REALE PREMIO DI ROMA
Circuito Parioli - Roma (I), 12 June 1927.
100 laps x 4.2 km (2.61 mi) = 420 km (261 mi)
Nuvolari wins the Royal Rome Grand Prix
by Hans Etzrodt
The Rome Grand Prix had been won every year since 1925 by Bugattis despite all attempts by the Italians to win their own race. Of the 19 cars that started in the 1927 event 14 were Bugattis of various types,
two were Maseratis plus one each Itala, Hudson and Delage. The 420 km race over 100 laps was between Maggi, Lepori and Bona in supercharged Bugattis and Materassi in his big Itala, the favorites of the race.
On the second lap Ceratto (Delage) crashed into a fence injuring himself, his mechanic, a spectator and a military policeman, who later died in hospital. After 30 laps Materassi also crashed, injuring five spectators
two of whom died in hospital. When Maggi retired with clutch problems on lap 61, Nuvolari inherited the lead in his unsupercharged Bugatti and held first place until the end. It was Nuvolari's first win
with a car, a surprise winner, ahead of Lepori, Balestrero and Bona in supercharged Bugattis. Tonini (Maserati) finished fifth and won the 1500 category. There were another five finishers.
The Reale Premio Roma, which was held for the first time in 1925, was organized by the Automobile Club di Roma and the Commissione Sportiva del R.A.C.I. (Reale Automobile Club d'Italia). For the third edition
in 1927 they decided to change the location to Circuito dei Parioli. Running anticlockwise with the start on Viale Tiziano the circuit continued through the left-hand Curva dello Stadio and then into the winding
Viale dei Parioli, passing the ippodromo di Villa Glori to the next lefthander, Curva Fonte Acqua Acetosa. From here it went along the Lungotevere dell'Acqua Acetosa to the wide left turn, Curva di Ponte
Milvio, and onto the long straight of Viale Tiziano with the finish near the end just after the pits. A complete lap measured 4200 meters and with 100 laps the total race distance was 420 km. The press had
criticized the location of the pits, which had been erected before the finish line.
The entries were divided into three categories, the first for cars over 2000 cc, the second over 1500 up to 2000 cc and the third for cars up to 1500 cc. The results of the Royal Prix of Rome counted towards
the Italian Championship awarding 3 points to the winner. As a result almost all the top Italian race drivers met for this contest. The Automobile Club di Roma had a total prize fund of 200,000 lire. In
each of the three categories the winner received 25,000 lire, second 15,000, third 10,000 and fourth 5,000 with 35,000 lire for other prizes.
From a total of 26 cars, 19 were Bugattis in various configurations. All were entered by independent drivers who are shown in the entry list at the beginning of this report. Materassi , although a contracted Bugatti works
driver, entered his old modified Itala 55 race car, with a 4-cylinder 5.8-Liter WW1 Hispano-Suiza aero engine in which he had won the Coppa Perugina two weeks earlier. Miss Vernier arrived with a 288 cu.inch Hudson Super-Six
in race trim, which was driven in the race by her mechanic. Ceratto entered a 2LCV Delage, a 1925 12-cylinder grand prix car. Two 1500 Maseratis were driven by their owners Carlo Tonini and Diego de Sterlich who had
bought the cars earlier in 1927. Tonini had a 1926 model while de Sterlich drove the latest version of the 1500 Maserati. Gaspare Bona owned two Bugatti race cars and in this race he drove his supercharged T35B, a 2.3-liter car
and not his 2-liter T35C. Official practice took place on Friday and Saturday.
The press voiced many criticisms and reported that the organization was inadequate, with no reports for the press. They also stated that the approach roads were not organized and the streetcars were not provided with
trailers to cope with large number of spectators. Twice as many tickets were sold than the number of seats available in the grandstand. The stands for spectators were erected in very dangerous locations. The timing
display board was placed behind large trees and was visible only to spectators in the front rows. The information service hardly existed and often even the time keepers were unaware of the progress of the race. The
circuit was said to be too short and the cars too numerous. The public was unable to follow all the details of the race because of the brevity of the circuit, which needed a better timing display. The timekeeping booth
was not located in the best point for the transmission of official times and the pits were located too close to the finish line. All these details were detrimental to the complete success of the race which had been
prepared with so much diligence and passion by the Automobile Club executives.
On Sunday it was sunny and hot, 28 degrees Celsius (86 F) in the shade, and a large crowd attended this long anticipated race. At noon the stands and the fenced areas were already overflowing. At 1:00 PM the first
competitors appeared in front of the pits, amongst them were Bona, Pastore and Sansoni. At 1.30 PM the red car of Materassi appeared, the idol of the spectators. He was received with great applause. The arrival of
Miss Louise Vernier aroused curiosity. She had been feeling unwell before the start and her mechanic took over the driving while she acted as riding mechanic. It was announced that some competitors were unable to start,
namely the Bugattis of Imbert, de Teffé, Garagnani, Borzacchini, Petrucci and donna d'Avanzo as well as the Maserati of Franchetti.
At 2:00 PM, Mr. Leonardi, General Secretary of the Automobile Club of Rome drove an entire circuit to see that everything was in order. The crowd continued to occupy literally every conceivable place and waited patiently
for the beginning of the race. Finally at 2:15 PM the 19 cars were pushed to the wide starting grid for the 2:30 PM start. They were arranged in seven rows of four, three, four, three, in order of the official race
numbers with the lowest number at front left. With the exception of #14, the grid places of the six cars that did not appear were left unoccupied leaving open spaces towards the rear of the grid.
At 2:29 PM the president of the Italian Automobil Club, Silvio Crespi, lowered the flag to start the 19 roaring cars. The powerful Itala of Materassi jumped ahead, followed by Maggi's Bugatti. After the first corner
in front of the grandstand, the cars could be launched at full speed. The echo of the roaring cars remained as they disappeared. After a very short time the first car appeared on the tree lined Viale Tiziano. It was
Maggi's blue Bugatti rushing along about 200 meters ahead of Materassi's big red Itala. Braking for the left-hand Stadium curve at the end of Viale Tiziano he was followed by Bona, Lepori, Nuvolari and Bonamico.
