Logo



Campari (Alfa Romeo)Tonini (Maserati)Marano (Bugatti)

COPPA ACERBO

Pescara (I), 6 August 1927 (Saturday).
Over 1100 cc Classes: 20 laps x 25.5 km (15.85 mi) = 510 km (316.9 mi)
1100 cc Class: 16 laps x 25.5 km (15.85 mi) = 408 km (253.5 mi)


No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

Class over 1500 cc:
..Aymo MaggiA.MaggiBugattiT35C2.0S-8DNA - did not appear
..4Bruno PresentiB. PresentiAlfa RomeoRLTF 243.0S-6
6Gaspare BonaG. BonaBugattiT35B2.3S-8
..Tazio NuvolariT. NuvolariBugattiT35C2.0S-8DNA - did not appear
10Diego De SterlichD. De SterlichMaserati26B2.0S-8
..Ognibene AlveràO. AlveràBugattiT35C2.0S-8DNA - did not appear
..Alberto CappelliniA. CappelliniBugattiT35C2.0S-8DNA - did not appear
16Giuseppe CampariG. CampariAlfa RomeoP22.0S-8
..Antonio CaliriA. CaliriBugattiT352.0S-8DNA - did not appear
20Umberto PugnoU. PugnoBugattiT35B 2.3S-8
22Gaetano NapoleoneG. NapoleoneDiattoSpecialS-4
24Gastone Brilli PeriG. Brilli PeriBallotIndy 19194.9S-8
..Ugo CittadiniU. CittadiniSunbeam2.0S-6DNA - did not appear
28Emilio MaterassiE. MaterassiBugattiT35C2.0S-8
..XXX2.0S-8DNA - did not appear
 
Class between 1100 cc and 1500cc
..Camillo Guidelli GuidiC. GuidiBugattiT371.5S-4DNA - did not appear
..Cleto NenzioniC. NenzioniBugattiT371.5S-4DNA - did not appear
..Baconin BorzacchiniOfficine A. MaseratiMaserati261.5S-8DNA - did not appear
38Salvatore MaranoS. MaranoBugattiT37A1.5S-4
..Emilio RomanoE. RomanoBugattiT371.5S-4DNA - did not appear
42Guido CiriaciG. CiriaciBugattiT371.5S-4
..XXX1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
46Innocenzo CiriI. CiriBugattiT371.5S-4
48Antonio ArrivabeneA. ArrivabeneBugattiT37A1.5S-4
50Carlo BellottiC. BellottiBugattiT371.5S-4Nino Cirio reserve
52Carlo ToniniC. ToniniMaserati261.5S-8
..Raffaele TotiR. TotiXX1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
..Cesare PastoreC. PastoreBugattiT371.5S-4DNA - did not appear
58Luigi "Gigi" PlatèL. PlatèChiribiriMonza C1.5S-4
..Federico ValpredaF. ValpredaChiribiri1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
 
1100 cc Class:
62Giuseppe PegoraroG. PegoraroSalmsonGSS1.1S-4
64Luigi FagioliL. FagioliSalmsonGSS1.1S-4
..Filippo TassaraF. TassaraDerby1.1S-4DNA - did not appear
Note: drivers without race number have been placed randomly within their class


The triumphant comeback of Campari at the Coppa Acerbo

by Hans Etzrodt
The 17 starters at the Coppa Acerbo consisted of nine Bugattis, two Maseratis, two Alfa Romeos, two Salmsons, one Chiribiri and one Diatto Special. Campari (Alfa Romeo P2), surfaced in Italy for the first time from his retreat since Monza in 1925, but he had raced in July 1926 at the Freiburg speed trial. He led the Coppa Acerbo unchallenged from start to finish. Second place was held in turn by the Bugattis of Materassi, Bona and Pugno who all retired, leaving second place to Tonini's 1500 Maserati, who also won the 1500 class. The 1500 Bugattis of Marano, Ciri and Ciriaci finished next in that order. The two 1100 Salmsons of Fagioli and Pegoraro had to complete only 16 laps with the latter being the class winner. Of the ten retirements the Bugattis of Pugno and Bellotti ended in a crash.
The Automobile Club di Pescara held the 1927 Coppa Acerbo for the fourth time and the race was part of the Italian Championship. In 1924 Minister Giacomo Acerbo had named the race in honor of his brother Capitano Tito Acerbo, a decorated war hero, who was killed during the last year of WW I. The same triangular 25.5 km Pescara circuit was used, over 20 laps or 510 km for cars over 1100 cc and only 16 laps or 408 km for the 1100 cc class. The start was outside the seaside resort of Pescara, where the road went straight for about one kilometer along the shore. Before the town of Pescara the course made a wide right turn heading inland for about 11 km along a winding road up into the Abruzzi Mountains through the villages of Villa Raspa, Spoltore and Capelle. From here, the road led into the approximately 11 km long Montesilvano downhill straight to the coast where every car could reach its maximum speed. A fast right turn at Montesilvano railroad station led into the Lungo Mare straight along the coast and finally through a chicane to slow the cars just before start and finish.
Entries:
The Coppa Acerbo promoters expected a total of 33 cars according to their entry list but only 17 drivers, all independents, started in this national event. The class over 1500 cc comprised eight cars. The Diatto Special of Napoleone was unknown but supposedly was very fast, superior to the Bugatti, with an unknown engine. De Sterlich entered his 2000 supercharged 8-cylinder Maserati. Presenti raced a 1924 3000 cc 6-cylinder RLTF Alfa Romeo and Brilli Peri appeared with a 1919 Indianapolis Ballot. There were two 2300 supercharged 8-cylinder Bugattis for Bona and Pugno while Materassi had a 2000 supercharged 8-cylinder Bugatti.
      Campari arrived with his 8-cylinder, 2000 cc Alfa Romeo P2, which he had acquired in 1925 when Alfa Romeo closed their racing department. It was undoubtedly the fastest car present and appeared with the exhaust lowered to fit a spare wheel on the left side of the tail, since he would race the car a week later at
      Klausen Mountain climb event. Campari's last race had been Monza in 1925 where he finished second, but he had raced once in July 1926 at the Freiburg speed trial, and the 1927 Coppa Acerbo was the first race appearance in Italy after his long absence from racing. He lived up to his reputation; neither his style nor his combativeness had waned. His intention was once again to participate actively in major races, and he would be one of the toughest drivers with his own P2. He had asked and received assistance from the Alfa Romeo works, with Attillo Marinoni, Luigi Bazzi and a mechanic. So, his was actually a semi-official works entry.
      The 1500 class included seven cars, five Bugattis of Marano, Ciriaci, Ciri, Arrivabene and Bellotti with Cirio as relief driver, plus Tonini's fast Maserati and the Chiribiri of Platè. The 1100 cc class consisted of the two Salmsons of Fagioli and Pegoraro. A complete list of entries is shown at the beginning of this report.
Race:
On Sunday at 8:00 AM the stands were already crammed with spectators and there were crowds all along the circuit. Also present were Augusto Turati, the General Secretary of the race and Giacomo Acerbo, Silvio Crespi, president of the ACI, and many Fascist authorities. The starting area was cleared for the long awaited event when the 17 cars appeared to take their positions on the grid, arranged in numerical order. The large cars occupied the front rows followed by the smaller category at the rear. At 9:00 AM Turati and Baron Acerbo were at the start, assisting timekeeper engineer Teoli to start each class as a group with gaps of three minutes to the next one. The large cars were set to start at 9:10 AM.
Pole Position
10
De Sterlich

Maserati

6
Bona

Bugatti

4
Presenti

Alfa Romeo

22
Napoleone

Diatto

20
Pugno

Bugatti

16
Campari

Alfa Romeo

28
Materassi

Bugatti

24
Brilli Peri

Ballot

The 1500 cc class started at 9:13 AM
Pole Position
46
Ciri

Bugatti

42
Ciriaci

Bugatti

38
Marano

Bugatti

52
Tonini

Maserati

50
Bellotti

Bugatti

48
Arrivabene

Bugatti

58
Platé

Chiribiri

The 1100 cc class started at 9:16 AM
Pole Position
64
Fagioli

Salmson

62
Pegoraro

Salmson

When the large cars were started, the Bugattis of Bona and Pugno jumped into an immediate lead chased by Campari's fast Alfa Romeo. Next at 9:13 the 1500 cc class was started and the 1100 c cars three minutes later.
      At the end of the first lap, Campari passed after 13m52s followed 25 seconds later by Materassi, who stopped to change his spark plugs. Bona, Pugno and De Sterlich passed next, ahead of Napoleone, Tonini, Pecoraro and Fagioli. Tonini and Pecoraro were leading their respective categories. Meanwhile it was announced that Arrivabene was out of the race, Presenti had retired at Villa De Michele with a cooling problem and Brilli Peri had retired his Ballot at Montesilvano with magneto failure.
      Tonini held the lead in his class and would stay there until the end. The first laps of Campari were very quick and he set the fastest lap of the race on the third lap in 13m32.4s. On the fourth lap De Sterlich stopped for a long time at his pit. Bona stopped briefly at his pit on the next lap. After the first quarter of the race, Campari led at 118.871 km/h race average and his average lap time during the five laps was 13m43s with the field down to 14 cars and the times were as follows after 5 laps:
1.Campari (Alfa Romeo)1h08m38.0s
2.Bona (Bugatti)1h14m26.6s
3.Pugno (Bugatti)1h15m49.2s
4.Tonini (Maserati)1h20m58.6s
5.Materassi(Bugatti)1h21m51.0s
6.Ciriaci (Bugatti)1h22m20.4s
7.Ciri (Bugatti)1h24m03.4s1 lap behind
8.Marano (Bugatti)1h25m02.0s1 lap behind
9.Fagioli (Salmson)1h25m36.0s1 lap behind
10.Pegoraro (Salmson)1h25m48.4s1 lap behind
11.Bellotti (Bugatti)1h26m29.6s1 lap behind
12.Napoleone (Diatto)1h30m52.4s1 lap behind
13.Platé (Chiribiri)1h31m21.2s1 lap behind
14.De Sterlich (Maserati)1h38m16.0s2 laps behind

After the fifth lap Materassi retired at his pit with a cooling problem and Bellotti also stopped to have Cirio relieve him in the cockpit. Bona stopped for his first tire change of many more to follow. Napoleone and De Sterlich stopped on the circuit and the latter retired after lap eight with valve failure. Bona changed a blown tire on the road and on lap nine stopped at the pits to change brake shoes which made him lose his second place to Pugno. Tonini refueled his Maserati on the 10th lap but did not lose his lead in the 1500 class. Campari's pace was such that at mid race he had lapped everyone except Pugno in second place. His average race speed had slowed to 110.591 km/h and his average lap time during the last five laps was 13m56.6s with the field now down to 12 cars in the following order after 10 laps:
1.Campari (Alfa Romeo)2h18m20.8s
2.Pugno (Bugatti)2h30m22.2s
3.Bona (Bugatti)2h34m04.0s1 lap behind
4.Tonini (Maserati)2h39m46.0s1 lap behind
5.Cirio/Bellotti (Bugatti)2h43m28.6s1 lap behind
6.Ciriaci (Bugatti)2h44m47.0s1 lap behind
7.Ciri (Bugatti)2h45m54.0s1 lap behind
8.Pegoraro (Salmson)2h45m57.8s1 lap behind
9.Marano (Bugatti)2h46m19.0s2 laps behind
10.Fagioli (Salmson)2h48m55.2s2 laps behind
11.Platé (Chiribiri)3h01m24.0s3 laps behind
12.Napoleone (Diatto)3h09m38.0s3 laps behind

