IV° COPPA CIANO
Montenero - Livorno (I), 3 August 1930.
10 laps x 22.5 km (13.98 mi) = 225.0 km (139.8 mi)
Luigi Fagioli wins at the Montenero circuit in record time
by Hans Etzrodt
The international motor sport week at Livorno ended with the Coppa Ciano race around the difficult Montenero circuit. It proved to be another classic battle between Varzi and Nuvolari in the fastest cars, the Alfa Romeo P2s,
although it was inconclusive because both retired with car ailments. Fagioli (Maserati), Campari (Alfa Romeo), Maggi (Bugatti) and Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo) survived and finished in that order, followed by Fontana (O.M.) and
Gazzabini (Alfa Romeo). The last drivers to complete the race were Moradei and Matrullo in 1100 cc Salmsons, the only small car survivors. The race was characterized as one of high attrition with only eight finishers from a
field of 32 cars.
The races on the Montenero Circuit near Livorno (Leghorn in English) had been held since 1921. From 1922 onwards a 22.5 km circuit was used from Ardenza Mare - Montenero - Savolano - Castellaccio - Romito - Ardenza Mare.
The narrow road circuit twisted through endless curves with steep up and down slopes through the mountains and was a small replica of the Madonie but considerably shorter. The start and finish with the grandstand were at
The 1930 international event counted towards the Italian Championship and was the tenth time that the race was held on the Circuito del Montenero. The organizer named it wrongly the tenth Coppa Ciano but in reality, 1930
was the fourth Coppa Ciano. The Coppa or trophy was donated by Italian Navy hero Costanzo Ciano for a 1927 Montenero sports car race, which was named after him. The Coppa Ciano name was applied for the second time to the
1928 sports car race. As of 1929, when the sports car race was dropped from the program, the Coppa Ciano name was assigned to the racecar event for the first time. The races were held annually and August 3 1930 was the fourth
running of the Coppa Ciano and the tenth race on the Montenero circuit.
The Automobile Club Livorno and Moto Club Livorno staged a motorcycle race, the Coppa del Mare, the week before the automobile race for the Coppa Ciano. The 22.500 km circuit had to be lapped ten times. The cars were divided
into two classes, class A up to 1100 cc and class B over 1100 cc. A special classification was provided for 1500 cc cars for scoring in the Italian Championship.
To be classified the large cars had to finish within 3 hours 20 minutes and the 1100 cc cars in 3 hours 40 minutes. These maximum times were based on 20 minutes per lap for the large group and 22 minutes for the little cars.
The total prize money of 154,000 lire went to the large car class of which 75,000 lire was to go to the victor plus the Ciano Cup, 30,000 to second place and the Mussolini Cup, 15,000 and the Mayor of Livorno Cup to third,
10,000 and the Province of Livorno Cup to fourth, 8,000 to fifth, 5,000 to sixth, 4,000 to seventh, 3,000 to eighth, 2,000 each to ninth and tenth. The first of the small car class received 3,000 lire and a gold medal by HM,
the King, the second 2,000 and third 1,000 lire. There were additional prizes for the leader on each lap, fastest lap and breaking some existing records, totaling 40,000 lire.
Most of the better known Italian race drivers appeared at the start for the Coppa Ciano since it counted towards the Italian Championship. SA Alfa Romeo entered a P2 for Varzi and a 1750 Alfa Romeo for Campari. The newly
established Scuderia Ferrari arrived with a modified 175 hp Alfa Romeo P2 for Nuvolari. According to Luigi Orsini, Enzo Ferrari had arranged to buy back this car from the Brazilian Vittorio Rosa. Upon its arrival in
Milano the Alfa received from designer Vittorio Jano the same modifications as the other two factory P2s, which had raced at Rome. So this third P2 then became part of Scuderia Ferrari's ever increasing arsenal. The
Scuderia Ferrari also entered the more powerful version of the basic 1750 model, the 85 hp Alfa Romeo 1750GS (Gran Sport) for Arcangeli. He was a Maserati driver who had recently won with the 2500 at Rome and Ferrari
had hired him in June to drive in selected events for his team. Another new Scuderia member was Borzacchini, also an ex Maserati driver, in another 1750GS.