Everyone else was in a tight group behind them. Amongst them the Delage of Ceratto did not make the bend. He braked too late and was drifting dangerously into the curve. After two or three skids, the driver was able
to prevent the car from overturning, but it crashed violently into the fence protecting the grandstand outside the corner, pushing the fence against a military policeman, Gino Martelli, and a soldier, both of whom were
on duty in front of the grandstand. An ambulance immediately rushed the policeman to the nearby St. James Hospital as he was considered to be in imminent danger of death due to a fracture of the base of his skull from
which he later died. Ceratto suffered a fractured jaw with the loss of seven teeth. His mechanic escaped with slight bruises. The soldier was carried away on a stretcher but was able to recover within a few days.
The responsibility for these injuries lay primarily in placing spectators dangerously close on the outside of the corner.
On lap three Maggi still held the lead followed by Materassi, Lepori, Bona and Nuvolari. On lap seven Materassi stopped at the pits with a fuel line problem. Bonamico also stopped to change spark plugs. Materassi
had already been delayed by one lap but he doggedly pursued the four drivers ahead. On lap nine Pino retired his 1500 Bugatti with ignition problems. At the end of lap 10 Maggi finished in the lead with the front
group in the following order after ten laps:
Maggi held on to first place followed by Lepori and Nuvolari. Only these first three cars were on the same lap but positions changed when Bona dropped behind and Nuvolari passed Lepori for second place. Materassi
meanwhile lost more time when he stopped to change plugs. The order after twenty laps was as follows:
|9.||De Sterlich (Maserati)||49m08.0s|
The average so far exceeded 112 km/h. Maggi remained in the lead while Materassi and de Sterlich were leading their categories. Up to lap 25 there were no changes in the top positions when the order was as
follows after lap 25:
|9.||De Sterlich (Maserati)||?|
The first three positions did not change. On lap 31 Materassi who was already one lap behind arrived too fast at the Acqua Acetosa corner where he almost drove into a large group of spectators, who were placed in a
dangerous location. Materassi moved his car sideways to prevent carnage but in doing so injured a smaller group of spectators who unfortunately were unable to avoid the car, which finally struck a tree. A military
policeman, Carlo Pelcarco, succumbed before reaching the hospital, and a three and a half year old child, Luigi Mereu, succumbed shortly after being transported to the emergency room. Three other people were injured,
Francesco di Deodati, Alberto Bitighini and Carlo Manzoni, sustaining injuries and bruises, but did not raise serious concerns. Materassi and his mechanic incurred minor injuries and were forced to retire.
In the 1500 cc category, Pastore and Marano were engaged in an exciting fight on equal terms with Tonini following. De Sterlich stopped for some time at the Acqua Acetosa corner on lap 36 and then resumed. The order
after 35 laps:
Now the race seemed to be finalized as a Maggi triumphal march. Bonamico retired on the 39th lap and Miss Vernier followed suit after a stop at the pits retiring on lap 42. Cutelli who had trouble with lubrication and
loss of power retired on lap 41. To reduce the amount of danger, race officials withdrew the slow drivers from the race after the fiftieth lap. They obstructed the faster competitors and posed a permanent danger for
everyone. Amongst those was Mrs. Vernier, who was withdrawn on lap 52 for driving too slowly with her old Hudson. Bonamico and Cutelli may have also been withdrawn but this was not reported in the press. The order
of the race did not change with Maggi always in first place, while Pastore continued to dominate the 1500 category. On lap 51, Maggi stopped briefly at his pit to have his brakes checked and resumed the race.
Meanwhile Bona had overtaken Nuvolari for second place. Lepori was in fourth place.
Pastore continued to lead the 1500 category followed by Marano and Tonini. On lap 55 the positions were Maggi, Nuvolari and Lepori in the 2 liter category; Bona the sole survivor of the third category in 2h14m08s
and Tonini first in the 1500 cc category in 2h18m39s. The order did not change on the 60th lap. But on the next tour Maggi stopped at the pits and retired after bolts of the clutch had worked loose. Nuvolari
inherited the lead and increased his pace towards a possible victory. The second place was taken by Lepori and the third by Bona. On lap 65, Tonini took the lead of the 1500 category. Only 11 cars were left in
the race. The order after 70 laps: Nuvolari in 2h29m59.0s, followed by Lepori, Balestrero, Bona, Tonini, Pastore and Marano.
On lap 75, the order remained the same. Lepori was on the same lap as the leader and could threaten Nuvolari. After the 80th lap the positions were:
On lap 90 Nuvolari's race average was about 110 km/h, exact figures were not provided by the time keepers. The race was nearing its end with these positions after the 90 laps:
Lepori made up a few seconds, and on lap 91 he was only 42 seconds behind the leader. Nuvolari had not made any pit stops and was driving at a consistently fast pace assuring him a place close to stronger
supercharged cars with his own Bugatti which had no supercharger. At the end of lap 100, when Nuvolari passed the finish line he was welcomed with great applause and was carried on the shoulders of celebrating
admirers. He finished just 45 seconds ahead of Lepori while the remaining drivers had been lapped several times and carried on racing to complete the required 100 laps to be classified. It was only fitting for
the organization of the event that after the first drivers had finished the race, spectators flooded the track and the last arrivals had to force their way through the crowd.