During the few laps when Cirio relieved the rookie Bellotti aboard his supercharged Bugatti, he regained three positions but had to stop with a burned foot. On the 12th lap Bellotti resumed the race taking over the cockpit again. After the brilliant conduct of his relief driver Cirio, Bellotti ended in a crash on lap 13 down the slope of Capelle. Fagioli had to stop on the circuit with engine trouble. Campari made a pit stop of about six minutes, calmly refueling and changing wheels. At three quarters of the race Campari had slowed down to 105.407 km/h race average and his average lap time during the last five laps was only 15m48s with the times as follows after 15 laps:
1.Campari (Alfa Romeo)3h37m21.4s
2.Pugno (Bugatti)3h44m56.4s
3.Bona (Bugatti)3h51m54.0s
4.Ciriaci (Bugatti)4h05m26.8s1 lap behind
5.Marano (Bugatti)4h08m10.2s1 lap behind
6.Ciri (Bugatti)no time2 laps behind
7.Pegoraro (Salmson)4h14m29.0s2 laps behind
8.Platé (Chiribiri)4h28m58.0s3 laps behind
9.Fagioli (Salmson)4h29m10.2s3 laps behind
10.Napoleone (Diatto)4h59m57.0s5 laps behind

Gigi Platé retired immediately after passing the finish line on lap 15. On lap 16 Pugno, who had firmly held second place, became victim of a serious accident at a Capelle curve, where he was severely injured. Pugno put the left front wheel over the edge of the track which gave way under the weight of the car, causing his car to tip over and fall fifteen meters. His mechanic emerged unscathed but Pugno was immediately brought to the Pescara hospital where his friend Dr. Ciro took care of him. His condition was serious, as he showed great pain and internal bleeding. (On the following day his condition had improved, though he was not yet out of danger. He was visited by all his team members and the authorities of Pescara. The doctors said that even after three days he would not be declared out of danger.)
      Consequently, Bona was again in second position and he stopped at the pits for precautionary reasons having a good lead over Tonini. Meanwhile, at the end of lap 16 Pegoraro and Fagioli completed the 408 km of their race. When Napoleon's Diatto retired on lap 17, there were only six cars left: Campari (Alfa Romeo), Bona (Bugatti), Tonini (Maserati), Marano (Bugatti), Ciri (Bugatti) and Ciriaci (Bugatti). Bona suffered six tire failures during the race. Nonetheless, he was in second place about half a lap behind Campari on lap 20 when he had to retire at Montesilvano with the carburetor sleeve broken, caused by a rebounding stone.
      During the last five laps Campari had slowed down to an average lap time of 16m03s and had lapped the entire field at least twice. After 20 laps Campari crossed the finish line as victor and the only finisher in the large car class. Campari was carried in triumph and was praised by Turati and Acerbo. He won the Coppa Acerbo, 50,000 lire, the gold medal from Mr. Mussolini for the fastest lap and from Turati for the first of the militia and the challenge trophy of the R.A.C.I. Sporting Commission. Carlo Tonini, winner of the 1500 cc class, won 20,000 lire and the silver medal of the military minister. Marano came second and received 8,000 and Ciri in third place received 3,000. Pegoraro won the 1100 cc class and received 15,000 lire and Fagioli in second place received 8,000.

Results


Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.16Giuseppe CampariG. CampariAlfa RomeoP22.0S-8204h53m36.6s
2.52Carlo ToniniC. ToniniMaserati261.5S-8205h26m14.0s + 32m37.4s
3.38Salvatore MaranoS. MaranoBugattiT37A1.5 S-4205h27m38.0s + 34m01.4s
4.46Innocenzo CiriI. Ciri BugattiT371.5 S-4205h29m15.0s + 35m38.4s
5.42Guido CiriaciG. CiriaciBugattiT371.5S-4205h38m41.2s + 45m04.6s
DNF.6Gaspara BonaG. BonaBugattiT35B2.3 S-819carburetor
DNF22Gaetano NapoleoneG. NapoleoneDiattoSpecialS-417
DNF58Luigi PlatèL. PlatèChiribiriMonza C1.5S-415mechanical 
DNF20Umberto PugnoU. PugnoBugattiT35B2.3S-815crash
DNF50C. Bellotti / Nino CirioC. BellottiBugattiT371.5S-412crash 
DNF10Diego de SterlichD. de SterlichMaserati26B2.0S-88valve
DNF28Emilio MaterassiE. MaterassiBugattiT35C2.0 S-85cooling problem
DNF24Gastone Brilli PeriG. Brilli PeriBallotIndy 19194.9S-80magneto
DNF4Bruno PresentiB. PresentiAlfa RomeoRLTF 243.0S-60cooling problem
DNF48Antonio ArrivabeneA. ArrivabeneBugattiT37A1.5S-40  
Fastest lap: Giuseppe Campari (Alfa Romeo) on lap 3 in 13m32.4s = 113.0 km/h (70.2 mph).
Fastest lap (1500cc): Nino Cirio (Bugatti) on lap 9 in 15m07.2s = 101.2 km/h (62.9 mph).
Winner's average speed: 104.2 km/h (64.8 mph
Winner's average speed (1500cc - Tonini): 93.8 km/h (58.3 mph).

Results of 1100 cc class

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.62Giuseppe PegoraroG. PegoraroSalmsonGSS1.1S-4164h32m05.8s 
2.64Luigi FagioliL. FagioliSalmsonGSS1.1S-4164h51m19.0s + 19m13.2s
Fastest lap 1100 cc: Luigi Fagioli (Salmson) on lap 2 in 16m20s = 93.7 km/h (58.2 mph).
Winner's average speed: 90.0 km/h (55.9 mph).
Weather: sunny and very hot.


Primary sources researched for this article:
ACI, Roma
AUTOMOBIL-REVUE, Bern
Automobil-Welt, Berlin
La Gazetta dello Sport, Milano
La Stampa, Torino
L'AUTO, Paris
L'Auto Italiana, Milano
L'Impero, Roma
R.A.C.I., Roma
Special thanks to:
Alessandro Silva
Signora Paola Masetta


Materassi (Bugatti)Marano (Bugatti)Borzacchini (Maserati)

COPPA MONTENERO

Montenero - Livorno (I), 14 August 1927.
10 laps x 22.5 km (14.0 mi) = 225 km (139.8 mi)


No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineRemarks

Class up to 1500 cc
1BorgattaBorgattaBugatti1.5S-4
2Salvatore MaranoS. MaranoBugattiT37A1.5S-4
3Filippo TassaraF. TassaraDerbyScap1.1S-4
4Raffaelo TotiR. TotiChiribiri12/161.5S-4
5Carlo GambettiC. GambettiBugatti1.5S-4
6Federico ValpredaF. ValpredaChiribiri12/161.5S-4
7Cesare PastoreC. PastoreBugattiT37A1.5S-4
8Antonio BrivioA. BrivioDerbyScap1.1S-4
9Cleto NenzioniC. NenzioniBugatti1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
10Giuseppe PecoraroG. PecoraroSalmson1.1S-4
11Baconin BorzacchiniOfficine Alfieri MaseratiMaserati261.5S-8
12Ettore FranchettiE. FranchettiMaserati261.5S-8
14Abele ClericiA. ClericiSalmson1.1S-4DNA - did not appear
15Alfonso ZampieriA. ZampieriAmilcarC61.1S-6
16Emilio RomanoE. RomanoBugattiT37A1.5S-4
18Clemente BiondettiC. BiondettiSalmson1.1S-4
19Francesco ValleF. ValleBugatti1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
20Carlo BellottiBellottiBugatti1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
21GuidettiGuidettiBugatti1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
 
Class between 1501 cc and 2000cc
22Dario Piolanti D. PiolantiOM665S2.0S-6
23Emilio MaterassiE. MaterassiBugattiT35C2.0S-8
24Antonio CaliriA. CaliriBugattiT352.0S-8
25Diego de SterlichDiego de SterlichMaserati26B2.0S-8
26Tazio NuvolariT. NuvolariBugattiT352.0S-8
27Franco CorteseF. CorteseItala64 Spl2.0S-6
28Alberto CappelliniA. CappelliniBugattiT352.0S-8
29Aymo MaggiA. MaggiBugatti2.0S-8DNA - did not appear
30Leo CoilbertL. CoilbertBugatti2.0S-8DNA - did not appear
 
Class over 2000cc
31Bruno PresentiB. PresentiAlfa RomeoRL3.0S-6
32Gino BertocciG. BertocciAlfa RomeoRL3.0S-6
Note: Race numbers 13 and 17 were not used because they were considered to be unlucky.