Count Aymo Maggi, who returned to racing after two years absence, appeared with a brand new 2-liter Bugatti, which he had picked up in Molsheim. The Maserati factory sent their 2500 Maserati to be driven by Fagioli.
The large car class comprised 33 numbered entries plus three additional drivers. There were also 13 cars in the class up to 1100 cc. The entire list of 49 entries is shown above.
Official practice took place on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday from 12:30 to 14:30 PM. During these times the trams on the lines from Ardenza Mare, Antignano and Ardenza Terra-Montenero were to be stopped from operating.
Il Telegrafo reported that in Wednesday's practice Maggi turned laps with his Bugatti 2000, also Danese, Cantoni, Fagioli, Mazzacurati with the Scuderia Nuvolari Bugatti 2000 monoposto, Fontana and others. Maggi drove his laps
in less than 17 minutes, but Danese also demonstrated that he was very well prepared. In the morning Franco Cortese had arrived from Milan with his Alfa 1750 and did some test laps. Varzi and Campari were also active as was
Ghezzani in a 1500 supercharged Alfa. Juan Zanelli arrived directly from Paris with a Bugatti 2000 and Tassara with an Alfa 1500. From the small cars Mantovani practiced with his Fiat.
During Thursday's practice Nuvolari was timed with 15m22s, Borzacchini with15m55s and Pieranzi, who did not start in the race, with 15m56s. Campari turned a lap in 16m33s and Maggi in 16m53s. Varzi was timed at 16m09s,
Cortese 16m15s, Fagioli 16m59s, di Vecchio 17m46s, Cantoni 18m23s and Ghezzani 19m07s.
On Friday the following drivers practiced: Nuvolari, Arcangeli, Ghezzani, Gazzabini, Danese, Maggi, Borzacchini, Cortese, Campari, Varzi, Biondetti, Cantoni, Sartorio, Fagioli, Matrullo and others. Varzi improved his speed to
15m27s, while Nuvolari was not that fast with 15m37s, Cortese 15m30s, Borzacchini 15m50s and Maggi 15m52s. Biondetti turned a lap in 16m05s, Campari 16m03s, Danese 16m25s, A. Sartorio 16m43s, Fagioli 17m04s, Cantoni 17m46s,
Ghezzani 18m27s and Matrullo 19m25s.
Varzi and Nuvolari were the favorites. They had been involved in fierce battles, starting at the Mille Miglia in April where Nuvolari had won ahead of Varzi. In early May at the Targa Florio Varzi had been victorious while
Nuvolari had only managed fifth in a lesser car. At the following Rome Grand Prix near the end of May, they were again immersed in a great battle with each other in equal cars but both Alfas broke down. Now, two months
later, there followed the next clash at the Coppa Ciano where the two great opponents met again in equal cars. An exciting battle was expected and talked about, luring a large crowd to come and see the two best drivers
fight it out on the difficult Montenero Circuit, each to prove that he was stronger and better than the other.
A large crowd had come to witness the race and to see the outcome of the duel between Varzi and Nuvolari. At 2:30 PM the Minister of Communications Count Costanzo Ciano di Cortelazzo, the donor of the Cup, countess Carolina and
princess Maria Ciano appeared with a large group of other officials. Before the start a one minute silence was called for remembrance and in recognition of the deceased drivers Brilli-Peri and Benini who had died earlier in the
year. From 13 small cars up to 1100 cc only nine assembled on the grid since Platè and Mantovani did not start while Ramello and Marret did not appear.