|1.||28||Tazio Nuvolari||T. Nuvolari||Bugatti||T35||2.0||S-8||100||3h47m28.0s|| |
|2.||18||Mario Lepori||M. Lepori||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||100||3h48m13.0s||+ 45.0s|
|3.||20||Renato Balestrero||R. Balestrero||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||100||3h53m31.0s||+ 6m03.0s|
|4.||4||Gaspare Bona||G. Bona||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8||100||4h01m37.8s||+ 14m09.8s|
|5.||36||Carlo Tonini||C. Tonini||Maserati||26||1.5||S-8||100||4h09m01.4s||+ 21m33.4s|
|6.||22||Antonino Caliri||A. Caliri||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||100||4h10m17.2s||+ 22m49.2s|
|7.||26||Adolfo Sansoni||A. Sansoni||Bugatti||T35||2.0||S-8||100||4h10m33.0s||+ 23m05.0s|
|8.||44||Cesare Pastore||C. Pastore||Bugatti||T37||1.5||S-4||100||4h12m09.2s||+ 24m41.2s|
|9.||46||Diego de Sterlich||Marquis D. de Sterlich||Maserati||26||1.5||S-8||100||4h21m14.0s||+ 33m46.0s|
|10.||34||Salvatore Marano||S. Marano||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4||100||4h21m52.4s||+ 34m24.4s|
|DNF||16||Luigi Forte||L. Forte||Bugatti||T35A||2.0||S-8||85|| || |
|DNF||24||Aymo Maggi||A. Maggi||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||60||clutch|| |
|DNF||12||Domenico Antonelli||D. Antonelli||Bugatti||T35||2.0||S-8||59|| || |
|DNF||8||Louise Vernier||L. Vernier||Hudson||Super Six||4.7||S-6||42||withdrawn|
|DNF||50||Giovanni Cutelli||G. Cutelli||Bugatti||1.5||S-4||41||withdrawn|| |
|DNF||2||Emilio Bonamico||E. Bonamico||Bugatti||T35T||2.3||S-8||30||withdrawn|
|DNF||6||Emilio Materassi||E. Materassi||Itala||Special||5.8||S-4||30||crash|
|DNF||42||Pietro Pino||P. Pino||Bugatti||T37||1.5||S-4||9||ignition|| |
|DNF||10||Giorgio Ceratto||G. Ceratto||Delage||2LCV||2.0||V-12||1||crash|| |
Fastest lap Category over 2000 cc: Emilio Materassi (Itala) in 2m04s = 121.9 km/h (75.8 mph).|
Fastest lap Category 2000 cc: Aymo Maggi (Bugatti) in 2m04.8s = 121.2 km/h (75.3 mph).
Fastest lap Category 1500 cc: Cesare Pastore (Bugatti) in 2m20.8s = 107.4 km/h (66.7 mph).
Winner's average speed over 2000 cc (Bona) 104.3 km/h (64.8 mph).
Winner's average speed 2000 cc (Nuvolari) 110.8 km/h (68.8 mph).
Winner's average speed 1500 cc (Tonini) 101.2 km/h (62.9 mph).
Weather: sunshine, hot.
The individual lap times published in the newspapers were incomplete with the times of drivers like Balestrero, Caliri and Sansoni not published. For that reason the individual positions were corrected to show the
true order of drivers, some with unpublished times.
The classification in the Italian Championship after the Rome Grand Prix was 1. Materassi 4 points, 2. Nuvolari
3 points, 3. Bona and Caliri 1 point.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
La Gazzetta dello Sport, Milano
La Stampa, Torino
L'Auto Italiana, Milano
Race Programme A.C. Roma
Special thanks to:
18-19 June 1927: Dr. Dudley Benjafield / Sammy Davis (Bentley 3.0 litre) wins
the Les 24 Heures du Mans race at the Circuit de la Sarthe in France.
Nürburgring full circuit - (D), 19 June 1927.
Group 2, 3a, 3b: 14 laps x 28.265 km (17.563 mi) = 395.71 km (245.88 mi)
Group 4, 5: 12 laps x 28.265 km (17.563 mi) = 339.18 km (210.76 mi)
|Group 2, 3000-5000 cc|
|47||Huldreich Heusser||H. Heusser||Steyr||VI Klausen||4.9||S-6|
|48||August Momberger||A. Momberger||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8|
|49||Gustav Münz||G. Münz||Münz-Spezial||Ford||3.0||S-4|
|Group 3a, 1500-2000 cc|
|50||Christian Werner||Daimler-Benz A.G.||Mercedes-Benz||Grand Prix||2.0||S-8|
|51||Hans-E. v. Trütschler||Freiherr von Trütschler||Bugatti||T35||2.0||S-8|
|Group 3b, 1100-1500 cc|
|52||Willi Cleer||W. Cleer||Bugatti||T39||1.5||S-8|
|53||Hans Keilhold||H. Keilhold||Bugatti||T37||1.5||S-8|
|54||Josef Müller||J. Müller||NSU||6/60 s/c||1.5||S-6|
|55||Joseph Karrer||Dr. J. Karrer||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4||DNA - did not appear|
|27||Cord von Einem||C. v. Einem||Bugatti||T37||1.5||S-4||Ex-sports car entry|
|Group 4, 750-1100 cc|
|32||Alfred Mederer||A. Mederer||Pluto||1.1||S-4||Ex-sports car entry|
|34||Franziska Lüning||Frau F. Lüning||Fiat||509||1.0||S-4||Ex-sports car entry|
|41||Jules von Krohn||J. von Krohn||Amilcar||1.1||S-4||Ex-sports car entry|
|42||W. Hamel||W. Hamel||Opel||1.1||S-4||Ex-sports car entry|
|56||Hermann Friedrich||H. Friedrich||Pluto||1.1||S-4|
|57||K.E. von Schuckmann||K. v. Schuckmann||Marchal Vagova||1.1||DNA - did not appear|
|58||F. Davidson||F. Davidson||Amilcar||1.1||S-4||DNA - did not appear|
|59||F. Waldhier||F. Waldhier||Salmson||1.1||S-4||DNA - did not appear|
|Group 5, up to 750 cc|
|60||P.H. Schulze||Schulze Bahnbedarf||Eigenbau||0.7||DNA - did not appear|
|61||Th. Hoock||T.H. Hoock||Hoock-Villiers||0.5||DNA - did not appear|
|62||Hellmuth Butenuth||H. Butenuth||Hanomag||0.5||S-1|
|63||Wilhelm Höpfner||W. Höpfner||Hanomag||0.5||S-1|
|64||Karl Wery||K. Wery||Hanomag||0.5||S-1|
|65||Karl Haeberle||K. Haeberle||Hanomag||0.5||S-1||DNA - did not appear|
Werner with Mercedes-Benz wins at the Nürburgring
by Hans Etzrodt
The Nürburgring Opening Race presented a mixture of race and sports cars plus motorcycles. This report covers only the 17 race cars that started ahead of the 26 sports cars, but all 43 entries raced
simultaneously around the brand new 28.265 km circuit. The race cars were divided into five groups and in none of them did the drivers have a battle with each other. As a result, the race was more
like a boring demonstration-run. Werner (2-Liter Mercedes-Benz Grand Prix car) was the winner after 4h17m07.2s. He finished about 22 minutes ahead of Momberger (2300 Bugatti). Müller (1500 NSU)
was six minutes further behind in third place, followed by the 1500 Bugattis of von Einem, Cleer and Keilhold. Heusser (4900 Steyr), Trütschler (2000 Bugatti) and Münz (3000 Münz Spezial) retired.
