
Winner's medium speed, 1100 cc: Fagioli (Salmson) at 101.5 km/h (63.0 mph)
Weather: sunny, dry

Primary sources researched for this article:
ACI - rivista, Torino
AC Ravenna - Illustrated Regulation Brochure
AUTOMOBIL-REVUE, Bern
Impero, Roma
La Gazzetta dello Sport, Milano
La Stampa, Torino
L'Auto, Paris
L'Auto Italiana, Milano
L'Impero, Roma
Omnia, Paris
RACI, Roma
Resto del Carlino, Ravenna
Special thanks to:
Alessandro Silva
Fausto Fiasconaro
Ms. Paola Masetta


Materassi (Itala)Balestrro (Bugatti) Pugnp (Bugatti)

COPPA DELLA PERUGINA

Perugia (I), 29 May 1927.
1500cc and over: 20 laps x 16.4 km (10.2 mi) = 328.0 km (203.8 mi)
750 to 1100 cc: 16 laps x 16.4 km (10.2 mi) = 262.4 km (163.0 mi)



No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

Category III - over 1500 cc
1Bruno PresentiB. PresentiAlfa RomeoRL TF3.0S-6
3Umberto PugnoU. PugnoBugattiT35B2.3S-8
4Ogniben AlveràO. AlveràBugattiT35A2.0S-8
5Ruggero FrilliR. FrilliBugattiT352.0S-8
6Gaspare BonaG. BonaBugattiT35B2.3S-8
7Luigi ForteL. ForteBugattiT35A2.0S-8
8Gino BertocchiG. BertocchiAlfa RomeoRL3.0S-6
10Cesare PapariniC. PapariniAustro-DaimlerADM3.0S-6
11Emilio MaterassiE. MaterassiSpecial5.8S-4
12Renato BalestreroR. BalestreroBugattiT35C2.0S-8
14Gastone Brilli PeriG. Brilli PeriBallotIndy 19194.9S-8
Leon ChilbertL. ChilbertBugattiT35A2.0S-8DNA - did not appear
Ugo Sisto StefanelliU. StefanelliBugattiT35A2.0S-8DNA - did not appear
Carlo PintacudaC. PintacudaAlfa Romeo3.0S-6DNA - did not appear
 
Category II - 1101 to 1500 cc
15Tazio NuvolariCesare PastoreBugattiT371.5S-4
19Gioacchino CocuzzaG. CocuzzaBugattiT371.5S-4
20Carlo ToniniC. ToniniMaserati261.5S-8
26Luigi "Gigi" PlatèL. PlatèChiribiriMonza S1.5S-4
29Adolfo SansoniA. SansoniBugattiT371.5S-4
30Antonio TestiA. TestiMaserati261.5S-8
Innocenzo CiriI. CiriBugattiT371.5S-4
Raffaele TotiR. TotiChiribiri12/161.5S-4
Diego De SterlichD. De SterlichMaserati261.5S-8
Francesco ValleF. ValleBugattiT371.5S-4
Arnaldo FranchettiBaron A. FranchettiMaserati261.5S-8
Alberto PetrucciA. PetrucciBugatti1.5S-4
Guido CiriaciG. CiriaciBugattiT371.5S-4
Pietro BartolettiP. BartolettiBugatti1.5S-4DNS - practice crash
Pietro PinoP. PinoBugattiT371.5S-4DNA - did not appear
Carlo PintacudaC. PintacudaMaserati261.5S-8DNA - did not appear
Gioacchino VigoG. VigoBugatti1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
Luigi VagnarelliL. VagnarelliMathis1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
Federico ValpredaF. ValpredaChiribiriMonza C1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
Antonino CaliriA. CaliriBugattiT371.5S-4DNA - did not appear
Ignazio AvezzuI. AvezzuBugatti1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
Emilio RomanoE. RomanoBugatti1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
Giovanni GaraviniG. GaraviniBugattiT371.5S-4DNA - did not appear
 