|The actual start was late, a bit after 3:00 PM|
A little after 3:00 PM Princess Maria Ciano gave the signal to the drivers, starting the small cars, which left the grid one pair at a time, each pair being separated by 30 seconds. This system was used as a safety precaution since
the road circuit was very narrow and difficult for drivers to pass each other. After Savelli, the last of the small cars, had left the start area, the long anticipated large cars moved forward. Here the field was also severely
reduced since Pieranzi, Tassara and Zanelli did not start. Another ten drivers did not appear, resulting in the class B being down to 23 cars. Many drivers raced with a riding mechanic on board and carried spare wheels, as a
precaution, for this lengthy and treacherous circuit. Two minutes after Savelli's Fiat had departed the class B cars were released in the same manner, including Brivio, a late entry, who was the last to leave the start area.
|The actual start was late, a bit after 3:04 PM|
The little Salmson of Moradei was the first car to appear at the end of the first lap, followed by Bucci, Matrullo, Rondina, Lunghi, Arzilla, Jeroniti and Savelli while Pratesi retired his Salmson. However, it is easier to show
the order of the drivers by their individual times. Nuvolari was the first big car to appear with a lap in 15m06s ahead of Varzi in 15m10s. Despite a standing start, both had beaten Varzi's existing lap record of 15m10.4s from
the year before. The fight between Fagioli and Maggi looked exciting when comparing lap times but on the road Fagioli was half a minute ahead of Maggi since he had started before him. There were other duels amongst several
drivers with equal times. Borzacchini and Razzauti were two minutes apart on the road but had the same time in different cars. Mazzacurati and Avattaneo had almost equal lap times but due to different starting times, were
one minute apart on the road. Cantoni overturned his Alfa without serious consequences for driver and mechanic. Toti (Maserati) and Ghezzani (Alfa Romeo) retired on the first lap.
In the small group Moradei took the immediate lead, closely followed by Matrullo, both in Salmsons with the rest of the field spread out. Pratesi did not complete the first lap. The order was:
|1. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||15m06s|
|2. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||15m10s|
|3. Fagioli (Maserati)||15m30s|
|4. Maggi (Bugatti)||15m30s|
|5. Arcangeli (Alfa Romeo)||15m31s|
|6. Cortese (Alfa Romeo)||15m45s|
|7. Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||16m01s|
|8. Razzauti (Bugatti)||16m01s|
|9. Biondetti (Bugatti)||16m05s|
|10. Campari (Alfa Romeo)||16m09s|
|11. Sartorio (Maserati)||16m13s|
|12. Mazzacurati (Bugatti)||16m25s|
|13. Avattaneo (Bugatti)||16m26s|
|14. Peri (Itala)||16m52s|
|15. Gazzabini (Alfa Romeo)||16m57s|
|16. Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||17m21s|
|17. Fontana (O.M.)||17m24s|
|18. Meoni (O.M.)||18m01s|
|19. Danese (Alfa Romeo)||?|
|20. Di Vecchio (Bugatti)||?|
|1. Moradei (Salmson)||18m10s|
|2. Matrullo (Salmson)||18m37s|
|3. Bucci (Fiat)||19m00s|
|4. Arzilla (Amilcar)||19m26s|
|5. Lunghi (Fiat)||20m15s|
|6. Rondina (Fiat)||20m27s|
|7. Savelli (Fiat)||20m48s|
|8. Jeroniti (Salmson)||20m54s|
During the second lap Nuvolari established a new record lap in 14m54s which placed him nine seconds ahead of Varzi. In third place followed Maggi who was ahead of Fagioli. Both were separated by just one second but on the
road Fagioli was 29 seconds in front since he had started half a minute before Maggi. Avattaneo and Sartorio stopped at their pits. When Razzauti retired his Bugatti the large class was down to 19 cars.