The small car group was won by von Krohn (Amilcar) followed by Mrs. Lüning (1000 Fiat) and Butenuth (500 Hanomag) while Friedrich and Mederer in Plutos, Höpfner and Wery in Hanomags, and Hamel (Opel)
retired. However, Caracciola in a 6.8-Liter Mercedes-Benz sports car was faster than Werner's race car and was declared the outright winner.
Europe's largest Automobil Club, the German ADAC, organized the Nürburgring Eröffnungsrennen. The Opening Race was a national event and the organizers planned to link up with the tradition of the earlier
Eifelrennen held at Nideggen four times from 1922-1926. For this reason, the Eröffnungsrennen was entered in the sports calendar also under the name Eifelrennen. The opening celebrations and popular
motorcycle races took place on Saturday. The automobile races for sports and race cars, divided into ten different groups, where held on Sunday. All sports cars and the 1100 cc racecars had to complete
12 laps of the 28.265 km circuit while the larger race car classes had to complete 14 laps or 395.710 km. The long circuit twisted through 172 turns and continuous ups and downs of the hilly Eifel
Mountains. Practice was allowed from the 10th of June onwards and each driver had to complete a minimum of five laps.
The initial prize money was rather meager; the first of each group received the ADAC Honor Cup with a gold medal and 500 Marks, while the second received the ADAC Honor Cup with a silver medal and
300 Marks, and the third received the ADAC Honor Cup with a bronze medal and 200 Marks. A prize for fastest lap was not included or planned. At a final meeting between the ADAC and the Nürburgring
Company the initial cash prizes were doubled with a total purse of 30,000 Mark. At the prize giving after the race 11 honor prizes were awarded, which were donated by institutions, communities and towns
Each group of the 43 cars had to drive the full distance with the result that the winner of the smallest race car group, Butenuth in the 500 cc Hannomag, who finished with 60.5 km/h average speed, was
still on the track after five-and-a-half hours while the overall winner, Caracciola in the 6.8-Liter Mercedes-Benz sports car passed the finish after just 3h33m21s at 96.5 km/h. Both had to complete 12 laps.
This report deals just with the race cars, although the sports cars raced at the same time, a mix of 43 cars were on the race track simultaneously. A list of the 24 race cars is shown at the beginning of
this report but explanations may be in place. Initially there were 19 race car entries and at some point, the promoters realized that 7 of them would not appear. For that reason, the officials convinced
5 sports car drivers to change over and enter as race car by simply removing fenders, lamps, running boards and bumpers. As a result, 17 race cars started in Sunday's race, divided into 5 groups.
In Group 2, 2001-5000 cc Huldreich Heusser started with his 4.9-Liter Steyr 180 hp factory car in which he had won the Zbraslav-Jíloviště, Hohnstein and Lückendorf hill climbs. It was debatable whether
the car with its highly tuned 180 hp engine would last the 395 km distance since it was a hill climb car built for short distances. The second car was the 2.3-Liter Bugatti T35B which August Momberger
had purchased in March and in May had won the Hainberg hill climb at Göttingen. The third car was from Gustav Münz, the Ford dealer from Düren, who raced the Münz Spezial, his victorious 3-L Ford Spezial
from the previous year's ADAC Eifelrennen. Group 3a, 1500-2000 cc was led by the Daimler-Benz entry for Christian Werner with the 1924 2-liter 8-cylinder supercharged Mercedes Monza Grand Prix car.
Werner's experience with that type of car included his wins at the1925 and 1926 Schauinsland hill climbs. His car was equipped with a rain shield above the cockpit cowling and others behind the front wheels.
The second car was the 2-liter Bugatti without supercharger of Hans-Erich Freiherr von Trütschler-Falkenstein von Karlsruhe had finished third with this car at the 1926 Solitude race. Group 3b,
1100-1500 cc comprised four cars. There was Willi Cleer from Frankfurt with a 1500 T39 Bugatti without supercharger, H. Keilhold from Leipzig in a T37 Bugatti and Cord von Einem from nearby Halle also
in a Bugatti T37, which was initially entered as a sports car but he subsequently decided to start with the race cars. The last car in this group was the 6-cylinder supercharged NSU 6/60 of Josef Müller from Düsseldorf
who in 1926 had driven a NSU works car at several races and may have started at the Nürburgring with works support. Group 4, 750-1100 cc had originally experienced three cancellations which left only
one car in this group. To improve on this the officials convinced Mederer, Lüning, von Krohn und Hamel, who had originally entered in the sports car group, to strip their cars and start with the race
cars. A little Fiat was driven by Franziska Lüning from Hamburg, who was not driving her other car, a Steyr. In Group 5, up to 750 cc only the three 1-cylinder Hanomags of Hellmuth Butenuth, Wilhelm
Höpfner and Karl Wery started.
Alex Nickerson informed us that Mederer was Alfred Mederer who also raced at the 1926 German Grand Prix and the driver Keilhold was Hans Keilhold who also raced in 1926.
On Sunday morning it was cold and windy. The race cars started ahead of the sports cars to be released with intervals of one minute between each group. Just before the planned start at 10:00 AM a brief
cloudburst soaked the entire race track, causing the start to be delayed.
up to 750 cc
At 10:20 AM, after the rain had stopped, the three cars in the first row were started on a wet track. After one minute the two cars of the second row started with Werner's Mercedes making an incredibly
deafening din. They were followed after a short break by the four 1500 cars, then the five 1100 cycle cars and eventually the three Hanomags. The sports cars started next in the same fashion.