Category I - 750 to 1100 cc
40Tommaso SaccomaniT. SaccomaniAmilcar1.1S-4
42Antonio BrivioMarquis A. BrivioDerbyScap s/c1.1S-4
49Baconin BorzacchiniB. BorzacchiniSalmsonGSS1.1S-6
50Domenico SancriccaD. SancriccaCitroën1.1S-4
54Abele ClericiA. ClericiSalmsonGSS1.1S-6
Alfonso ZampieriA. ZampieriAmilcarC61.1S-6
Luigi FagioliL. FagioliSalmson1.1S-6
Rigoletto BelliR. BelliFiat509S1.0S-4
Ardicino della PortaA. della PortaFiat509S1.0S-4
Mario BarsantiM. BarsantiBarsantiSpeciale1.0S-4
Alessandro AlessandrelliA. AlessandrelliSalmson1.1S-4
Manlio SpongiaM. SpongiaSalmson1.1S-4
Tommaso AquinoT. AquinoDerby1.1S-4
BullettiBullettiFiat1.0S-4DNA - did not appear
Edoardo WeberE. WeberFiat1.0S-4DNA - did not appear
Eugenio SilvaniE. SilvaniCittivardiSilvani1.1S-4DNA - did not appear
Mario BenigniM. BenigniFiat1.0S-4DNA - did not appear
Giuseppe GrossiG. GrossiFiat1.0S-4DNA - did not appear
Severo TibidàS. TibidàBNC1.1S-4DNA - did not appear
Massimo LasagniM. LasagniMarino1.1S-4DNA - did not appear