Bucci retired his Fiat on lap two. Lunghi and Savelli appeared to have a close battle with same lap times but were 90 seconds apart on the road. The small group order was as follows:
|1. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||30m00s|
|2. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||30m09s|
|3. Maggi (Bugatti)||30m51s|
|4. Fagioli (Maserati)||30m52s|
|5. Arcangeli (Alfa Romeo)||30m07s|
|6. Cortese (Alfa Romeo)||31m10s|
|7. Biondetti (Bugatti)||31m52s|
|8. Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||32m00s|
|9. Campari (Alfa Romeo)||32m06s|
|10. Danese (Alfa Romeo)||33m18s|
|11. Mazzacurati (Bugatti)||?|
|12. Di Veccio (Bugatti)||33m35s|
|13. Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||34m42s|
|14. Fontana (O.M.)||34m48s|
|15. Peri (Itala)||35m18s|
|16. Gazzabini (Alfa Romeo)||?|
|17. Avattaneo (Bugatti)||35m31s|
|18. Meoni (O.M.)||38m52s|
|19. Sartorio (Maserati)||39m44s|
|1. Moradei (Salmson)||36m10s|
|2. Matrullo (Salmson)||37m18s|
|3. Arzilla (Amilcar)||38m17s|
|4. Rondina (Fiat)||40m28s|
|5. Lunghi (Fiat)||40m35s|
|6. Savelli (Fiat)||40m35s|
|7. Jeroniti (Salmson)||41m37s|
During the third lap the fierce battle between Nuvolari and Varzi continued. They both raced the same model cars and were leading the fastest Maserati by over a minute. By driving a new record lap in 14m43.2s at an average
speed of 91.710 km/h Varzi had passed Nuvolari. They were just one second apart in time, yet at the finish line the distance between them was 59 seconds because Nuvolari had started one minute ahead of Varzi. The time
battle between Fagioli and Maggi came to an end when Maggi stopped for nearly two minutes to change plugs on his new Bugatti. Maggi was just one second ahead of Borzacchini but on the road they were separated by 91
seconds. Sartorio retired his Maserati on lap three.
On the third lap Matrullo and Arzilla, who had started as a pair, had a true battle and raced next to each other as they passed the finish line, while Lunghi and Savelli in their Fiats were 91 seconds apart on the road.
Rondina retired his Fiat. The order was:
|1. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||44m52.2s|
|2. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||44m53s|
|3. Fagioli (Maserati)||46m08s|
|4. Cortese (Alfa Romeo)||46m37s|
|5. Arcangeli (Alfa Romeo)||46m46s|
|6. Biondetti (Bugatti)||47m28s|
|7. Maggi (Bugatti)||47m41s|
|8. Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||47m42s|
|9. Campari (Alfa Romeo)||47m49s|
|10. Mazzacurati (Bugatti)||49m10s|
|11. Danese (Alfa Romeo)||49m22s|
|12. Di Veccio (Bugatti)||50m17s|
|13. Fontana (O.M.)||52m02s|
|14. Peri (Itala)||52m37s|
|15. Gazzabini (Alfa Romeo)||54m02s|
|16. Avattaneo (Bugatti)||55m09s|
|17. Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||?|
|18. Meoni (O.M.)||?|
|1. Moradei (Salmson)||54m05s|
|2. Matrullo (Salmson)||55m34s|
|3. Arzilla (Amilcar)||55m34s|
|4. Lunghi (Fiat)||1h00m53s|
|5. Savelli (Fiat)||1h00m54s|
|6. Jeroniti (Salmson)||?|
During lap four Nuvolari and Varzi continued their wild battle. Varzi increased his speed and did a lap in 14m39.0s while Nuvolari had the same idea and drove a new record lap at 14m38.4s at a speed of 92.211 km/h, which
was to be the fastest lap of the race. Their lap times were just 1/5 of a second apart, yet on the road they were still separated by one minute. Gazzabini lost a lot of time, which put him at the end of the field.
Cortese (Alfa Romeo) and Meoni (O.M.) retired on this lap.