During the first lap Automobil-Welt reported that Münz retired along the course of the first 10 km, but it was not explained what happed to the driver or his car. Heusser's fate in his very fast Steyr
during the devastating first lap was not reported. It is only known that he lost about 13 minutes either on the track or in the pits before he retired after four laps with a failed bearing. Mederer,
the fastest in the 1100 cc class, retired his Pluto after just one lap with engine problems while Hamel's 1100 Opel ended its race after the first lap due to punctures. Butenuth, who crashed his Hanomag
on the first lap, said that shortly after the start he had spun, broken a rear wheel and ended up in a ditch. It required a 15-minute slow run to the pits to fetch a new wheel. He rejoined the race with
a time loss of 20 minutes but overcame the difficulty of a bent front axle and a severed steering mount and managed to finish the race. Werner in the Mercedes Grand Prix car had no problems and established
a solid lead after the first lap:
|1.||Werner (Mercedes-Benz)||18m48.4s||2000 cc|
|2.||Cleer (Bugatti)||19m50.0s||1500 cc|
|3.||Müller (NSU)||20m03.0s||1500 cc|
|4.||Momberger (Bugatti)||20m03.0s||2300 cc|
|5.||von Einem (Bugatti)||20m19.4s||1500 cc|
|6.||Keilhold (Bugatti)||20m33.3s||1500 cc|
|7.||Mederer (Pluto)||22m36.3s||1100 cc|
|8.||von Trütschler (Bugatti)||24m01.1s||2000 cc|
|9.||Hamel (Opel)||24m22.4s||1100 cc|
|10.||Friedrich (Pluto)||24m23.3s||1100 cc|
|11.||von Krohn (Amilcar)||25m38.0s||1100 cc|
|12.||Frau Lüning (Fiat)||27m20.2s||1000 cc|
|13.||Höpfner (Hanomag)||27m27.2s|| 500 cc|
|14.||Heusser (Steyr)||31m39.4s||4900 cc|
|15.||Butenuth (Hanomag)||46m30.4s|| 500 cc|
|16.||Wery (Hanomag)||50m17.4s|| 500 cc|
|17.||Münz (Münz-Spezial)|| DNF||3000 cc|
Werner's second lap of 18m46.0s was almost equal to his first lap. Wery completed just two laps with his Hanomag before he crashed and required medical assistance for a facial cut and abrasions. After
four cars had retired, the field was down to 13 cars. Momberger advanced from fourth to second place. After four laps there were no other position changes and Werner held the lead unchallenged in 1h13m34.0s
almost three minutes ahead of Momberger:
|1.||Werner (Mercedes-Benz)||1h13m34.0s||2000 cc|
|2.||Momberger (Bugatti)||1h16m12.1s||2300 cc|
|3.||Cleer (Bugatti)||1h16m36.0s||1500 cc|
|4.||Müller (NSU)||1h17m53.3s||1500 cc|
|5.||von Einem (Bugatti)||1h21m33.4s||1500 cc|
|6.||Keilhold (Bugatti)||1h25m33.2s||1500 cc|
|7.||von Trütschler (Bugatti)||1h31m46.2s||2000 cc|
|8.||Heusser (Steyr)||1h32m16.4s||4900 cc|
|9.||Friedrich (Pluto)||1h42m02.3s||1100 cc|
|10.||von Krohn (Amilcar)||1h43m22.2s||1100 cc|
|11.||Frau Lüning (Fiat)||1h45m29.2s||1000 cc|
|12.||Höpfner (Hanomag)||1h46m29.4s|| 500 cc|
|13.||Butenuth (Hanomag)||2h02m59.3s|| 500 cc|
After the fourth lap Heusser retired his Steyr with bearing damage. Von Trütschler likewise parked his Bugatti on the circuit after a carburetor fire on lap 5. On lap six during a passing maneuver
Höpfner's Hanomag retired after he was hit, lost control, left the track and turned over twice. Höpfner was only slightly injured but was immediately brought to the Adenau hospital. The field had shrunk
to 10 cars but the many sports cars that raced simultaneously helped to entertain the spectators. Werner stopped at his pit to refuel and change tires at the beginning of lap 8 which enabled Momberger to
pass the leading Mercedes. Von Einem had overhauled Müller's NSU who made his pit stop on lap eight, as did von Krohn in the Amilcar. After eight laps the order was as follows:
|1.||Momberger (Bugatti)||2h30m05.1s||2300 cc|
|2.||Werner (Mercedes-Benz)||2h30m50.0s||2000 cc|
|3.||Cleer (Bugatti)||2h42m36.4s||1500 cc|
|4.||von Einem (Bugatti)||2h43m03.3s||1500 cc|
|5.||Müller (NSU)||2h45m37.4s||1500 cc|
|6.||Keilhold (Bugatti)||2h46m25.4s||1500 cc|
|7.||Friedrich (Pluto)||3h59m29.2s||1100 cc|
|8.||von Krohn (Amilcar)||3h30m00.0s||1100 cc|
|9.||Frau Lüning (Fiat)||3h23m46.2s||1000 cc|
|10.||Buthenuth (Hannomag)||3h51m05.1s|| 500 cc|
After 12 laps the race ended for the small cars in group IV and V. Friedrich had retired his Pluto after 11 laps. At that time Werner repassed Momberger who made his pit stop on lap 11 and was now over
10 minutes behind. Müller in his fast NSU passed the Bugattis of Cleer and von Einem, when both made their pit stops on lap 11 while Keilhold made his stop on lap 12. Von Krohn's Amilcar led his group
after Friedrich had dropped out. With 339 km completed the order was as follows after 12 laps:
|1.||Werner (Mercedes-Benz)||3h41m04.0s||2000 cc|
|2.||Momberger (Bugatti)||3h51m53.2s||2300 cc|
|3.||Müller (NSU)||4h01m55.1s||1500 cc|
|4.||von Einem (Bugatti)||4h08m53.0s||1500 cc|
|5.||Cleer (Bugatti)||4h11m49.2s||1500 cc|
|6.||Keilhold (Bugatti)||4h14m48.1s||1500 cc|
|7.||von Krohn (Amilcar)||5h14m25.3s||1100 cc|
|8.||Frau Lüning (Fiat)||5h31m10.4s||1000 cc|
|9.||Butenuth (Hanomag)||5h36m19.4s|| 500 cc|
On lap 12 Werner drove the fastest lap of the race by a race car in17m29.0s. The large cars kept on circulating to complete the required 14 laps with Werner first, followed by Momberger, Müller, von
Einem, Cleer and Keilhold. Münz, Heusser and von Trütschler retired.