Materassi wins the Coppa Montenero for the third time

by Hans Etzrodt
A mix of 23 racecars appeared at the start of this minor event of the 225 km Coppa Montenero. Materassi in his 2000 Bugatti led the ten lap race from start to finish. Nuvolari (2000 Bugatti) and Cortese (2000 Itala) were unable to challenge him. Borzacchini (Maserati), Marano (Bugatti) and Valpreda (Chiribiri) were the fastest contenders in the 1500 class. Nuvolari and Borzacchini encountered problems and lost time which they were unable to recover. Materassi won the race for the third time in a row ahead of Marano, Borzacchini, Nuvolari, Cortese, Valpreda, Zampieri (Amilcar), Romano (Bugatti), Caliri (Bugatti), Piolanti (OM), Tassara (Derby), Bertocci (Alfa Romeo) and Gambetti (Bugatti) who was last in 13th place. There were ten retirements and no accidents.
The races on the Montenero Circuit near Livorno (Leghorn in English) had been held since September 25, 1921 when the sportsman Paolo Fabbrini launched an event to show that Livorno could organize a car race of some importance. Corrado Lotti with an Ansaldo was the first winner. The course was also called Circuito del Romito from 1922 onwards with the start in Ardenza di mare at the bridge Principe di Napoli - then along Via della Torre - Via del Pastore - Via del Littorale (Ardenza) - Underpass of the railway - Via di Montenero - Via del Castellaccio - Savolano - climbing up to Castellaccio - Via di Quercianella (the new road) - and then the descent to the sea at Romito - Via Littorale - Antigua Barrier (Marroccone) - Via Amerigo Vespucci - Via Duca Cosinio - Via dei Bagni - Viale Vittorio Emanuele II - to the finish at Ardenza di mare. The course remained unchanged and was considered difficult without being dangerous, and was full of natural beauty. The narrow road twisted through 164 curves with steep up and down slopes through the mountains and was a small replica of the Madonie in Sicily but considerably shorter and did not allow high speeds. Ten laps had to be driven around the 22.5 km circuit, a total of 225 km.
      L'Automobile Club Livorno held the 1927 Coppa Montenero for its seventh running, a race that counted towards the 1927 Italian Championship. The Coppa Montenero on August 14 was followed by the Coppa Ciano, a race for sports cars, on August 15, staged on the Circuito del Montenero. The cars were divided into three classes, up to 1500 cc, over 1501-2000 and over 2000. The overall winner would be presented with the Coppa Montenero, a challenge trophy and gift from the Mayor of Livorno. The prize money for each of the three classes was 20,000 lire, 10,000 for the first, 5,000 for second, 3,000 for third and 2,000 for fourth. A long list of special prizes included several trophies and gold medals.
Entries:
There was a break of eight days between the Coppa Acerbo and the Montenero Circuit, giving drivers and teams little time to prepare for the new battle. Most of the better known Italian drivers appeared for the Coppa Montenero since the race counted towards the Italian Championship and 30 numbered entries were received. Emilio Materassi was the favourite as double winner with an Itala in 1925 and 1926. Franco Cortese from Livorno drove one of the latest Itala 61 Sport. Nuvolari appeared with the Bugatti with which he won the Rome Grand Prix. The week before he had raced at the Coppa del Mare which was also held on the Montenero Circuit where he had fallen from his 350 cc Bianchi bike, damaging an arm. A week later he was still suffering from the injury but was allowed to race. A complete list of numbered entries is at the beginning of this report.
Race:
A large crowd had come to witness the outcome of the duel between Materassi and Nuvolari, the most famous drivers, plus many others. It was a hot day but the spectators were not at all troubled by the heat since a cool breeze was blowing from the sea to the shore where the stands were located. From 30 cars on the entry list, 23 lined up for the start. The following drivers did not appear: #9 Nenzioni (Bugatti), #14 Clerici (Salmson), #19 Valle (Bugatti), #20 Belotti (Bugatti), #21 Guidetti (Bugatti), #29 Maggi (Bugatti) and #30 Coilbert (Bugatti).
      Because the dusty dirt road circuit was rather narrow at some places and difficult for drivers to pass each other, as a safety precaution, the cars were started individually from a standing start with intervals of 30 seconds between each car and a two-minute interval between each class. However, the cars were not necessarily released at 30 seconds intervals, similar to the Targa Florio or Mugello starting procedures. This was because the start times had been determined beforehand according to their numbers and if particular cars did not appear at the start (e.g. #9), car number 10 was held to its predetermined time of departure. For instance -as per calculation- Pecoraro left 30 seconds after 9:04 AM because the #9 car did not appear.
      So, the regulations spelled out that each driver had to start at the time that was assigned to his car. At the assigned time the driver was considered as having started, and would begin to race from the assigned time until its completion of the entire distance. Starting in the order assigned by the official timekeeper, the time began to count which effected the classification for the driver. If a driver could not start, he would have to immediately move his car off the road past the starting line.
9:00´00"1BorgattaBugattiClass up to 1500cc
9:00´30"2MaranoBugatti
9:01´00"3TassaraDerby
9:01´30"4TotiChiribiri
9:02´00"5GambettiBugatti
9:02´30"6ValpredaChiribiri
9:03´00"7PastoreBugatti
9:03´30"8BrivioDerby
9:04´00"#9 Nenzioni (Bugatti) DNA
9:04´30"10PecoraroSalmson
9:05´00"11BorzacchiniMaserati
9:05´30"12FranchettiMaserati
9:06´00"#14 Clerici (Salmson) DNA
9:06´30"15ZampieriAmilcar
9:07´00"16RomanoBugatti
9:07´30"18BiondettiSalmson
9:08´00"#19 Valle (Bugatti) DNA
9:08´30"#20 Bellotti (Bugatti) DNA
9:09´00"#21 Guidetti (Bugatti) DNA
9:09´30"2 minute interval to next higher class
9:10´00"
9:10´30"
9:11´00"22PiolantiOMClass 1501 - 2000cc
9:11´30"23MaterassiBugatti
9:12´00"24CaliriBugatti
9:12´30"25de SterlichMaserati
9:13´00"26NuvolariBugatti
9:13´30"27CorteseItala
9:14´00"28CapelliniBugatti
9:14´30"#29 Maggi (Bugatti) DNA
9:15´00"#30 Coilbert (Bugatti) DNA
9:15´30"2 minute interval to next higher class
9:16´00"
9:16´30"
9:17´00"31PresentiAlfa RomeoClass over 2000cc
9:17´30"32BertocciAlfa Romeo
The cars lined up in a single row at the hairpin of Ardenza ready to take the start which was given at 9:00 AM by Ms. Maria Ciano, the daughter of the Minister of Communications, Count Costanzo Ciano di Cortelazzo. The 1500 class, which included 1100 cc cars, was released first. The seconds were counted down and Miss Maria Ciano lowered the traditional flag to send off the #1 Bugatti of Borgatta to applause from the crowd, and clouds of smoke and acrid odor from the exhaust. After 30 seconds Marano started and one after the other the 23 cars were started individually until Bertocci's Alfa Romeo was the last to leave. The enthusiastic crowd applauded the most prominent drivers as they were preparing for the start.

      After the first lap Materassi, who drove the race without a mechanic, finished at a record pace in 16m34.2s which beat last year's record. Nuvolari and Cortese were trying to keep up with Materassi but without success. Cortese was forced to stop for five minutes at his pit to change sparkplugs. Borzacchini made the fastest lap in his category at an average of 77.944 km. There was a ongoing struggle between Borzacchini and Marano. Brivio stopped at the pits to replace a tire and sparkplugs while Cappellini retired.

      After the second lap Materassi continued regularly at his very fast pace in the lead. Gambetti slowed his Bugatti heading for the pits with fouled spark plugs. Biondetti and De Sterlich followed him into the pits, while Romano stopped at the pits after losing power, Biondetti stopped to top up the radiator and Borgatta to change a wheel. It was rumored that Bertocci had stopped at a road junction with engine failure, but it must have been a minor problem since the Alfa Romeo appeared again. After this lap Presenti was forced to retire his Alfa Romeo having made the fastest lap in his category.

      After the third lap, Materassi had slowed his pace and was leading in 50m03s. The Florentino passed Borgatta who had started nine minutes ahead of him. Nuvolari was the only one who improved his lap time but had fallen 1m21s behind the leader and was 54 seconds ahead of the Maserati driven by Borzacchini who was followed by Marano and Valpreda. De Sterlich, who was slightly faster than Borzacchini, stopped at the pits where Ernesto Maserati relieved him in the cockpit. Brivio retired after three laps. The first five cars were in the following order at the end of the third lap:
1.Materassi (Bugatti)50m03s
2.Nuvolari (Bugatti)51m24s
3.Borzacchini (Maserati)52m18s
4.Marano (Bugatti)53m11s
5.Valpreda (Chiribiri)53m20s

On the fourth lap Materassi drove the fastest lap of the race in 16m34.0s at an average speed of 81.488 km/h. The success of Materassi was not questioned and he continued with no one challenging him. Nuvolari drove a good race but lost valuable time at the pits to change spark plugs and top up the radiator. He resumed quickly after three minutes. Cortese in the 2000 Itala finished the lap in 16m50.4s at an average speed of 80.919 km/h. Borzacchini completed the lap in 17m12.4s which was a new record for the 1500 category. Zampieri with the 1100 Amilcar passed the finish line and at the bend ran into a fence protecting the spectators. This happened without serious consequences and he proceeded in the race. After Borgatta retired there were still 19 cars in the field. As a result of his pit stop, Nuvolari had been overtaken by Borzacchini, but they were separated by only three seconds. The order of the leading trio was as follows after four laps:
1.Materassi (Bugatti)1h06m37s
2.Borzacchini (Maserati)1h09m31
3.Nuvolari (Bugatti)1h09m34s

On the fifth lap Valpreda who was just in front of Franchetti reached the grandstand with the tire completely detached from the rim. Borzacchini drove the fifth lap at 79.225 km/h while Brivio stopped again to change a wheel. Toti retired his Chiribiri with engine problems and was followed by the retirements of the two Maseratis driven by Franchetti and De Sterlich/Maserati.

      On the sixth lap Zampieri's stopped his Amilcar at the pits to change a wheel. Biondetti retired his Salmson, followed by Pecoraro who complained of problems and Pastore who retired his Bugatti with engine trouble. These retirements reduced the field to 14 cars.

      Materassi finished lap seven in 16m35.2s, only one second slower than his lap record while Cortese's time in the Itala was 16m57s. Borzacchini who held second place, had to stop at his pits with a puncture on his Maserati which allowed Marano's Bugatti into second position and first in the 1500 class. Without a further pit stop, Nuvolari had fallen to fourth. The exact position of Nuvolari and other drivers including individual times were poorly reported in the available sources.

      On lap eight, no changes in the order were reported.

      On the ninth lap Marano held on to his second position with a gap of 11m29s to the leader. Borzacchini followed just 14 seconds behind. The Maserati driver failed to reduce the gap. On the penultimate lap Biondetti retired his Salmson. The order was as follows after nine laps:
1.Materassi (Bugatti)2h30m32s
2.Marano (Bugatti)2h42m01s
3.Borzacchini (Maserati)2h42m15s
4.Nuvolari (Bugatti)

After ten laps the arrival of Materassi's Bugatti was received by the crowd with loud continuing applause. Marano finished 12m28.2s behind in second place, just 7.2 seconds ahead of Borzacchini, followed by Nuvolari, Cortese and Valpreda in sixth place. One lap behind the excellent Zampieri finished in seventh position with his 1100 Amilcar winning his class ahead of Tassara's Derby. Romano, Caliri, and Piolanti had also been lapped while Bertocci and Gambetti were two laps behind.