The small car field had shrunk to five cars after Jeroniti retired his Salmson. The order was:
|1. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||59m31.2s|
|2. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||59m31.4s|
|3. Fagioli (Maserati)||1h01m24s|
|4. Arcangeli (Alfa Romeo)||1h02m22s|
|5. Biondetti (Bugatti)||1h03m11s|
|6. Campari (Alfa Romeo)||1h03m19s|
|7. Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||1h03m46s|
|8. Maggi (Bugatti)||?|
|9. Mazzacurati (Bugatti)||?|
|10. Di Veccio (Bugatti)||1h07m13s|
|11. Danese (Alfa Romeo)||1h07m17s|
|12. Fontana (O.M.)||1h09m25s|
|13. Avattaneo (Bugatti)||1h13m22s|
|14. Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||1h18m59s|
|15. Peri (Itala)||1h27m04s|
|16. Gazzabini (Alfa Romeo)||1h28m11s|
|1. Moradei (Salmson)||1h12m00s|
|2. Matrullo (Salmson)||1h13m32s|
|3. Arzilla (Amilcar)||1h17m24s|
|4. Savelli (Fiat)||1h20m37s|
|5. Lunghi (Fiat)||1h21m02s|
During lap five Varzi appeared with a clear lead as Nuvolari had slowed with a clutch problem. As a result, Fagioli was promoted to second position but he was 2m20s behind the leader. Biondetti and Campari had very close
lap times, yet were three minutes apart on the road due to their different starting positions. Arcangeli retired his Alfa Romeo with a broken clutch at Castellaccio in the mountains and Peri retired his Itala on the same lap.
On the fifth lap Moradei stopped at his pit to refuel his car, losing much of his advantage. The five small cars order was:
|1. Varzi (Alfa Romeo)||1h14m24s|
|2. Fagioli (Maserati)||1h16m44s|
|3. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||1h17m20s|
|4. Biondetti (Bugatti)||1h18m47s|
|5. Campari (Alfa Romeo)||1h18m49s|
|6. Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||1h19m29s|
|7. Maggi (Bugatti)||1h20m17s|
|8. Mazzacurati (Bugatti)||1h22m31s|
|9. Di Veccio (Bugatti)||1h23m54s|
|10. Fontana (O.M.)||1h26m45s|
|11. Avattaneo (Bugatti)||1h31m55s|
|12. Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||1h37m43s|
|13. Gazzabini (Alfa Romeo)||1h45m14s|
|14. Danese (Alfa Romeo)||?|
|1. Moradei (Salmson)||1h30m00s|
|2. Matrullo (Salmson)||1h30m59s|
|3. Arzilla (Amilcar)||?|
|4. Savelli (Fiat)||?|
|5. Lunghi (Fiat)||?|
At the end of lap six there was another big change when Fagioli found himself in the lead. At the beginning of lap six Nuvolari stopped at his pit with a burned clutch and did not leave again. He received large applause from
the spectators. Half way into the sixth lap, while chasing after victory, Varzi was forced to retire when a broken differential brought him to a stop. When Biondetti, Mazzacurati and Brivio also retired on this lap, the large
car field had shrunk to nine cars.
In the small group there was another big surprise when Matrullo took first place as Moradei encountered more trouble.
|1. Fagioli (Maserati)||1h31m58s|
|2. Campari (Alfa Romeo)||1h34m20s|
|3. Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||1h35m08s|
|4. Maggi (Bugatti)||1h35m33s|
|5. Danese (Alfa Romeo)||1h40m06s|
|6. Di Veccio (Bugatti)||1h40m25s|
|7. Fontana (O.M.)||1h43m59s|
|8. Avattaneo (Bugatti)||1h52m10s|
|9. Gazzabini (Alfa Romeo)||2h04m23s|
|1. Matrullo (Salmson)||1h48m12s|
|2. Moradei (Salmson)||1h49m03s|
|3. Arzilla (Amilcar)||1h45m47s|
|4. Savelli (Fiat)||2h02m16s|
|5. Lunghi (Fiat)||2h04m12s|
On lap seven Fagioli led Campari by over two minutes, followed by Maggi and Borzacchini who appeared to have a battle going with similar lap times, yet 88 seconds separated them on the road. Avattaneo stopped his Bugatti at
his pit to refuel while Danese retired his Alfa Romeo at Romito while occupying fifth position.