Interestingly, Caracciola completed his 12 laps with the large 6.8-liter Mercedes-Benz sports car at around 2:00 PM after 3h33m21.0s. He was faster -17m11.1s for fastest lap- than Werner, whose time
after 12 laps was 3h41m04.0s. Over 12 laps Caracciola was 7m43s faster than Werner in the 2-liter Mercedes-Benz race car and for that reason was Caracciola declared the overall winner.
Results, Group 2 and 3
|1.||50||Christian Werner||Daimler-Benz AG||Mercedes-Benz||Grand Prix||2.0||S-8||14||4h17m07.2s|
|2.||48||August Momberger||A. Momberger||Bugatti||T35B||2.3||S-8||14||4h39m00.1s|| + 21m52.9s|
|3.||54||Josef Müller||J. Müller||NSU||6/60 s/c||1.5||S-6||14||4h45m39.1s|| + 28m31.9s|
|4.||27||Cord von Einem||C. v. Einem||Bugatti||T37||1.5||S-4||14||4h50m01.3s|| + 32m54.1s|
|5.||52||Willi Cleer||W. Cleer||Bugatti||T39||1.5||S-8||14||4h51m01.0s|| + 33m53.8s|
|6.||53||Hans Keilhold||H. Keilhold||Bugatti||T37||1.5||S-8||14||5h19m01.2s|| + 1h01m54.0s|
|DNF||51||Hans-E. v. Trütschler||Freiherr v. Trütschler||Bugatti||T35||2.0||S-8|| 4||1h31m46.2s||carburetor fire|
|DNF||47||Huldreich Heusser||H. Heusser||Steyr||VI Klausen||4.9||S-6|| 4||1h32m16.4s||bearing|
|DNF||49||Gustav Münz||G. Münz||Münz-Spezial||Ford||3.0||S-4|| 0|
Fastest lap 5000 cc: Huldreich Heusser (Steyr) on lap 4 in 17m43.4s = 95.69 km/h (59.46 mph).|
Fastest lap 2000 cc: Christian Werner (Mercedes-Benz) on lap 12 in 17m29.0s = 97.00 km/h (60.27 mph).
Fastest lap 1500 cc: Willi Cleer (Bugatti) on lap 4 in 18m49.2s = 90.11 km/h (56.00 mph).
Winner's average speed 5000 cc, A. Momberger: 85.10 km/h (52.88 mph).
Winner's average speed: 2000 cc, C. Werner: 92.34 km/h (57.38 mph).
Winner's average speed 1500 cc, J. Müller: 83.12 km/h (51.65 mph).
Weather: cold and windy; rain before a wet start.
Results, Group 4 and 5
|1.||41||Jules von Krohn||J. von Krohn||Amilcar||1.1||S-4||12||5h14m25.3s|
|2.||34||Franziska Lüning||Frau F. Lüning||Fiat||509||1.0||S-4||12||5h31m10.4s|| + 16m45.1s|
|3.||62||Hellmuth Butenuth||H. Butenuth||Hanomag||0.5||S-1||12||5h36m19.4s|| + 21m54.1s|
|DNF||56||Hermann Friedrich||H. Friedrich||Pluto||1.1||S-4||11||5h21m29.1s|
|DNF||63||Wilhelm Höpfner||W. Hoepfner||Hanomag||0.5||S-1|| 4||1h46m29.4s||crash|
|DNF||64||Karl Wery||K. Wery||Hanomag||0.5||S-1|| 2||1h25m38.2s||crash|
|DNF||32||Alfred Mederer||A. Mederer||Pluto||1.1||S-4||1||22m36.3s||engine|
|DNF||42||W. Hamel||W. Hamel||Opel||1.1||S-4||1||24m22.4s||punctures|
Fastest lap 1100 cc: Franziska Lüning (Fiat) on lap 8 in 21m54.2s = 77.43 km/h (48.11 mph).|
Fastest lap 500 cc: Hellmuth Butenuth (Hanomag) on lap 3 in 25m21.1s = 66.90 km/h (41.57 mph).
Winner's average speed 1100 cc, L. von Krohn: 64.73 km/h (40.2 mph).
Winner's average speed 500 cc, H. Butenuth: 60.51 km/h (37.60 mph).
Weather: cold and windy; rain before a wet start.
The circuit length of the Nürburgring was in fact 28.265 km but the officials incorrectly used 28.4 km and 28.3 km to calculate average speeds. We have used the correct circuit length and rechecked
the average speeds making corrections when necessary.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
Der General Anzeiger für Elberfeld und Barmen, Wuppertal
Der Nürburgring, Adenau
Dürener Volkszeitung, Düren
Europa Motor, Wien
MOTOR und SPORT, Pössneck
Special thanks to:
CIRCUITO DI BOLOGNA
Circuito di Bologna - Bologna (I), 19 June 1927.
25 laps x 4.8 km (3.0 mi) = 120 km (74.6 mi)
Note: Race numbers 13 and 17 were not used because they were considered to be unlucky.
Zampieri, Cirio and Materassi are the class winners at Bologna
by Hans Etzrodt
A mix of 33 racecars appeared at the start for the Bologna Circuit race which was divided into three individual 120 km long races. The first race for class I, up to 1100 cc, had 10 cars at
the start. Zampieri (Amilcar) won easily ahead of Fagioli (Salmson) and Valpreda (Fiat). The seven retirements included Minozzi (Fiat) who at one time was third and Bianchi (Derby) who was
sixth. The second race for class II, up to 1500 cc, comprised 12 starters. Borzacchini (Bugatti) led the race from the start until two laps from the end when he retired. Cirio (Bugatti)
won the race, followed by the Maseratis of owner Ernesto and Testi. The Bugattis of Arrivabene and Valle finished fourth and fifth with Aymini (Chiribiri) last. Six drivers retired
including the fast Borzacchini. The class III cars over 1500 cc included 11 starters. Materassi and Nuvolari in Bugattis battled up to the fourth lap, when Nuvolari's car broke down.
Thereafter Materassi held the lead unchallenged until lap 12 when he stopped for a new tire, which gave Bona (Bugatti) the lead until lap 23 when Materassi caught up with him. He won the
race ahead of Bona, Sansoni and Alverà in Bugattis. Pugno (Bugatti) retired while in second place and De Sterlich (Maserati) withdrew under protest.