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.23Emilio MaterassiE. MaterassiBugattiT35C2.0S-8102h47m18.0s 
2.2Salvatore MaranoS. MaranoBugattiT37A1.5S-4102h59m46.2s + 12m28.2s
3.11Baconin BorzacchiniOfficine A. MaseratiMaserati261.5S-8102h59m53.4s + 12m35.4s
4.26Tazio NuvolariT. NuvolariBugattiT352.0S-8103h00m49.6s + 13m31.6s
5.27Franco CorteseF. CorteseItala64 Spl2.0S-6103h02m27.8s + 15m09.8s
6.6Federico ValpredaF. ValpredaChiribiri12/161.5S-4103h03m05.3s + 15m47.3s
7.15Alfonso ZampieriA. ZampieriAmilcarS-61.1S-6103h08m47.0s + 21m29.0s
8.16Emilio RomanoE. RomanoBugattiT37A1.5S-4103h10m54.6s + 23m36.6s
9.24Antonio CaliriA. CaliriBugattiT352.0S-8103h13m08.0s + 25m50.0s
10.22Dario PiolantiD. Piolanti OM665S2.0S-6103h14m11.8s + 26m53.8s
11.3Filippo TassaraF. TassaraDerbyScap1.1103h18m10.0s + 30m52.0s
12.32Gino BertocciG. BertocciAlfa RomeoRL3.0S-6103h26m00.0s + 38m42.0s
13.5Carlo GambettiC. GambettiBugatti1.5S-4103h26m03.4s + 38m45.4s
DNF18Clemente BiondettiC. BiondettiSalmson1.1S-48  
DNF10Giuseppe PecoraroG. PecoraroSalmsonGGS1.1S-45  
DNF25D. de Sterlich/E. MaseratiD. de SterlichMaserati26B2.0S-85  
DNF7Cesare PastoreC. PastoreBugattiT37A1.5S-45engine 
DNF12Ettore FranchettiE. FranchettiMaserati261.5S-85  
DNF5Raffaele TotiR. TotiChiribiri12/161.5S-45engine 
DNF1BorgattaBorgattaBugatti1.5S-44  
DNF8Antonio BrivioA. BrivioDerbyScap1.13  
DNF31Bruno PresentiB. PresentiAlfa RomeoRL3.0S-62
DNF28Alberto CappelliniA. CappelliniBugattiT352.0S-80  
Fastest lap over 2000 cc: Bruno Presenti (Alfa Romeo) on lap 2 in 18m08.4s = 74.4 km/h (46.2 mph).
Fastest lap 2000 cc: Emilio Materassi (Bugatti) on lap 4 in 16m34.0s = 81.5 km/h (50.6 mph).
Fastest lap 1500 cc: Baconin Borzacchini (Maserati) on lap 6 in 17m02.4s = 79.2 km/h (49.2 mph).
Average speed of the over 2000 cc winner: Gino Bertocci (Alfa Romeo) at 65.5 km/h (40.7 mph).
Average speed of the 2000 cc winner: Emilio Materassi (Bugatti) at 80.7 km/h (50.1 mph).
Average speed of the 1500 cc winner: Salvatore Marano (Bugatti) at 75.1 km/h (46.7 mph).
Average speed of the 1100 cc winner: Alfonso Zampieri (Amilcar) at 71.5 km/h (44.4 mph).
Weather: sunny, dry.

Primary sources researched for this article:
ACI - rivista, Torino
IL Telegrafo, Livorno
La Gazetta dello Sport, Milano
La Stampa, Torino
L'Auto Italiana, Milano
Manifestazioni de Automobile Club Livorno
RACI - Settimanale, Roma
Special thanks to:
Signora Paola Masetta


Euston (Bugatti)Casse (Salmson)Jennky (Bugatti)

LA BAULE GRAND PRIX

La Baule (F), 25 August 1927 (Thursday).
20 laps x 5 km (3.1 mi) = 100 km (62.1 mi)


No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

Race cars:
Georges CasseG. CasseSalmsonGP1.1S-4
Pierre GoutteP. GoutteSalmsonGP1.1S-4
WolberWolberAmilcarside valve1.1S-4
HardouinHardouinBNC5271.1S-4
NásseryNásseryRally1.1S-4
De BéjarryDe BéjarrySalmson1.1S-4
ValentiniValentiniBNC-SCAP5271.1S-4
René MarieR. MarieDonnet1.1S-4
Edmond BourlierAutomobiles DelageDelage- DH10.6V-12
Antoine PatissonA. PattisonFordAntoine3.0S-4
George EystonG.E.T. EystonBugattiT35B2.3S-8
Jannine JennkyMme J. JennkyBugattiT352.0S-8
Edmond BourlierAutomobiles DelageDelage 15 S 8 19271.5S-8
 
Sport cars:
TurenneTurenneAmilcarside valve1.1S-4
GrégoireGrégoireTracta1.1S-4
Ernst Günther v.Wentzel-MosauBaron v.Wentzel-MosauMercedes-BenzSS7.3S-6
Jacques PollackJ. PollackPanhard-Levassor5.0S-6
De VaulxDe VaulxDelage3.0S-6
BeausoleilBeausoleilGeorges Irat2.0S-4
TréhuTréhuChenard-Walcker1.5S-4
 
Touring cars:
José ScaronJ. ScaronAmilcar1.1S-6
PatronPatronDarmont- Blackburne1.1S-4
EckEckTalbot5.0S-6
Charlotte VersignyMme C. VersignyTalbot2.0S-4
BustrosBustrosTalbot2.0S-4
Lucy O'Reilly-SchellMme L. O'Reilly-SchellBugattiT401.5S-4
LehmannLehmannBugattiT401.5S-4
De CostierDe CostierBugattiT401.5S-4
PalisPalisBugattiT401.5S-4
TemandTemandBugattiT401.5S-4
 


George Eyston wins at La Baule with his Bugatti

by Hans Etzrodt
At the fourth Grand Prix Automobile de La Baule, a minor international event, there were 25 starters, a mix of racecars, sports and touring cars, racing along La Baule's wide beach at low tide. On the day before the Grand Prix, a Flying Kilometer speed trial was won by Bourlier with the 12-cylinder 10.6-liter Delage at 202.247 km/h. Most of the 28 cars that took part, started the following day in the 100 km race, which was also led by Bourlier but in an 8-cylinder 1500 Delage Grand Prix car. Until the twelfth lap, he battled Eyston's 2300 Bugatti, who then took the lead and won the race while Bourlier retired. Casse (1100 Salmson) finished second ahead of Mme. Jennky (2000 Bugatti), Goutte (1100 Salmson) and Valentini (1100 BNC) followed by nine slower cars. 11 cars retired including stragglers who had to leave the beach for the mainland before the high tide arrived.
The race at the beach of La Baule was first held in 1924 and was won by Maurice Benoist (E.H.P.), averaging 98.135 km/h. In 1925, the winner was Béjot (Bugatti) at an average of 111.262 km/h and in 1926 Wagner (Delage) won at an average of 123.583 km/h. The record lap was made by Roland Coty (Coty) in 2m12.2s at an average of 136.157 km/h. The 1927 race was the fourth Grand Prix Automobile de La Baule, organized by the Automobil Club de l'Ouest with assistance of Phare de la Loire (the Lighthouse of the Loire). The race meeting was open to constructors and owners of motorcycles, sidecars, cyclecars and automobiles. The 5 km long beach course comprised two parallel 2.5 km straights, joined at each end by hairpin bends. The drivers had to complete 20 laps, a total of 100 km. The terrain conditions for the race were ideal since it took place on the very flat and hard beach, at low tide, allowing very high speeds on both 2.5 km straights.
      On Tuesday, August 23, the cars for the La Baule Flying Kilometer speed trial were weighed and checked by the AC Ouest officials and good performances were expected. The event brought together an imposing number of cars of all displacements and makes, among them the fastest cars at the time and was endowed with beautiful prizes, cash and works of art.
      On Wednesday, the day before the main event, the speed trial started at 9:45 in the morning. The timing was done over one kilometer with a flying start with one run in each direction with the resultant average time. A total of 28 cars participated, also some motorcycles not shown here. The fastest car was the large 280 hp V-12 Delage with 10.6-liter engine driven by Bourlier. He sprinted through the Kilometer in 17.8 seconds at 202.847 km/h. For the first time after the war an entry from a German driver was made by Baron Günther von Wentzel-Mosau, who was seventh fastest in 23.4s at 153.846 km/h average speed with his Mercedes-Benz SS. But the fastest sports car was driven by Jacques Pollak in the 5-liter Panhard-Levassor with slide-valve engine at 155.844 km/h. Jacques Pollak won the Bretons Cup, presented to the fastest sports car at the km speed trial, while José Scaron with the 1100 cc touring car received the second Bretons Cup for reaching 102.564 km/h.
      Valentini (1100 BNC) and René Marie (1100 Donnet) did not take part in the speed trial, but both raced in the 100 km race.

La Baule speed trial with flying start over 1.0 km, average time and speed of two runs.

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineTimeSpeed

1.Edmond BourlierAutomobiles DelageDelage- DH10.6V-1217.8s202.247 km/h
2.Edmond BourlierAutomobiles DelageDelage15 S 8 19271.5S-819.9s180.904 km/h
3.Pierre GoutteP. GoutteSalmsonGP1.1S-420.3s176.211 km/h
4.George EystonG.E.T. EystonBugattiT35B2.3S-820.6s174.757 km/h
5.Georges CasseG. CasseSalmsonGP1.1S-422s163.636 km/h
6.Jacques PollackJ. PollackPanhard-Levassor5.0S-623.1155.844 km/h
7.Ernst G. v. Wentzel-MosauBaron v. Wentzel-MosauMercedes-BenzSS7.3S-623.4s153.846 km/h
8.Antoine PatissonA. PattisonFordAntoine3.0S-427s133.333 km/h
9.Jannine JennkyMme J. JennkyBugattiT352.0S-827.4s131.386 km/h
10.PatronPatronDarmontspécial1.1S-427.9s129.032 km/h
11.GrégoireGrégoireTracta1.1S-430s120.000 km/h
12.WolberWolberAmilcar1.1S-432.4s110.769 km/h
13.EckEckTalbot5.0S-632.8s109.756 km/h
14.HardouinHardouinBNC5271.1S-434.3s105.956 km/h
15.BustrosBustrosTalbot2.0S-434.4s104.347 km/h
16.José ScaronJ. ScaronAmilcar1.1S-635.1s102.564 km/h
17.BeausoleilBeausoleilGeorges Irat2.0S-435.1s102.564 km/h
18.NásseryNásseryRally1.1S-435.9s100.278 km/h
19.De BéjarryDe BéjarrySalmson1.1S-436.6s  98.360 km/h
20.Charlotte VersignyMme C. VersignyTalbot2.0S-437s  97.297 km/h
21.De VauxDe VauxDelage3.0S-637.1s  97.035 km/h
22.De CostierDe CostierBugattiT40 1.5S-437.2s  96.774 km/h
23.LehmannLehmannBugattiT401.5S-437.7s  95.490 km/h
24.PalisPalisBugattiT401.5S-438.1s  94.448 km/h
25.TurenneTurenneAmilcar1.1S-438.7s  93.023 km/h
26.Lucy O'Reilly-SchellMme L. O'Reilly-SchellBugattiT40 1.5S-439.3s  91.603 km/h
27.TréhuTréhuChenard-Walcker1.5S-441.3s  87.167 km/h
28.TemandTemandBugattiT401.5S-448.2s  74.680 km/h

race = Race car       sports = Sports car       touring = Touring car
Entries:
A list of 30 entries (motorbikes and sidecars not included) is shown at the beginning of this report; 25 of those cars took part in the 100 km race but except the first 15 cars it is not known which of the other entries competed. Therefore all cars on the entry list are shown in the race results. (Possible non-starters included Hordouin (BNC), Nássery (Rally), De Béjarry (Salmson) and Grégoire (Tracta). The starting grid and race numbers are also unknown.
Race:
On Thursday, the 100 km Grand Prix de la Baule was held. The 25 entries were divided into two categories, up to 1100 cc and those over 1100 cc. The start took place in front of the Casino and one turn was at the Avenue de Provence, the other in front of the Hermitage Hotel.
      The 20-lap race started at 10:15 and was, at least until the twelfth lap, a match between the 1500 Delage of Bourlier in first place and the 2.3-liter Bugatti of Eyston, who followed consistently 30 seconds behind. But Bourlier had to change his spark plugs twice and eventually gave up. Eyston took the lead after lap 12 and Bourlier retired on lap 14. Casse in the 1100 Salmson took second place, followed less than a minute later by Mrs. Jennky with a 2-liter Bugatti. There were 14 finishers. The rising tide left no option for the laggards but to head for solid mainland, which was also a practical and irresistible method of getting the cars off the beach and finishing the meeting.
      Eyston won the Hermitage Cup, assigned to the category over 1100 cc. Casse with the Salmson won the Golf Cup of La Baule for 1100 cc cars. In addition, Eyston won the Casino Cup, which was presented to the driver who made the best time of the race.