Materassi wins the Coppa della Perugina for the third time

by Hans Etzrodt
The fourth event of the 1927 Italian Automobile Championship at the Perugia Circuit attracted 37 starters which were divided into three categories. The 11 large cars over 1500cc were the center of interest, including the battle between Materassi (5.8-L Special) and Bona (2.3-L Bugatti) until lap12 when Bona's engine expired. Brilli Peri (4.9-L Ballot), Alverà and Forte both in 2.0-L Bugattis retired. This left Materassi unchallenged to win -for the third time- ahead of Balestrero and Pugno in Bugattis with Presenti (3.0-L Alfa Romeo) in fourth place. Seven cars retired.
      The 1500 cc class comprised 13 cars, where Testi (Maserati) led until the last lap when only 200 meters before the finish his car broke down. Victory then went to Tonini followed by De Sterlich, both in Maseratis, with Nuvolari (Bugatti) and Toti (Chiribiri) the last finishers. The remaining 9 cars retired or exceeded the allowable time.
      The 1100 cc class also included 13 cars. After the favorites Clerici and Borzacchini both in Salmsons retired early, Zampieri (Amilcar) was the winner ahead of Fagioli (Salmson), Brivio (Derby), Sancricca (Citroën) and the Fiats of Belli and della Porta. Seven cars retired.
The 1927 Coppa della Perugina was the fourth round of the newly introduced Italian Championship for drivers. The race had been held annually since 1924 and this event was the fourth in the series, once again organized by the Automobile Club di Perugia. It was held on the Circuit of Perugia, one of the most beautiful among the Italian circuits, on the Piano di Marziano route, which passed the Fontivegge Station, San Sisto, Strozzacapponi, Ellera, Olmo and Ferro di Cavallo, a total of 16.4 km. It had to be lapped 20 times for a total of 328 km, though the 1100 cc cars had to do only 16 laps. The 54 entries were divided into three classes: Class G from 750 to 1100 cc, Class F from 1101 to1500 cc and Class E over 1500 cc. The maximum allowable time was 45 minutes after the arrival of the overall winner.
      The race had a prize of 60,000 lire for the overall winner, 20,000 for the first in each class, 7,000 for second, 5,000 for third, 3,000 for fourth and 2,000 for fifth in each class. For the driver who made the fastest lap, there was a prize of 1,000 lire. There were also several cups and medals for the manufacturers and drivers.
Entries:
The popular race on May 29 attracted many Italian drivers, because the event counted towards the Italian championship. The organizer received 56 independent entries, all of which are listed at the beginning of this report, but only 37 of them appeared at the start.
      The favorites were Materassi in the 5.8-L Special, Brilli Peri in the 4.9-L Indianapolis winning Ballot, Bona and Pugno in 2.3-L supercharged Bugattis and Alverà in a 2.0-L Bugatti that was not supercharged. Materassi had a 1927 contract to drive for the Bugatti factory team but at the less important events he drove either his own Bugatti or his Spcial, which he had modified by installing half of a V-8 Hispano-Suiza aircraft engine. With this car he had won the Coppa della Perugina in 1924 and again in 1926 and finished second in 1925 behind Brilli Peri's Ballot. So he was evidently quite a popular guy in Perugia.
      Materassi's Special had only a few Itala parts (clutch, gearbox, transmission) so to call it a Itala 55 Special, as it is often done, is too much. It had a makeshift chassis and suspension. It was called a Itala for publicity reasons as Materassi owned the Itala agency in Florence. The engine was half of a V8 Hispano-Suiza aircraft engine so the capacity was about 5.8 litres. The figure of precisly 4722cc to be found in prevailing motor sport literature is a mystery. This is well explained in a Alessandro Silva's le article about Italian aero-engined specials published in The Automobile magazine.
      The 1500 cc voiturette category comprised 13 starters, seven Bugattis for Sansoni, Nuvolari, Valle, Petrucci, Cocuzza, Ciri and Ciriaci. The four Maseratis were driven by Tonini, De Sterlich, Testi and Franchetti and the two Chiribiris by Platè and Toti.
      In the 1100 cc cycle car category the favorite was Zampieri with the 6-cylinder supercharged Amilcar. He was opposed by the Salmsons of Clerici, Borzacchini, Alessandrelli, Fagioli and Spongia. There was a 4-cylinder Amilcar, two Derby cycle cars, two Fiat 509s, a Citroën and a Barsanti Speciale.
      A serious accident occurred during Saturday practice when the 1500 Bugatti of Pietro Bartoletti skidded and left the road, falling into a ditch. Both the 25 year old Bartoletti, from Bologna, and his mechanic, 22 year old Giulio Landi, were immediately transported to the hospital, where they remained in serious condition.
Race:
Despite dense rain on Saturday, the public's appearance was enormous. On Sunday the stands were already crowded by the early morning hours and many women were amongst the spectators. Special trains brought huge crowds to various parts of the circuit. The starts were given with an interval of two minutes between each category. The starter was S. E. Bastianini, the Under Secretary of National Economy. At the planned 9:00 AM start the eleven large cars over 1500 cc were lined up in three cars per row, however the start was delayed by a quarter of an hour.
Pole Position
4
Alverà

Bugatti

3
Pugno

Bugatti

1
Presenti

Alfa Romeo

7
Forte

Bugatti

6
Bona

Bugatti

5
Frilli

Bugatti

11
Materassi

Special

10
Paparini

Austro-Daimler

8
Bertocchi

Alfa Romeo

14
Brilli Peri

Ballot

12
Balestrero

Bugatti

Ninety seconds before the delayed start at 9:15 AM, while the time keeper counted the seconds with open fingers, Materassi's engine refused to start. A hustle and bustle of mechanics pushed his Itala several times, to start the engine. Materassi laughed when moving his Special between the cars of Balestreo and Brilli Peri, in the row behind. And more laughs! 9h14m30s! Bastiani looked at the timekeeper and raised the checkered flag. Twenty seconds to go. Finally, Materassi's engine started, Bastianini counted down to one and dropped the flag. Alvera shot away first, ahead of Forte and Bona. In the following wide right turn, Materassi came chasing in his red Special. He had already passed all the other cars and was now ready to catch Alvera.
      After two minutes the 13 cars of the 1500 cc category started, comprising: Testi, Tonini, De Sterlich and Franchetti in Maseratis; Nuvolari, Cocuzza, Valle, Sansoni, Ciri, Petrucci and Ciriaci in Bugattis and Toti and Platé in Chiribiris. Testi's Maserati immediately took the lead followed closely by Nuvolari's Bugatti.
      Finally the 13 cars of the 1100 cc category started, comprising Zampieri and Saccomani in Amilcars, Clerici, Borzacchini, Fagioli, Allessandrelli and Spongia in Salmsons, Brivio and Aquino in Derbys, Sancricca in a Citroën, Barsanti in the Barsanti and Belli and Della Porta in Fiats. Borzacchini immediately jumped into the lead towards the wide Centavo's curve while Zampieri lost one minute when his Amilcar's engine would not fire up. Eventually he calmly started his race and progressively gained ground.

At the end of the first lap Materassi had 22 seconds advantage over Bona, 42 seconds on Brilli Peri and one minute on Balestrero while Frilli retired his Bugatti. On the following lap Materassi's race time was 17m28.4s, Bona 17m58.4s and Brilli Peri 18m31s. On the third lap Materassi's advantage over Bona increased to 35 seconds. Paparini retired his Austro-Daimler on the same lap with a broken valve spring and Forte ended the race in his Bugatti with a broken gear change. Materassi's tactic was to push Bona to force him into pursuit, but Bona was cautious waiting for the right time to attack. Brilli Peri followed in third place ahead of Balestero and Pugno with Presenti and Bertocchi were trailing further behind.
      Testi was leading the 1500cc category while Tonini and De Sterlich alternated in second place before Valle and Nuvolari with their Bugattis overtook them both. Testi completed the second lap with a race time of 19m33.4s, Valle 19m44.4s and Nuvolari 20m06.4s. Nuvolari passed Valle and advanced to second place while Ciriaci (Bugatti) had to change spark plugs. The Chiribiri of Platè and Cocuzza's Bugatti retired on lap five.
      The 1100cc category was led by Borzacchini (Salmson), followed by Saccomani (Amilcar), Clerici (Salmson), Fagioli (Salmson) and Zampieri (Amilcar), ahead of the Fiats, while Spongia retired his Salmson on the first lap. On the second lap Borzacchini and Saccomani were only 15 seconds apart while Zampieri made up lost time after his delayed start and passed Clerici for third place. On the 3rd lap Saccomani retired his Cozette supercharged Amilcar 4-cylinder, which had overheated. Zampieri next passed Saccomani and Borzacchini, who both retired on lap five, the latter having suffered an injury in an accident.
      In the large category Materassi led Bona by 28.4s, while Brilli Peri was over 2 minutes behind. Balestreo, who was nearly 3 minutes behind, was followed by Pugno and Presenti. After the fifth lap the order was as follows:
1.Materassi (Special)43m37.0s
2.Bona (Bugatti)44m05.4s
3.Brilli Peri (Ballot)45m45.6s
4.Testi (Maserati)48m34.0s
5.Nuvolari (Bugatti)49m18.0s
6.De Sterlich (Maserati)49m50.2s
7.Zampieri (Amilcar)51m02.4s
8.Fagioli (Salmson)51m36.8s
9.Belli (Fiat)55m40.6s