The Automobile Club di Bologna organized the Circuito di Bologna race for the first time. It was also called the Gran Premio Bologna and counted towards the newly introduced
Italian Automobile Championship, resulting in a total of 47 entries. This large number was split into three classes, up to 1100 cc, up to 1500 cc and over 1500 cc. In order to facilitate reliable
timekeeping and perfect signaling service, each class had their individual race. The Bologna circuit in the Margherita Gardens and its bordering area with 11 turns was 4800 meters in length.
Each class had to cover 25 laps or 120 km. Many spectator stands were provided for the crowds and enclosures were placed along the roads and most of the turns. The start was
inside the park at piazzale giardini Margherita then went clockwise along viale Regina, a right turn onto viale Margherita, followed by a long left turn onto via Castiglione, next a right turn
onto via Cappucini, another right onto via Panoramica with a left-right along via S. Mamolo and another right turn onto the long straight of viale Panzacchi changing name to viale Gozzadini,
followed by a sharp right turn into viale Giardini, next two left turns with the final right turn just before the finish at piazzale giardini Margherita.
Most of the better known Italian drivers entered the Bologna Circuit since the race counted towards the Italian Championship and a total of 33 cars appeared for the start. Borzacchini drove a
supercharged 4-cylinder 1500 Bugatti T37A, the same car Conelli had driven in the Targa Florio. Materassi was entered to drive the 1500 Maserati with race #25 and practiced with it as late as
Saturday. On the same day he quit the Maserati team and on Sunday drove a 2000 supercharged Bugatti. He kept the number 25 and painted it on the Bugatti. A complete list of the numerous
entries is given at the beginning of this report.
On the last day four late entries were added, but no race numbers had yet been assigned to them. Guidi (1100 Derby) was assigned #4, which had initially been given to Brivio (1100 Derby)
who did not appear. Laviosa (1500 Bugatti) was assigned #19, which had initially been given to Pino (1500 Bugatti) who did not appear. Arrivabene (1500 Bugatti) was assigned #26, which had
initially been given to Carlin (a fake name!) who did not appear. Gambetti (2000 Bugatti) had been assigned #48, but for the race his name was misspelled "Gauletti".
A large crowd had come to witness the races. In the first race for the 1100cc class the favorite for victory was Zampieri with the 6-cylinder Amilcar. The 10 drivers lined their cars up as follows:
At 10:08 AM the flag was lowered and the small cars were on their way. Valpreda took the lead at great speed. Just three minutes passed when the rumble of the engines at full speed could be heard
along the long straight between Porta d'Azeglio and Porta Santo Stefano. The wait was not long and the first lap ended with the Fiat of Valpreda first in 3m56s, averaging 73.230 km/h, followed by
Minozzi. On the second lap Zampieri attacked Minozzi and Valpreda and passed them both, while the positions of the others remained the same. Zampieri held the lead easily and kept it effortlessly
until the end. The first six cars were in the following order after 24 km or five laps:
After 48 km or 10 laps Zampieri was leading in 38m24.2s, followed by Valpreda in 38m40.4s, Fagioli (Salmson) in 39m00.6s and Bianchi (Derby). The battle became closer and closer but the order
remained unchanged with Zampieri, Valpreda and Fagioli in the first positions. On lap 14 Valpreda was still second, but then he had to surrender to Fagioli who had increased his pace chasing
after Zampieri. On lap 20 he drove with his swift Amilcar the fastest lap in his class in 3m35.0s at 80.372 km/h average speed. After 25 laps Zampieri passed first to the crowd's applause in
1h34m27s, followed by Fagioli just 7.2 seconds behind and Valpreda. The two Derbys of Bianchi and Guidi had fallen far behind with carburetor problems and were stopped by the officials.
Tarabusi's Citroën retired with Cozette supercharger failure.
Results Class up to 1100 cc
The second race for the 1500 class included nine Bugattis of which Cirio, Arrivabene and Borzacchini had supercharged engines. The Chiribiri and the two Maseratis also had superchargers.
Tonini was entered but was absent because he was ill. Materassi who was entered with a 1500 Maserati broke up with the team and instead raced a 2000 Bugatti in the top category. The cars
lined up for the start as follows:
At 12:02 PM the start was given with a flag for the 12 cars which were fighting closely for first position. But the fight was short-lived, as Borzacchini grabbed the lead on the first lap,
followed by Maserati. Borzacchini stayed in front when the leading cars were in the following order after 24 km or five laps:
|2.||E. Maserati (Maserati)||18m11.6s|
Borzacchini held onto the lead for the next five laps with clear superiority and the Maserati following with a slightly larger gap. The leading cars remained in the same order after 48 km
or 10 laps:
|2.||E. Maserati (Maserati)||36m13.0s
The order of the leading group did not change for the next ten laps but they were now further apart. On lap 15, Borzacchini made the fastest lap for his class in 3m27s at 83.478 km/h.
The leading group was in the following order after 96 km or 20 laps:
|2.||E. Maserati (Maserati)||1h11m26.6s|
At the end of lap 20, just past the finish line, Testi stopped at the pits to change a tire taking more than three minutes and losing his fourth place to Valle. The last five laps were
more exciting, completely changing the situation. The surprises began at the end on of lap 22, when Borzacchini, who had so far led in certain triumph, did not appear. It was learned that
he was forced to retire from an irreparable engine failure. Therefore, at the end of this lap Cirio appeared first at the finish line, followed by Maserati who stopped to change a tire,
losing a lot of time and giving Cirio a great advantage. Testi's Maserati passed the Bugattis of Valle and Arrivabene. During the last two laps Maserati chased Cirio, but the gap was too
large. Cirio finished the last lap without incident and crossed the finish line as the winner to the great applause of the crowd. Also applauded were Maserati, Testi, Arrivabene, Valle and Aymini.