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.George EystonG.E.T. EystonBugattiT35B2.3S-82050m03.6s
2.Georges CasseG. CasseSalmsonGP1.1S-42055m51.6s + 5m48.0s
3.Jannine JennkyMme J. JennkyBugattiT352.0S-82056m22.2s + 6m18.6s
4.Pierre GoutteP. GoutteSalmsonGP1.1S-42056m57.8s + 6m54.2s
5.ValentiniValentiniBNC5271.1S-42057m56.2s + 7m52.6w
6.René MarieR. MarieDonnet1098cc1.1S-4201h10m25.8s + 20m22.2s
7.Antoine PatissonA. PattisonFordAntoine 3.0S-4201h12m04.2s + 22m06.0s
8.José ScaronJ. ScaronAmilcar1.1S-6201h14m15.4s + 24m11.8s
9.TurenneTurenneAmilcar1.1S-4201h15m21.6s + 25m18.0s
10.PatronPatronDarmontspécial1.1S-4201h22m00.6s + 31m57.0s
11.WolberWolberAmilcar1.1S-4201h24m48.2s + 34m44.6s
12.Lucy O'Reilly-SchellMme L. O'Reilly-SchellBugattiT40 1.5S-4201h24m58.2s + 34m54.6s
13.TréhuTréhuChenard-Walcker1.5S-4201h30m47.2s + 40m43.6s
14.Charlotte VersignyMme C. VersignyTalbot2.0S-420  
DNFEdmond BourlierAutomobiles DelageDelage 15 S 8 19271.5S-813
DNFHardouinHardouinBNC5271.1S-4
DNFNásseryNásseryRally1.1S-4
DNFDe BéjarryDe BéjarrySalmson1.1S-4
DNFGrégoireGrégoireTracta1.1S-4   
DNFBeausoleilBeausoleilGeorges Irat2.0S-4   
DNFDe VaulxDe VaulxDelage3.0S-6   
DNFJacques PollackJ. PollackPanhard-Levassor5.0S-6   
DNFErnst G. v. Wentzel-MosauBaron v. Wentzel-MosauMercedes-BenzSS7.3S-6   
DNFLehmannLehmannBugattiT401.5S-4   
DNFDe CostierDe CostierBugattiT401.5S-4   
DNFPalisPalisBugattiT401.5S-4   
DNFTemandTemandBugattiT401.5S-4   
DNFEckEckTalbot5.0S-6   
DNFBustrosBustrosTalbot2.0S-4   

race = Race car       sports = Sports car       touring = Touring car

Fastest lap: George Eyston (Bugati) on lap 2 in 2m19.0s = 129.5 km/h (80.5 mph).
Overall winner's average speed: G. Eyston (Bugatti): 119.9 km/h (74.5 mph).
1100 cc winner's average speed: G. Casse (Salmson): 107.4 km/h (66.7 mph).
Weather: sunny, warm

Primary sources researched for this article:
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
AUTOMOBIL-REVUE, Bern
Automobil-Welt, Berlin
L'Auto, Paris
Le Figaro, Paris
Le Matin, Paris
L'Ouest-Éclair, Rennes
Omnia, Paris


Bordino (Fiat)Campari (Alfa Romeo)Maggi (Bugatti)

GRAN PREMIO MILANO

Autodromo di Monza, A-circuit (I), 4 September 1927.
4 heats of 5 laps x 10.0 km (6.21 mi) = 50.0 km (31.1 mi)
Final: 5 laps x 10.0 km (6.21 mi) = 50.0 km (31.1 mi)



No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

1Abele ClericiA. ClericiSalmson1.1
2Peter KreisCooper Engineering Co.Cooper-MillerSpecial1.5S-8DNQ - did not qualify
3XXAmilcar1.1DNA - did not appear
4Robert BenoistAutomobiles DelageDelage 15 S 8 19271.5S-8DNS - did not start
5Lionel LipmanL. LipmanSalmson1.1S-4
6Alfonso ZampieriA. ZampieriAmilcar1.1S-6
6Nando MinoiaOfficine Mecchaniche SAOM8C GP1.5S-8 DNS - did not start
7Guy d'HavrincourtG. d'HavrincourtSalmson1.1
8George SoudersDuesenberg Motor Co.DuesenbergSpecial1.5S-8DNS - did not start
9Jacques SenjacqJ. SenjacqBNC5271.1S-4
10Earl CooperCooper Engineering Co.Cooper-MillerSpecial1.5S-8DNQ - did not qualify
11Guido CiriaciG. CiriaciBugattiT371.5S-4DNA - did not appear
12Giovanni (Nino) CirioC. BellottiBugattiT37A1.5S-4
12Giuseppe MorandiOfficine Mecchaniche SAOM8C GP1.5S-8DNQ - did not qualify
14Roberto SerboliR. SerboliChiribiri12/161.5S-4
15Pietro BordinoFiat SpAFiat8061.52x6
16Carlo BellottiC. BellottiBugattiT37A1.5S-4car was driven by #12 Cirio
18Antonio ArrivabeneA.ArrivabeneBugattiT37A1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
21VaccariVaccariBugatti2.0S-8DNA - did not appear
22Gaspare BonaG. BonaBugattiT35C2.0S-8
23Onigben AlveràO.AlveràBugattiT35A2.0S-8
24Aymo MaggiA. MaggiBugattiT35C2.0S-8
25Giuseppe CampariG. CampariAlfa RomeoP22.0S-8
26Eduard ProbstE. ProbstBugattiT35C2.0S-8
27Carlo RostiC. RostiBugattiT35C2.0S-8
28Filippo TassaraF. TassaraDerby1.1S-4DNA - did not appear
29Antonio BrivioA. BrivioDerby1.1S-4DNA - did not appear
30Pina ContiG.ContiDerby1.1S-4DNA - did not appear
31Emilio MaterassiE. MaterassiBugattiT35C2.0S-8
32Tazio NuvolariScuderia NuvolariBugattiT35C2.0S-8
Note: Race numbers 13 and 17 were considered unlucky numbers, while number 19 and 20 were also not used.


Bordino wins the Milan Grand Prix with the new Fiat

by Hans Etzrodt
The 1927 Milan Grand Prix at Monza is noteworthy for the one and only appearance of the 12-cylinder 1500 Fiat. This new car won its first race with the Italian ace Pietro Bordino at the wheel. The Milan Grand Prix was the supporting race for the important 500 km European Grand Prix which took place on the same day. The Milan Grand Prix comprised four 50 km elimination races, where the first three finishers of each heat qualified for the Final. All races were held throughout intermittent rain showers. The first elimination race for 1100 cc cars was won by Zampieri (Amilcar). Bordino (Fiat) won the 1500 cc race while Maggi (Bugatti) won the 2000 cc event. After these preliminaries the European Grand Prix took place over 500 km, where the result after the first five laps also counted as a qualification for the Milan Grand Prix Final, which was also over 50 km. Cirio crashed on lap two and was injured when his car left the track. Bordino (Fiat) won the race ahead of Campari (Alfa Romeo), Maggi (Bugatti), Zampieri (Amilcar) and Clerici and Lipman in Salmsons. Materassi and Cirio in Bugattis retired as did Kreis in Earl Cooper's Miller. Nuvolari (Bugatti) also retired in his elimination race.
Two races were held on the same day on the Monza Circuit, the European Grand Prix as the main event, and the supporting Gran Premio Milano, which consisted of four 50 km elimination races and a 50 km Final.
      The Commissione Sportiva des RACI and the Società Autodromo di Monza was in charge of carrying out the organization under the supervision of Arturo Mercanti, the Director of the Società who also was President of the Milan AC.
      The first Heat for 1100 cc cars was scheduled for 9:00 AM to be followed at 10:00 AM by the second Heat for 1500 and 2000 cc cars. At 11:00 AM saw the start of the European Grand Prix over 500 km, of which the first five laps, equal to 50 km, counted as an additional qualifying event for the 50 km Final of the Milan Grand Prix, which was started at 4:00 PM to finalize the day's activities.
Entries:
The European Grand Prix included three Americans, Souders that year's winner of the Indianapolis 500 with his Duesenberg, and Cooper and Kreis with front-wheel-drive Millers. All were potential entries for the Milan Grand Prix.
      After a break of several years, Fiat entered their new 1500 cc car with a 12-cylinder supercharged engine, which was the sensation of this event and the dark horse for the race. During early tests at Monza Bordino and Salamano had reached fantastic speeds, however suddenly Fiat withdrew their entry from the 500 km European Grand Prix, supposedly due to tire problems. However it was assumed that the new Fiat racecars were not yet ready and eventually the factory entered only the car which they had tested before at the 50 km Milan Grand Prix.
      The victorious Delage of Benoist was not entered in the Milan Grand Prix to the common disappointment of many. The French cars were evenly matched with the Fiat which had achieved slightly faster times but had done so only over shorter distances. The OM 8-cylinder racecar from the European Grand Prix driven by Minoia was also not entered for this 50 km sprint race after having just completed the 500 km endurance event. A complete list of entries showing many of the great Italian drivers is arranged at the beginning of this report.
Heat 1:
After an entire month of beautiful weather, it began to rain on Saturday before the race. When spectators arrived on Sunday early in the morning it rained and continued to do so until near the end of the race. Despite the bad weather about 50,000 spectators came to watch these popular races.
      The 1100 cc cars started at 9:00 AM. From nine entries only five appeared: Clerici, Lipman and d'Havrincourt in Salmsons, Zampieri's red Amilcar and the BNC of Seujacq. They lined up as follows:
Pole Position
7
d'Havrincourt

Salmson

6
Zampieri

Amilcar

5
Lipman

Salmson

1
Clerici

Salmson

9
Senjacq

BNC

When Felice Nazzaro waved the starting flag it was raining. Clerici's Salmson took the lead, while Zampieri in his fast Amilcar was delayed and lost a few seconds. But after half a lap, when the cars returned to the grandstands, the Amilcar champion had recovered from his initial disadvantage and taken the lead. During the first lap at the Lesmo turn, the Salmson of Frenchman d'Havrincourt slid off the track without any serious consequences though he had to retire.
      Zampieri maintained the lead and pulled away from the small field. His Amilcar and Clerici's Salmson were much faster than the other three opponents. On the third lap the fourth placed Senjacp reached the pits slowly and retired his BNC with engine trouble. Zampieri gained progressively on his opponents until he had an advantage of around half a lap over Clerici after five laps. Clerici, whose Salmson misfired followed in second place with Lipman third.