On the sixth lap Bona started his attack with a magnificent lap of 8m30s, at 115,764 km/h average speed. Materassi answered with 8m24s on lap nine, which was the fastest lap of the race. Brilli Peri retired with a punctured radiator on the same lap, leaving third place to Balestrero. In the 1500 category, Testi's Maserati was leading. Sansoni was fourth but at Strozzacaponi his Bugatti left the track, turned upside down with the driver injured on top of his head and a broken arm. Later he was seen walking with his head bandaged in front of the spectators. On the tenth lap Tonini took second place in the1500 category and Nuvolari third, which he kept until lap 10 but then had to give in to De Sterlich. Toti with the Chiribiri was last. On lap 11, Materassi stopped at the pits to replace a tire. Bona passed him and took the lead. When Materassi started again, he was about two minutes behind. At the end of lap 12, Materassi was back in the lead since Bona's Bugatti had come to a stop at the Strozzacapponi curve with irreparable engine failure. He had demanded too much from his engine. After 15 laps Materassi was leading with 112.162 km/h average race speed, when the positions were as follows:
1.Materassi (Special)2h11m34.0s
2.Balestro (Bugatti)2h17m45.0s
3.Pugno (Bugatti)2h18m09.0s
4.Presenti (Alfa Romeo)2h23m53.4s
5.Testi (Maserati)2h25m45.4s
6.Tonini (Maserati)2h26m35.0s
7.De Sterlich (Maserati)2h27m15.0s
8.Nuvolari (Bugatti)2h27m57.4s
9.Zampieri (Amilcar)

Materassi held the lead unchallenged because Balestrero and Pugno could not threaten him any more since their cars were no longer running at full efficiency. But they battled for some laps ending in favor of Balestrero. Materassi showed that his old Itala was still a strong race car, ahead of the fastest and most modern Bugatti race cars.
      In the 1500 category Testi, the Bolognese, was fastest and held first place until lap 20. He lost the lead about 200 meters before the finish when his Maserati stopped with a seized differential and thus loss of drive. Tonini and De Sterlich also in Maseratis inherited first and second in the class ahead of Nuvolari and Toti. Franchetti, the fourth Maserati driver, was less prepared than the other three drivers.
      Zampieri won the 1100 category in grand style. He finished over five minutes before the next car. Fagioli and Brivio could do no more than they did with the cars they had available. Sancricca finished last with his little Citroën 5 hp. Belli and De Porta in the Fiats were too slow to compete and for the Barsanti it was the same. His fate was not described.
      Shortly after 12:12 PM, Materassi crossed the finish line triumphantly and won the Coppa della Perugina for the third time. He drove the last lap at full speed and crossed the finish line to great applause. From the 37 starters 14 cars finished, not including those who were flagged off because they exceeded the time limit.

Results category II - 1500 cc and category III - over 1500 cc:

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.11Emilio MaterassiE. MaterassiSpecialSpecial5.8S-4202h57m08.0s
2.12Renato BalestrroR. BalestreroBugattiT35C2.0S-8203h01m15.0s+ 4m07.0s
3.3Umberto PugnoU. PugnoBugattiT35B2.3S-8203h03m16.8s+ 6m08.8s
4.1Bruno PresentiB. PresentiAlfa RomeoRL TF3.0S-6203h11m02.2s+ 13m54.2s
5.20Carlo ToniniC. ToniniMaserati261.5S-8203h13m51.0s+ 16m43.0s
6.30Diego De SterlichD. De SterlichMaserati261.5S-8203h16m07.0s+ 18m59.0s
7.15Tazio NuvolariT. NuvolariBugattiT371.5S-4203h17m14.2s+ 20m06.2s
8.Raffaello TotiR. TotiChiribiri12/161.5S-4203h29m42.0s+ 32m34.0s
DNFAntonio TestiA.TestiMaserati261.5S-819seized differential
DNCAlberto PetrucciA. PetrucciBugatti1.5S-4exceeded max. time
DNCFrancesco ValleF. ValleBugattiT371.5S-4exceeded max. time
DNF8Gino BertocchiG. BertocchiAlfa RomeoRL3.0S-6
DNF4Ogniben AlveràO. AlveràBugattiT35A2.0S-8
DNFInnocenzo CiriI. CiriBugattiT371.5S-4   
DNFEttore FranchettiE. FranchettiMaserati261.5S-8   
DNF6Gaspare BonaG. BonaBugattiT35B2.3S-811engine
DNFGuido CiriaciG. CiriaciBugattiT371.5S-410  
DNFAdolfo SansoniA. SansoniBugattiT371.5S-48crash 
DNF14Gastone Brilli PeriG. Brill PeriBallotIndy 19194.9S-88punctured radiator
DNFGiacchino CocuzzaG. CocuzzaBugattiT371.5S-44  
DNFLuigi "Gigi" PlatèL. PlatèChiribiriMonza S1.5S-44  
DNF7Luigi ForteL. ForteBugattiT35A2.0S-8 3Gear change
DNF10Cesare PapariniC. PapariniAustro-DaimlerADM3.0S-63Valve spring
DNF5Ruggero FrilliR. FrilliBugattiT352.0S-81
Fastest lap, over 1500cc: Emilio Materassi (Special) on lap 9 in 8m24s = 117.1 km/h (72.8 mph).
Fastest lap, up to 1500cc: Antonio Testi (Maserati) on lap 9 in 9m25.6s = 104.4 km/h (64.9 mph).
Winner's average speed, over 1500cc, Materassi: 111.1 km/h (69.0 mph).
Winner's average speed,up to 1500cc, Tonini: 101.5 km/h (63.1 mph).
Weather: dry and warm.