In the small group Moradei had regained his lead ahead of Matrullo.
|1. Fagioli (Maserati)||1h47m24s|
|2. Campari (Alfa Romeo)||1h49m52s|
|3. Maggi (Bugatti)||1h50m45s|
|4. Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||1h50m47s|
|5. Di Veccio (Bugatti)||1h57m29s|
|6. Fontana (O.M.)||?|
|7. Avattaneo (Bugatti)||2h11m27s|
|8. Gazzabini (Alfa Romeo)||2h21m10s|
|1. Moradei (Salmson)||2h06m07s|
|2. Matrullo (Salmson)||2h06m30s|
|3. Arzilla (Amilcar)||2h15m12s|
|4. Savelli (Fiat)||2h25m23s|
|5. Lunghi (Fiat)||2h44m22s|
On lap eight Fagioli was driving regularly in the lead, while Campari and Maggi were battling for second place but were eight seconds apart on the road. The order was:
The small group order remained unchanged: Moradei (Salmson), Matrullo (Salmson), Arzilla (Amilcar), Savelli (Fiat) and Lunghi (Fiat).
|1. Fagioli (Maserati)||2h02m50s|
|2. Campari (Alfa Romeo)||2h05m30s|
|3. Maggi (Bugatti)||2h05m52s|
|4. Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||2h06m26s|
|5. Di Veccio (Bugatti)||2h14m49s|
|6. Fontana (O.M.)||2h18m45s|
|7. Avattaneo (Bugatti)||2h34m07s|
|8. Gazzabini (Alfa Romeo)||2h38m34s|
On lap nine Fagioli still held the lead, while Di Veccio retired his Bugatti.
The order of the small group remained unchanged with Moradei first ahead of Matrullo, Arzilla, Savelli and Lunghi.
|1. Fagioli (Maserati)||2h18m14s|
|2. Campari (Alfa Romeo)||2h20m56s|
|3. Maggi (Bugatti)||2h21m02s|
|4. Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||2h21m55s|
|5. Fontana (O.M.)||2h36m11s|
|6. Gazzabini (Alfa Romeo)||2h55m34s [estimated time]|
|7. Avattaneo (Bugatti)||2h58m10s|
There were no position changes during lap ten. Fagioli slightly slowed his pace on this last lap, winning in 2h33m59.6s at 87.666 km/h, beating the previous course record from 1929 by Varzi with 2h34m51.6s at 87,173 km/h.
Fagioli was received with great applause while the band played the Marcia Reale Italiana. Campari in second place trailed over two minutes behind but improved upon the time with the Alfa Romeo 1750 compared to the previous
year with the same type of car. Conte Maggi, who had returned after a two years absence from racing, finished with his new Bugatti in third place and Borzacchini ended up fourth, his first drive with an Alfa Romeo after
leaving Maserati. Fontana, Gazzabini,Moradei and Matrullo had been lapped and drove another round to complete the required distance. Avattaneo (Bugatti) Arzilla (Amilcar), Savelli (Fiat) and Lunghi (Fiat), were not
classified because they exceeded the maximum time allowed.
Antonio Brivio with his 1500 Alfa Romeo was a late entry and was quoted of having started last. His race number was not published with the other numbers on Friday. He probably had number 82, which had been issued to an
unknown Alfa Romeo.
Carlo Gazzabini was classified with 2h56m02.8s as sixth finisher. This time is seriously flawed and should have been around 3h12m or more, which is based on his lap times of 16m57s, estimated 18m32s, est. 18m33s,
34m09s, 17m03s, 19m09s, 16m47s, 17m24s, est. 17m, est. 17m = 3h12m34s. He finished well within the maximum allowable time of 3h20m and why he was given the wrong time as stated by seven different sources remains a mystery.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
Automobile Club Livorno Manifestazioni
AZ - Motorwelt, Brno
IL TELEGRAFO, Livorno
L'Auto Italiana, Milano
La Domenica Sportiva, Milano
LA STAMPA, Torino
Manifesto by RACI & Moto Club Livorno
RACI settimanale, Roma
Special thanks to:
Biblioteca Labronica "F.D. Guerrazzi"