Results (Heat 1)

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.6Alfonso ZampieriA. ZampieriAmilcar1.1S-6524m24.6s
2.1Abele ClericiA. ClericiSalmson1.1526m02.0s+ 1m37.4s
3.5Lionel LipmanL. LipmanSalmson1.1527m19.0s+ 2m54.4s

DNF9Jacques SenjacqJ. SenjacqBNC5271.1S42engine
DNF7Guy d'HavrincourtG. d'HavrincourtSalmson1.10crash
Fastest lap: Alfonso Zampieri (Amilcar) on lap 5 in 4m42.2s = 127.6 km/h (79.3 mph).
Winner's medium speed: 122.9 km/h (76.4 mph).
Weather: overcast


Heats 2 and 3:
While waiting for the start of the 1500 and 2000 cc elimination heat, it was announced that Bordino would be allowed some test laps. When the famous ace from Turin appeared on the track, he was received with great applause from the spectators in the grandstands crowd. Bordino made two fast laps then stopped at the pits. In the meantime some other competitors, taking advantage of the permission granted to the Turin driver, also completed a few laps.
      The second race for 1500 and 2000 cc cars was scheduled to start at 10:00 AM with both categories racing simultaneously. For safety reasons, at the last minute, the General Commissioner Arturo Mercanti ordered a gap of two minutes to be placed between the starts of the two categories. From the six 1500 cc entries only three started: Bordino (Fiat), Serboli (Chiribiri) and Cirio (Bugatti) while from the nine 2000 cc entries all but one appeared: Campari (Alfa Romeo) and the seven Bugattis of Bona, Alverà, Maggi, Probst, Rosti, Materassi and Nuvolari. The 1500 cc cars lined up as follows:
Pole Position
15
Bordino

Fiat

14
Serboli

Chiribiri

12
Cirio

Bugatti


After a two minute interval the 2000 cc category lined up, ready for the start.

Pole Position
25
Campari

Alfa Romeo

24
Maggi

Bugatti

23
Alverà

Bugatti

22
Bona

Bugatti

32
Nuvolari

Bugatti

31
Materassi

Bugatti

27
Rosti

Bugatti

26
Probst

Bugatti

At 10:10 AM Felice Nazzaro once again lowered the flag and Bordino took the immediate lead while the rain continued to fall. Bordino had no difficulty beating his two opponents in much slower cars. At the exit of the curve of the track, the Turin champion's car was sliding, but he controlled the Fiat into the straight line. At the end of the first lap, Bordino led by about 600 meters from Cirio, with a further gap to Serboli's Chiribiri. After three laps Bordino was about half a lap ahead of Cirio. Bordino won the race after 20m04s, 2m51s ahead of Cirio's Bugatti and 3m54.8s ahead of Serboli's Chiribiri.
      At the start of the 2000 cc category, Maggi took the lead closely followed by Campari and Bona. Next Materassi passed Bona and went after Campari. On lap two Maggi drove the fastest lap of his category in 3m59.8s. On lap three Maggi was still ahead of Campari who was now threatened by Materassi while Nuvolari retired on the third lap with an engine problem. The cars were leaving behind them a heavy spray of rain water thrown up by the wheels. In this condition the track was dangerous and hardly any records were expected to be lowered.
      On lap four Materassi managed to pass Campari for second place and approached Maggi, but the Milanese driver defended his lead. On lap five, Campari was able to repass Materassi. While Bordino won the 1500 category, Maggi was able to stay ahead of Campari, who had Materassi right behind him. Alverà reached the finish after the maximum allowable time and did not classify. Bordino in the 1500 Fiat had been faster than Maggi's Bugatti, the winner of the 2000 cc category.


Results (Heat 2)

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.15Pietro BordinoFiat SpAFiat8061.52x6520m04.0s
2.12Giovanni (Nino) CirioC. BellottiBugattiT37A1.5S-4522m55.0s+ 2m51.0s
3.14Roberto SerboliR. SerboliChiribiri12/161.5S-4523m58.8s+ 3m54.8s
Fastest lap: Pietro Bordino (Fiat) on lap 5 in 3m55.4s at 152.9 km/h (95.0 mph).
Winner's medium speed: 149.50 km/h (92.9 mph).


Results (Heat 3)

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.24Aymo MaggiCount A. MaggiBugattiT35C2.0S-8520m35.0s
2.12Giuseppe CampariG. CampariAlfa RomeoP22.0S-8520m37.4s+ 2.4s
3.31Emilio MaterassiE. MaterassiBugattiT35C2.0S-8520m37.8s+ 2.8s

4.22Gaspare BonaG. BonaBugattiT35C2.0S-8521m02.6s+ 27.6s
5.27Carlo RostiC. RostiBugattiT35C2.0S-8522m13.2s+ 1m38.2s
6.26Eduard ProbstE. ProbstBugattiT35C2.0S-8523m52.8s+ 3m17.8s
DNF32Tazio NuvolariT. NuvolariBugattiT35C2.0S-82engine
DNC23Onigben AlveràO. AlveràBugattiT35A2.0S-8exceeded max. time
Fastest lap: Aymo Maggi (Bugatti) on lap 2 in 3m59.8s at 150.1 km/h (93.3 mph).
Winner's medium speed: 145.74 km/h (90.6 mph).


Heat 4:
At 11:00 AM the European Grand Prix over 500 km was started. The first 5 laps were considered as the fourth Heat to qualify for the Milan Grand Prix Final. After the fifth lap or 50 km the order was as follows:



Results (Heat 4)

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.4Robert BenoistAutomobiles DelageDelage15 S 8 19271.5S-8520m30.6s
2.8George SoudersGeorge SoudersDuesenbergSpecial1.5S-8521m35.0s+ 1m04.4s
3.6Nando MinoiaOfficine Mecchaniche SAOM8C GP1.5S-8523m18.6s+ 2m48.0s

4.12Giuseppe MorandiOfficine Mecchaniche SAOM8C GP1.5S-8523m21.8s+ 2m51.2s
5.10Earl CooperCooper Engineering Co.Cooper-MillerSpecial1.5S-8524m16.2s+ 3m45.6s
DNF2Peter KreisCooper Engineering Co.Cooper-MillerSpecial1.5S-81retired
Fastest lap: : Robert Benoist (Delage) on lap 4 in 3m57.2s at 151.8 km/h (94.3 mph).
Leader's medium speed: 146.3 km/h (90.9 mph)


Final:
The first three finishers of each Heat qualified for the Final, which also counted as a handicap race. Zampieri, Clerici and Lipman started in the 1100 cc category. Bordino, Cirio and Kreis with Cooper's Miller car formed the 1500 cc category. It is remarkable that Serboli who qualified his Chiribiri, did not start. Instead Kreis with Cooper's Miller was allowed to start despite the fact that neither Kreis nor Cooper had qualified, while Benoist, Souders and Minoia, who all three had qualified, declined from starting in the final. These mysterious arrangements remained unexplained. Maggi, Campari and Materassi with 2000 cc cars concluded the entries. The nine cars lined up for the start but a reliable grid could not be established, lacking factual information.


 
Grid not available


When the starter Belloni gave the signal, Maggi leaped into the lead followed by Campari. Both were almost side by side while Bordino was slightly behind but ahead of Materassi and Cirio, who was followed by the other four cars. Kreis who had already had difficulty to adjust his engine settings for the European Grand Prix, moved forward, then his car stopped after a few meters. The car was pushed from the track directly to the pits and the American was out of the race. After half a lap, Campari appeared first, followed by a tight group consisting of Maggi, Bordino and Materassi. At the end of the first lap, Bordino had passed Campari and taken the lead, and his red Fiat was welcomed by enthusiastic applause. The order was Bordino, Campari, Materassi and Maggi.
      After a lap and a half Bordino had increased his lead over Campari, who was now threatened by Materassi while Maggi had fallen behind. At the end of lap two, as Cirio, was leaving the oval at the large South Turn just before the straight, he first drove towards the inside, then swerved and left the track. His Bugatti crashed violently against the outside barbed wire fence with the back of the car, mowing down about twenty meters of fencing in a cloud of dust and smoke, ending in the ditch. Cirio was trapped in the car against the barbed wire. An ambulance transported him to the Monza Hospital where his injuries were reported to be very slight, only bruises on his head and some lacerations on his body.
      On the third lap, Materassi, who for several laps had driven wheel to wheel with Campari's Alfa Romeo, had to retire with a broken carburetor and retired at his pit. Bordino gradually increased his lead. He finished the fifth lap in 19m42.6s at an average speed of 152.205 km/h. Campari followed after 42 seconds, Maggi 1m40s, Zampieri 4m22s, Clerici 5m36s and Lipman after 7m29s.

Results (Final)

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.15Pietro BordinoFiat SpAFiat8061.52x6519m42.6s
2.12Giuseppe CampariG. CampariAlfa RomeoP22.0S-8520m24.0s+ 41.4s
3.24Aymo MaggiCount A. MaggiBugattiT35C2.0S-8521m22.4s+ 1m39.8s
4.6Alfonso ZampieriA. ZampieriAmilcars/s1.1S-6524m04.0s+ 4m21.4s
5.1Abele ClericiA. ClericiSalmsons/c1.1525m18.2s+ 5m35.6s
6.5Lionel LipmanL. LipmanSalmson1.1527m11.8s+ 7m29.2s
DNF31Emilio MaterassiE. MaterassiBugattiT35C2.0S-82carburetor
DNF12Giovanni (Nino) CirioC. BellottiBugattiT37A1.5S-41crash
DNF10Peter KreisCooper Engineering Co.Cooper-MillerSpecial1.5S-80mechanical
Fastest lap: Pietro Bordino (Fiat) on lap 4 in 3m51.6s at 155.4 km/h (96.6 mph).
Winner's medium speed: 152.2 km/h (94.6 mph).
Weather: raining, wet.
The general classification over 100 km was the sum of the times in the individual Heats and the Final.
1. Bordino (Fiat)39m46.6s
2. Campari (Alfa Romeo)41m01.4s
3. Maggi (Bugatti)41m57.4s
4. Zampieri (Amilcar)48m28.6s
5. Clerici (Salmson)51m20.2s
6. Lipman (Salmson)54m30.8s

The Final also included a handicap classification based on the time spent in the eliminating Heats.
1. Clerici (Salmson)26m35.2shandicap 1m17.0s
2. Bordino (Fiat)26m57.6shandicap 7m15.0s
3. Zampieri (Amilcar)26m58.4shandicap 2m54.4s
4. Campari (Alfa Romeo)27m05.6shandicap 6m41.6s
5. Lipman (Salmson)27m11.8shandicap 0
6. Maggi (Bugatti)28m06.4shandicap 6m44.0s
In retrospect:
Fiat withdrew from racing on order of Senator Giovanni Agnelli after their defeat in the 1924 French Grand Prix. Therefore the surprising appearance three years later of a new 1500 Fiat 806 racecar at the 50 km Milan Grand Prix was a great sensation to the unknown public. The designers Carlo Cavalli and Tranquillo Zerbi were responsible for the 806, a remarkable modern design, on a narrow frame with a neat streamlined body. The top and the bottom of the steering wheel had flat segments so to lower the cockpit. As a result the 806 was lower than the main rivals, the 1500 Delage an 1500 Talbot. With 187 hp the 806 extracted more power from its 12-cylinder supercharged engine of two parallel six cylinder blocks on a common crankcase. At 700 kg the 806 weighed the same as the Talbot but was 21 kg lighter than the Delage. The 806 Fiat had a top speed of 240 km/h versus 210 km/h quoted for the Delage and Talbot.
      Cyril Posthumus wrote in his book The Roaring Twenties, "Benoist in the 1500 Delage had entered for the Milan Grand Prix but elected not to run. That way Delage evaded possible defeat. Only one car was ever actually built, and legend, unconfirmed, has it that Fiat chief Agnelli, returning from a long American tour, was furious at the work put into the racing car at a time when the economic depression was already being felt, and ordered it to be broken up, together with all spares and patterns. Certainly no car or parts ever survived."
      Doug Nye wrote in his book Motor Racing Mavericks, "In Fiat's experimental shop the prototype 806 lay under wraps until the new year, and on January 14 Guido Fornaca -Fiat's very pro-racing managing director- died. As a new regime took over under Agnelli so racing fell from favour, and then came the inexplicable order to destroy the last Grand Prix car, to destroy its engines and all existing parts, and even its detail drawings. This orgy of destruction spelled the end to Fiat's noble Grand Prix career, and their ultimate racing car became just so much molten metal, bubbling in a cauldron in a Fiat foundry."


Primary sources researched for this article:
ADAC-Motorwelt, München
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
Automobil-Motorsport, Budapest
AUTOMOBIL-REVUE, Bern
Automobil-Welt, Berlin
La Gazetta dello Sport, Milano
La Stampa, Torino
L'AUTO, Paris
L'Auto Italiana, Milano
L-Impero, Roma
Motor Sport, London
MOTOR und SPORT, Pössneck
Omnia, Paris
R.A.C.I. giornale, Roma
Rivista ACI, Roma
Special thanks to:
Alessandro Silva
Signora Paola Masetta



Benoist (Delage)Morandi (OM)Cooper/Kreis (Cooper-Miller)

GRAN PREMIO D'EUROPA

Autodromo di Monza (I), 4 September 1927.
50 laps x 10.0 km (6.214 mi) = 500.0 km (310.7 mi)



No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

2Peter KreisCooper Engineering Co.Cooper-MillerSpecial1.5S-8
4Robert BenoistAutomobiles DelageDelage 15 S 8 19271.5S-8
6Nando MinoiaOfficine Mecchaniche SAOM8C GP1.5S-8
8George SoudersDuesenbeg Motor Co.DuesenbergSpecial1.5S-8
10Earl CooperCooper Engineering Co.Cooper-MillerSpecial1.5S-8
12Giuseppe MorandiOfficine Mecchaniche SAOM8C GP1.5S-8
..Pietro BordinoFiatFiat8061.52x6DNA - did not appear
..Carlo SalamanoFiatFiat8061.52x6DNA - did not appear
..Emilio MaterassiAutomobile Ettore BugattiBugattiT39A1.5S-8DNA - did not appear
..Louis ChironAutomobile Ettore BugattiBugattiT39A1.5S-8DNA - did not appear
..Caberto ConelliAutomobile Ettore BugattiBugattiT39A1.5S-8DNA - did not appear


Benoist with Delage wins the European Grand Prix

by Hans Etzrodt
The 1927 European Grand Prix at Monza offered neither a great participation of racecars nor the classical nice weather of earlier events. As the fourth race of the 1927 World Championship, it was held to the international 1.5-Liter formula and took place during continuous rain. Since Bugatti withdrew their entry and Fiat would not start with their new model, only six cars appeared at the start. Half of them were American cars: Souder (Duesenberg) plus Kreis and Cooper in front-wheel-drive Cooper Specials judged as "Millers" for the championship. The other half comprised one French Delage for Benoist and two Italian 8-cylinder OM racecars for Minoia and Morandi. At the start Benoist immediately took the lead which he increased continuously, unchallenged until the end of the 500 km race. The Americans, from whom one had expected so much, failed substantially. Kreis in the Miller retired with engine failure, not even finishing half of his first lap. Souders who held a leisurely second place with his Duesenberg, retired on lap 12. Benoist increased his advantage constantly and on lap 40 was four laps ahead of Morandi in second place. The OM drivers Minoia and Morandi held alternating second and third positions, while Kreis who relieved Cooper in his Miller was last but raised his pace during the final five laps to overhaul Minoia's OM. The monotonous race in miserable weather lacked excitement. Besides the repeated stops of the OM cars and the passing maneuver of Kreis overhauling Minoia's OM on the second to last lap, nothing dramatic happened.
The Gran Premio d'Europa was held for the fifth time and was part of the 1927 World Championship. It was also the eighth Italian Grand Prix counting towards the Italian Championship. The Commissione Sportiva des RACI and the Società Autodromo di Monza carried out the organization under the supervision of Arturo Mercanti. It was the 5th time that the European Grand Prix took place and was the fourth event of the 1927 World Championship at Monza over 50 laps of the 10 km circuit, a total of 500 km. Strangely, this distance was less than the minimum 600 km demanded by AIACR regulations which was reduced to 500 only at the last moment in view of the bad weather.
      This year's race at Monza was not achieved without difficulties, although Bugatti was expected at the start and Fiat's entry was uncertain. After the promoters accepted the entries of the three Americans, Souders this year's winner of the Indianapolis 500 with his Duesenberg and Cooper and Kreis with front-wheel-drive Millers, Ettore Bugatti declared that he would only participate in pure road races, because of his cars' excellent road holding. Clearly his cars had more chance of winning in those races than in the more or less pure speed adjusted race tracks. With these remarks Bugatti avoided another confrontation, this time in Monza.
      Then Fiat had not completed the preparation of their racecars and the date for closing entries had silently been extended to just before the race to enable Fiat's participation. Eventually the organizers had to deny the postponement of the race. The Americans had declared that they were committed to a race on September 28 in America and therefore could not agree to a postponement. Fiat had assured their participation only if the race was postponed from September 4 to the 18th, but now had to forgo the start but entered the only car they finished for Bordino to race in the 50 km Milan Grand Prix. Although Bordino had practiced in length with the new Fiat and attained average lap speeds of 168 km/h, the Turin factory withdrew their entries from the European Grand Prix. Their reason was that it was not possible to complete any other cars and with only one car the risk would have been too great at such a difficult race.
      The Automobil World Championship was being held for the third time in 1927. Participation at the European Grand Prix at Monza was mandatory. The competitors also had to participate in two of the following races: The Indianapolis 500, the French Grand Prix, the Spanish Grand Prix and the British Grand Prix. The reward for the first place finisher was 1 point, the second 2 points and the third 3 points. All classified from fourth place back received 4 points. Those who did not finish received 5 points and those who did not start 6 points. The present standings were: Delage with 8 points, Duesenberg 13 points, Miller and Bugatti equal with 14 points, Talbot 16, Halford and Maserati both with 17.
Entries:
All six cars that took part in the race had supercharged 8-cylinder 1500 cc engines with magneto ignition. The 1927 regulations allowed single-seater cars and as a result three Americans had entered. When the cars arrived in Milan they stayed in town at the Officine Isotta-Fraschini factory to carry out changes to widen the cars. Although single-seater cars were allowed in 1927, they had to have a minimum width of 80 cm - 31.5 in - at the seat area and over a minimum height of 25 cm - 9.8 in. For that reason the three beautiful pencil-thin single-seat American racecars had to be widened to 80 cm by adding a rounded sheet metal box at the seat area to each side of the frame. Besides those revisions they also reduced the compression to extend engine life of the Millers. But the results were not satisfactory during tests in Monza.
      George Souders, the 24-year old native of Indiana with his Duesenberg Special had won the 1927 Indy 500, which was also the first race of the 1927 World Championship. Souders was a dirt track driver and an unknown newcomer to the AAA racing scene with no experience in long distance racing. He was considered a dark horse and his victory at Indianapolis was a big surprise. He placed third in the 1927 AAA championship. The small Cooper Engineering Co. team entered Earl Cooper and Peter Kreis with their Cooper-Miller racecars which were modified front-wheel-drive Millers.
      Two Delage racecars arrived at Monza but only one was entered for Robert Benoist. He had already won the Grands Prix of France and Spain. The very low Delage was known to be the fastest and most reliable car and Benoist was the absolute favorite.
      Two OM 8-cylinder racecars from the Brescia factory were entered for Nando Minoia and Giuseppe Morandi. Previously only one car had raced in 1926 at the German Grand Prix in Berlin where Minoia failed to finish but had claimed the fastest lap at 161 km/h. After the 1927 European Grand Prix in Monza, one car plus at least one spare engine was sold to R.F. Oats in England to be raced at the JCC 200 in Brooklands where the car was primarily raced until 1933.
      The dark horse for this race was the new Fiat with a 12-cylinder 1500 cc supercharged engine. During early tests at Monza Bordino and Salamano had reached fantastic speeds, however suddenly Fiat withdrew their entry, supposedly due to tire problems but it was assumed that the new Fiat racecars were not yet ready. Eventually the factory had one of their cars entered at the 50 km Milan Grand Prix.
Practice:
At the end of August the Fiat race drivers Bordino and Salamano had been driving for days at Monza. To the surprise of everyone, Fiat decided one week before the race not to take part in the European Grand Prix as their cars were not yet ready to run in a long race. Although the new car proved able to reach a good speed there was concern about the tires. Also at the end of August two Delage race cars with a group of mechanics had arrived at the Milan railroad station.
      During practice on Tuesday before the race Souders had an accident. He had driven several laps at a good speed and when he arrived too fast at the notorious Lesmo turn, he locked the brakes and spun, followed by a rollover. He ended up at the inside of the turn, removing a few meters of a fence. But Souders suffered a severe shoulder contusion while his Duesenberg was just slightly damaged.
      On Thursday the Autodromo di Monza was quiet. Fiat, had left on Wednesday for Turin and announced their return for Thursday evening and on Friday was expected to be back on the track. The American Souders was resting and the condition with his shoulder improved, so his presence at the start on Sunday was assured. Kreis with his Miller practiced on Thursday, as did Minoia and Morandi with O.M. All left the racetrack pleased with their results.
Race:
After an entire month of beautiful weather, it began to rain on the Saturday before the race. When spectators arrived on Sunday early in the morning it rained and continued to do so until near the end of the race. Despite the bad weather about 50,000 spectators came to watch the popular races. Amongst the crowd were the German race drivers Rosenberger and Caracciola. In view of the bad weather, the reduction of the race distance from 600 km to 500, which was arranged shortly before the start, was certainly not consistent with the sporting regulations, nevertheless it was very welcome. Four different races were held on Sunday, starting with two 50 km heat races for the Milan Grand Prix, the first at 9:00 AM for the 1100 cc cars followed at 10:00 AM by the race for the 1500 cc and 2000 cc cars. At 11:00 AM the European Grand Prix over 500 km was started and at 4:00 PM there was the Final for the Milan Grand Prix over 50 km. It was generally expected that the French driver Benoist would win the European Grand Prix.
      At 10:50 AM in pouring rain six cars lined up on the starting grid, which was determined by drawing lots. The drivers were greeted by the Marcia Reale and the American and French National anthems. The grid shows how the cars lined up as seen in photographs. Souders was ready to start despite his injured shoulder.
Pole Position
6
Minoia

OM

4
Benoist

Delage

2
Kreis

Miller

12
Morandi

OM

10
Cooper

Miller

8
Sauders

Duesenberg

At 11:00 AM the RACI president, senator Silvio Crespi, gave the starting signal by lowering the flag when Benoist immediately shot to the front, followed by Minoia, Souders, Kreis and Cooper while Morandi was delayed for about 15 seconds as he had stalled the engine of his OM.
      After the first lap Benoist arrived at the grandstands in the lead, 300 m ahead of Souders who was followed after about 200 m by Minoia. Kreis did not complete the first lap; he retired after only 4 km, driving slowly at the exit of the inner circuit near the grandstands with a seized piston or a broken crankcase of his Miller. At the end of lap two, Benoist had increased his lead over Souders to 500 m. The OM of Morandi who finally caught up with Cooper's Miller on lap three, was able to pass the American in front of the grandstands to the ovation of the crowd. Cooper with his front-wheel-drive Miller was severely handicapped by the rain since his rear wheels tended to skid sideways. On lap four Benoist drove the fastest lap of the race in 3m57.2s at an average speed of 151.770. After 50 km the leading group was in the following order after 5 laps:
1.Benoist (Delage)20m30.6s
2.Souders (Duesenberg)21m35.0s
3.Minoia (OM)23m18.6s
4.Morandi (OM)23m21.8s
5.Cooper (Miller)24m16.2s

After the fifth lap the drivers had qualified for the Final of the Milan Grand Prix, a regulation that had been decided by the organizers in the last moment. In other words, the first 50 km of the European Grand Prix counted as a special heat race for participation in the Milan Grand Prix. Ironically, only Kreis in his Miller, who hadn't completed the mandated 50 km, would start in the Final of the Milan Grand Prix. The car qualified and the driver must have been less important. The sky remained dark and the drivers had a hard time while it rained in a downpour. After 100 km Benoist was still in first place at an average speed of 147.441 km/h with the cars in the following order after 10 laps:
1.Benoist (Delage)40m41.6s
2.Souders (Duesenberg)45m47.4s1 lap behind
3.Minoia (OM)45m55.2s1 lap behind
4.Morandi (OM)47m41.2s1 lap behind
5.Cooper (Miller)47m56.2s2 laps behind

After lap 12, Souders, whose engine had started to run irregularly, retired somewhere on the circuit after holding second place with his Duesenberg. After having lost the cap of the fuel tank during the race, water from the continuous rain had entered unchecked into the tank causing incurable carburetion problems and forced his retirement. Minoia now advanced into second place. Of the three Americans only Cooper remained in the race. When it began to rain heavily, Cooper slowed down to a lap in 4m45s, equal to 126 km/h average speed. On lap 15 he stopped at his pit and the rain soaked Cooper was relieved by Kreis. With only four cars, the race would have been a complete bore, except that the two OMs were separated by less than three seconds. After 150 km the leader, Benoist, held an average speed of 147.937 km/h with the field down to only four cars after 15 laps.
1.Benoist (Delage)1h00m50.2s
2.Minoia (OM)1h09m13.8s2 laps behind
3.Morandi (OM)1h09m16.4s2 laps behind
4.Cooper /Kreis (Miller)1h17m47.6s4 laps behind

On lap 17 Minoia stopped his OM for three minutes at his pit with a defective valve. Despite the long pit stop, Morandi lost little time to his team mate. On lap 19 Morandi stopped to refuel and re-joined after a short time. Benoist maintained a steady pace in these difficult conditions with continuous rain and hindering strong west winds. He had passed the two OMs yet again. After 200 km the order had not changed and Benoist led at 147.002 km/h average speed after 20 laps:
1.Benoist (Delage)1h21m37.8s
2.Minoia (OM)1h35m01.6s3 laps behind
3.Morandi (OM)1h35m07.6s3 laps behind
4.Cooper/Kreis (Miller)1h43m18.8s5 laps behind

On lap 24 Benoist had three laps or 30 km advantage to Morandi who in turn had passed Minoia when he stopped to refuel. At mid-race, after 250 km, it would soon be time for Benoist's refueling stop. His average speed had slowed to 146.484 km/h with the four cars in the following order after 25 laps:
1.Benoist (Delage)1h42m23.8s
2.Morandi (OM)1h58m15.2s3 laps behind
3.Minoia (OM)1h59m41.2s4 laps behind
4.Cooper/Kreis (Miller)2h07m03.8s6 laps behind

The race carried on in a procession while Benoist, who was never challenged, stopped after lap 28 for the first time to refuel within one minute; neither the hood nor tires were touched. On lap 30 Minoia stopped for the third time with one valve spring broken and the engine down on seven cylinders. Minoia also had to change plugs continuously but he was sent away very quickly not to be caught by Kreis in the Miller. After 300 km Benoist's average speed had further dropped to 144 km/h after 30 laps:
1.Benoist (Delage)2h05m21.6s
2.Morandi (OM)2h20m30.6s3 laps behind
3.Minoia (OM)2h27m34.2s5 laps behind
4.Cooper/Kreis (Miller)2h31m21.2s6 laps behind

Benoist maintained his pace which was so much faster than his closest opponent Morandi who had now fallen four laps behind. After 350 km Benoist's average speed was 144 km/h with the same order after 35 laps:
1.Benoist (Delage)2h25m36.6s
2.Morandi (OM)2h42m12.0s4 laps behind
3.Minoia (OM)2h50m43.6s6 laps behind
4.Cooper/Kreis (Miller)2h56m08.6s7 laps behind

The situation had not changed after 400 km with everyone settled in their position and Benoist leading at an average speed of 144.144 km/h after 40 laps:
1.Benoist (Delage)2h46m30.0s
2.Morandi (OM)3h06m51.8s4 laps behind
3.Minoia (OM)3h13m51.4s6 laps behind
4.Cooper/Kreis (Miller)3h19m20.0s7 laps behind

The end was nearing and the cars proceeded in their settled places. The only passing was done by Benoist when he lapped one of his three opponents. His victory looked very likely because a failure on his Delage was not expected since the car had proven its reliability before. Minoia progressively slowed down with his stricken engine. His lead over Kreis in the Miller, which had been over five minutes, was now less than two minutes and Kreis received signs from his pit to attack. After 450 km Benoist's average speed was 144.529 km/h with the standings after 45 laps as follows:
1.Benoist (Delage)3h06m48.6s
2.Morandi (OM)3h27m51.4s4 laps behind
3.Minoia (OM)3h39m16.4s8 laps behind
4.Cooper/Kreis (Miller)3h41m03.8s8 laps behind

At the end of 50 laps Benoist crossed the finish line after 3h26m59.8s. He had now won three races of the World Championship and was looked upon as the 1927 World Champion despite the fact that it was a World Championship for makes and not for drivers. After Benoist had passed the finish line as victor, the remaining drivers were still many laps behind and carried on driving to complete the full distance to be qualified. Morandi in second place was 5 laps behind while Kreis and Minoia were each 8 laps behind. During these last laps Kreis in the Miller improved his pace and closed upon the ailing OM of Minoia. For two laps both drivers raced close together. Could Kreis catch Minoia before the end? He managed it with only one lap to go on lap 49 when Kreis was able to pass the Italian on the finish straight to capture third place. That was probably the most exciting aspect of a dreary race.

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsTime/StatusDiff

1.4Robert BenoistAutomobiles DelageDelage 15 S 8 19271.5S-8503h26m59.8s
2.12Giuseppe MorandiOfficine Mecchaniche SAOM8C GP1.5S-8503h49m32.6s + 22m32.8s
3.10E. Cooper/P. KreisCooper Engineering Co.Cooper-MillerSpecial1.5S-8504h02m05.8s + 35m06.0s
4.6Nando MinoiaOfficine Mecchaniche SAOM8C GP1.5S-8504h02m28.6s + 35m28.8s
DNF8George SoudersDuesenberg Motor Co.DuesenbergSpecial1.5S-813water in fuel
DNF2Peter KreisCooper Engineering Co.Cooper-MillerSpecial1.5S-81engine
Fastest lap Robert Benoist (Delage) on lap 4 in 3m57.2s at 151.8 km/h (94.3 mph).
Winner's medium speed: 144.9 km/h (90.1 mph).
Weather: raining, wet.
In retrospect:
The individual lap times published in newspapers and magazines deviated by fractions of a second and we hope that we have selected the correct ones.

Delage led the World Championship after the European Grand Prix, with 9 points ahead of Miller with 17 points and Duesenberg with 18. These were the only manufacturers who were still in a position to claim the World Championship because they had participated in at least two races up to this point.
      All other manufacturers were no longer eligible for the World Championship, since none of them had appeared in at least two mandatory races of the four events (Indianapolis, French Grand Prix, Spanish Grand Prix and European Grand Prix). Delage had an eight point advantage over Miller and nine over Duesenberg which was enough for Delage regardless of the outcome in the British Grand Prix. Even if Miller or Duesenberg were to win the last race it would raise their total to 18 or 19 points and even if Delage failed to appear at the British Grand Prix, it would still give Delage 15 points and victory. Therefore the Championship was effectively decided after the European Grand Prix.

Primary sources researched for this article:
ADAC-Motorwelt, München
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
Automobil-Motorsport, Budapest
AUTOMOBIL-REVUE, Bern
Automobil-Welt, Berlin
La Gazetta dello Sport, Milano
La Stampa, Torino
L'AUTO, Paris
L'Auto Italiana, Milano
L-Impero, Roma
Motor Sport, London
MOTOR und SPORT, Pössneck
Omnia, Paris
R.A.C.I. giornale, Roma
Rivista ACI, Roma
Special thanks to:
Alessandro Silva
Signora Paola Masetta


PREVIOUS 1927 INDEX NEXT
MAIN INDEX


© 2017 Leif Snellman, Hans Etzrodt - Last updated: 28.09.2017