Results category I - 750 to 1100 cc:

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.Alfonso ZampieriA. ZampieriAmilcarC61.1S-4162h38m01.8s 
2.Luigi FagioliL. FagioliSalmson1.1S-6162h43m49.2s+ 5m47.4s
3.42Antonio BrivioMarquis A. BrivioDerbyScap s/c1.1S-4162h55m31.4s+ 17m29.6s
4.50Domenico SancriccaD. SancriccaCitroën1.1S-4163h04m30.4s+ 26m28.6s
5.Rigoletto BelliR. BelliFiat509S1.0S-4163h08m33.0s+ 30m31.2s
6.Ardicino della PortaA. della PortaFiat509S1.0S-4163h09m33.0s+ 31m31.2s
DNFAlessandro AlessandrelliA. AlessandrelliSalmson1.1S-4   
DNFMario BarsantiM. BarsantiBarsantiSpeciale1.0S-4   
DNFTommaso AquinoT. AquinoDerby1.1S-4   
DNF49Baconin BorzacchiniB. BorzacchiniSalmsonGSS1.1S-64crash 
DNF54Abele ClericiA. ClericiSalmson1.1S-44  
DNF40Tommaso SaccomaniT. SaccomaniAmilcar1.1S-43  
DNFManlio SpongiaM. SpongiaSalmson1.1S-41  
Fastest lap Category up to 1100 cc: Alfonso Zampieri (Amilcar) on lap 17 in 9m28.4s = 103.9 km/h (64.5 mph).
Winner's time, Category up to 1100 cc: 99.6 km/h (61.9 mph).
Weather: dry and warm.
In retrospect:
Some race numbers could be identified from photographs while a few others were published by L'IMPERO newspaper. The available articles contained much superficial and incomplete information but this report is the only one that lists all 37 starters with an accurate starting grid of the leading cars as shown in photographs. The large number of starters must have overwhelmed the time keepers, who were unable to record the outcome for all 37 drivers.

Primary sources researched for this article:
ACI - rivista, Torino
AUTOMOBIL-REVUE, Bern
La Gazetta dello Sport, Milano
La Stampa, Torino
L'AUTO ITALIANA, Milano
L'IMPERO, Roma
RACI, Roma
Special thanks to:
Ms. Paola Masetta
Alessandro Silva

Star 30 May 1927: Rookie driver George Souders (Duesenberg) wins the Indianapolis 500 race.
Star 4-5 July 1927: Mme. Violette Morris (B.N.C.) wins the Bol D'Or sports car race at Fontainebleu in France

PREVIOUS 1927 INDEX NEXT
MAIN INDEX


© 2016 Leif Snellman, Hans Etzrodt - Last updated: 18.12.2017