Results - Category up to 1500 cc
|1.||18||Nino Cirio||G. Bellotti||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4||25||1h29m40.8s|| |
|2.||24||Ernesto Maserati||Officine A. Maserati||Maserati||26||1.5||S-8||25||1h32m44.0s|| + 3m03.2s|
|3.||29||Antonio Testi||A. Testi||Maserati||26||1.5||S-8||25||1h33m34.2s|| + 3m53.4s|
|4.||26||Antonio Arrivabene||A. Arrivabene||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4||25||1h35m04.4s|| + 5m23.6s|
|5.||22||Francesco Valle||F.Valle||Bugatti||T37||1.5||S-4||25||1h40m01.6s|| + 10m20.8s|
|6.||34||Giulio Aymini||G. Aymini||Chiribiri||Monza Corsa||1.5||S-4||25||1h41m46.2s|| + 12m05.4s|
|DNF||27||Baconin Borzacchini||B. Borzacchini||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4||22||engine|| |
|DNF||23||Giovanni Garavini||G. Garavini||Bugatti||T37||1.5||S-4|| ||flagged off|| |
|DNF||31||Guido Ciriaci||G. Ciriaci||Bugatti||T37||1.5||S-4|| || || |
|DNF||28||Borgatta||Borgatta||Bugatti||T37||1.5||S-4|| || || |
|DNF||19||Laviosa||Laviosa||Bugatti|| ||1.5||S-4|| || || |
|DNF||20||Cleto Nenzioni||C.Nenzioni||Bugatti||T37||1.5||S-4|| || || |
Fastest lap : Baconin Borzacchini (Bugatti) on lap 15 in 3m27s = 83.5 km/h (51.9 mph).|
Average speed of the winner: 80.3 km/h (49.9 mph).
The 11 cars over 1500 cc lined up for the start in four rows but the exact order of the cars was not clear due to the addition of Materassi's Bugatti with number 25. The starters consisted of the Bugattis #35 Pugno,
#36 Cappellini, #37 Nuvolari, #40 Caliri, #41 Bona, #42 Sansoni, #43 Stefanelli, # 46 Alverà, #48 Gambetti and #47 De Sterlich in a Maserati.
At 2:35 PM the cars of the class III were started. Nuvolari and Materassi immediately engaged in a furious duel and it was Materassi who was in front, before ending the first lap a few yards ahead of his opponent.
Materassi completed this lap in 3m21.4s, averaging 85,799 km/h. Materassi completed the second lap in 3m14.8s at an average speed of 88.706 km/h which stood as the lap record. On the third lap the positions were
unchanged, but on the following lap the Materassi-Nuvolari battle, which had sparked great excitement with the public, came to an end. At the Daini curve, Nuvolari was stranded due to the failure of his car. Materassi
remained in first place, now uncontested, with his followers some distance behind. The leading trio was in the following order after 24 km or five laps:
After 48 km a slight change occurred when Pugno lost his second place, elevating Bona and Sansoni. The leading trio was in the following order after ten laps:
Materassi dominated until lap12 when he had to stop for a new tire and dropped to fourth place. On lap 13 Bona was first, ahead of Sansoni, Pugno, Materassi, De Sterlich and Alverà. On lap 14 Pugno and Materassi
passed Sansoni and chased after Bona. On lap 15 Bona was still first in 53m55s, chased by Materassi in 54m04.4s who had passed Pugno in 54m10.4s. De Sterlich in his Maserati 2000 after a good start, retired at the
pits to protest against Sansoni who blocked him and would not let him pass. The pursuit of Materassi was exciting for the spectators as the distance to Bona diminished considerably. On lap 20 the interval was down to
7 seconds and on lap 21 only 3 seconds. By now, Bona could no longer withstand the massive pressure from Materassi, who on lap 22 passed him to loud applause from the crowd. Bona was second, while Pugno in third place
was forced to retire due to some failure on his car. Sansoni, who was one lap behind, inherited third place ahead of Alverà who had been lapped twice. Materassi finished first, greeted by the crowd with frantic
applause. The Bologna Prize of 50,000 lire was awarded to Materassi who completed the circuit in the shortest time and who had made the fastest lap.
Results - Category over 1500 cc
The General classification
|1.||25||Emilio Materassi||E. Materassi||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||25||1h27m23.0s|
|2.||18||Nino Cirio|| N. Cirio||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4||25||1h29m40.8s|| + 2m17.8s|
|3.||41||Gaspare Bona||G. Bona||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||25||1h29m50.0s|| + 2m27.0s|
|4.||42||Adolfo Sansoni||A. Sansoni||Bugatti||T35C||2.0||S-8||25||1h31m07.4s|| + 3m44.4s|
|5.||24||Ernesto Maserati||Officine A. Maserati||Maserati||26||1.5||S-8||25||1h32m44.0s|| + 5m21.0s|
|6.||29||Antonio Testi||A. Testi||Maserati||26||1.5||S-8||25||1h33m34.2s|| + 6m11.2s|
|7.||10||Alfonso Zampieri||A. Zampieri||Amilcar||S-6||1.1||S-6||25||1h34m27.0s|| + 7m04.0s|
|8.||1||Luigi Fagioli||L. Fagioli||Salmson||1.1||S-4||25||1h34m34.2s|| + 7m11.2s|
|9.||26||Antonio Arrivabene||A. Arrivabene||Bugatti||T37A||1.5||S-4||25||1h35m04.4s|| + 7m41.4s|
|10.||46||Ogniben Alverà||O. Alverà||Bugatti||T35A||2.0||S-8||25||1h35m52.0s|| + 8m29.0s|
|11.||5||Federico Valpreda||S.A. Fiat||Fiat||509SM s/c||1.0||S-4||25||1h36m02.6s|| + 8m39.6s|
|12. ||22||Francesco Valle||F.Valle||Bugatti||T37||1.5||S-4||25||1h40m01.6s|| + 12m38.6s|
|13.||34||Giulio Aymini||G. Aymini||Chiribiri||Monza Corsa||1.5||S-4||25||1h41m46.2s|| + 14m23.4s|
Fastest lap: Emilio Materassi (Bugatti) on lap 2 of third race, in 3m14.8s = 88.7 km/h (55.1 mph)|
Average speed of the winner: 82.4 km/h (51.2 mph)
Weather: sunny, dry
Classification of the Italian Championship after the Bologna Circuit: 1. Materassi with 5 points; 2. Nuvolari with 3 points; 3. Ex aequo Bona and Caliri even with 1 point.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
ACI - rivista, Torino
La Gazetta dello Sport, Milano
La Stampa, Torino
Special thanks to: