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X GRAN PREMIO D'ITALIA

Autodromo di Monza (I), 5 June 1932.
5 hours over 10.00 km (6.21 mi) circuit.


No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngine

2Mario U. BorzacchiniSA Alfa RomeoAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8
4Marcel LehouxM. LehouxBugattiT512.3S-8
6Luigi CastelbarcoConte L. CastelbarcoMaserati26M2.5S-8
8Tazio NuvolariSA Alfa RomeoAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.6S-8
10Louis ChironAutomobiles E. BugattiBugattiT545.0S-8
12Luigi FagioliOfficine A. MaseratiMaseratiV55.0V16
14Giuseppe CampariSA Alfa RomeoAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.6S-8
16Achille VarziAutomobiles E. BugattiBugattiT545.0S-8
18Luigi PremoliL. PremoliMaserati26M2.5S-8
20Rudolf CaracciolaSA Alfa RomeoAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8
22René DreyfusR. DreyfusBugattiT512.3S-8
24Pietro GhersiScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8
26Albert DivoAutomobiles E. BugattiBugattiT512.3S-8
28Eugenio SienaScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8
30Carlo GazzabiniC. GazzabiniAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-8DNS - did not start
32Jean-Pierre WimilleJ-P. WimilleBugattiT545.0S-8DNA - did not appear
34Guglielmo PeriG. PeriBugattiT352.0S-8DNA - did not appear
36Emilio RomanoE. RomanoBugattiT35C2.0S-8DNA - did not appear
38Clemente BiondettiC. BiondettiMB-SpecialeSpecial2.5S-8DNA - did not appear
40Amedeo RuggeriOfficine A. MaseratiMaserati8C 28002.8S-8
Hans StuckH. StuckMercedes-BenzSSKL7.1S-6DNA - did not appear
Guy BouriatAutomobiles E. BugattiReserve
Ernesto MaseratiOfficine A. MaseratiReserve
Attilio MarinoniSA Alfa RomeoReserve
Antonio BrivioScuderia FerrariReserve


A new victory by Nuvolari with Alfa Romeo

by Hans Etzrodt
The tenth Gran Premio d'Italia was run to the 5-Hour International formula and was part of the 1932 European Championship. Fifteen of the best European drivers took the start. The prime battle occured between Nuvolari in the brand new lightweight 2.65-liter Alfa Romeo monoposto and Fagioli with the 16-cylinder Maserati. Continuous position changes made this a very exciting race to watch while all records were broken during this extremely fast race. The main contenders were Chiron and Varzi in 5-liter Bugattis, Nuvolari, Campari, Borzacchini and Caracciola with Alfa Romeos plus Fagioli with the 16-cylinder Maserati. Alfa Romeo proved to be superior and won. Fagioli's Maserati was consistently the fastest car but inadequate pit organization cost him the race, while the two Bugattis once more were a great disappointment and broke down as in the past.
According to Italian news reported byAUTOMOBIL-REVUE during April 1932, the Italian Grand Prix, initially scheduled for June 5 at Monza, was to be postponed to July 31 and held instead at Montenero. This was an unexpected change, considering that the circuit of Montenero was known to be extremely difficult, a 22.5 km narrow and twisting course, of which the greater part consisted of dusty dirt roads and did not allow the high speeds as at Monza. In early May it was then finally certain that the Grand Prix of Italy was to take place as initially planned. Special significance was attached to this event since it was counting toward the European Championship together with the Grands Prix of France and Germany, all three events run to the same 5-Hour formula. The Italian Grand Prix, which was the third event counting towards the 1932 Italian Automobile Championship, took place on the famous 10-km Autodromo di Monza, comprising the original 4.5 km high-speed oval track and the 5.5 km asphalt circuit. The cars could participate without restrictions on weight or engine capacity. The race was endowed with abundant monetary prizes, a total of 170 000 lire, where the winner received 60,000 lire, the second 30 000 lire and further down to fifth place.
Entries:
The race was considered out of the ordinary because the three rival works teams of Alfa Romeo, Bugatti and Maserati faced each other only a few times during the season. Single seat race cars were now allowed as of 1932 and Societá Anonima Alfa Romeo, located in Portello, Italy, entered for the first time their new 8-cylinder 2650 cc monoposto. Team manager Aldo Giovannini had entrusted Tazio Nuvolari and Giuseppe Campari to drive these brand new single seaters. Mario Umberto Borzacchini and Rudolf Caracciola were assigned to drive the older 8-cylinder 2300 cc Alfa Romeo Monzas and Attilio Marinoni was their reserve driver. Automobiles Ettore Bugatti from Molsheim, France arrived with their most established drivers, Louis Chiron and Achille Varzi in two of their 5-liter models, which had already shown their incredible speed at the Avusrennen. Albert Divo drove one of their Type 51 cars and Guy Bouriat was Bugatti's reserve driver. Officine A. Maserati from Bologna, Italy was the third works team with Ernesto Maserati in charge, and was also available as the reserve driver. He entered Luigi Fagioli in the bulky 16-cylinder 5-liter Maserati, in which the Italian had won last year's Monza Grand Prix, this year's Rome Grand Prix and Dreyfus had set fastest lap at Avus. Amedeo Ruggeri was assigned one of last year's 8C 2800 Maseratis.
      Additionally to these strong factory teams came a great number of independent entries, which would also be able to compete vigorously within the race. There was Hans Stuck with his Mercedes, the capable Bugatti drivers René Dreyfus, Marcel Lehoux, Jean-Pierre Wimille, Emilio Romano and Guglielmo Peri plus Clemente Biondetti with his special M.B. car and the Scuderia Ferrari representatives Pietro Ghersi and Eugenio Siena in two of their Alfa Romeo 2300 cc Monzas with Conte Antonio Brivio as reserve driver. Conte Luigi Castelbarco arrived with his personal 26M, 8-cylinder 2500 cc Maserati and Luigi Premoli also drove a 2500 cc Maserati 26M. Carlo Gazzabini in an 8-cylinder 2300 cc Alfa Romeo Monza concluded the entries.
Race:
The race was set to start at 9:30 and end at 2:30 in the afternoon. Despite the nice weather, the number of spectators was visibly less than in previous years. Estimated attendance figures went from over 50,000 to 100,000. The difficult economic times combined with two other popular sporting events in Milan on the same Sunday might have contributed to this decline. At 9:00 o'clock the cars were moved to assemble for the start. From the 20 confirmed entries only 15 showed up on the starting grid after four did not appear and Gazzabini with his Alfa Romeo failed to line up for the start.
Pole Position
2
Borzacchini

Alfa Romeo

4
Lehoux

Bugatti

6
Castelbarco

Maserati

8
Nuvolari

Alfa Romeo

10
Chiron

Bugatti

12
Fagioli

Maserati

14
Campari

Alfa Romeo

16
Varzi

Bugatti

18
Premoli

Maserati

20
Caracciola

Alfa Romeo

22
Dreyfus

Bugatti

24
Ghersi

Alfa Romeo

26
Divo

Bugatti

28
Siena

Alfa Romeo

40
Ruggeri

Maserati

When Signore Achille Starace, Secretary-General of the Fascist party, lowered the checkered flag at 9:42 AM, an unparalleled engine thunder and supercharger wail set off as the tangled pack of 15 cars took off in a cloud of bluish smoke. The hubbub of the engines drowned the enthusiastic exultation of the crowd who composed themselves for five interesting hours. After less than two minutes the increasing wail announced the approach of the cars and the group hurtled by on the inner of the two parallel tracks past the pits. After 3m34s, Nuvolari in the brilliant red Alfa Romeo monoposto finished the first lap in front and Chiron with the big light blue Bugatti right on his tail, then Campari in the second slim Monoposto just a car length behind. Nuvolari was still in the lead going into lap two, shadowed by Campari and Chiron, behind them rushed the entire pack at tremendous speed, Borzacchini, Fagioli, Varzi, Lehoux, Dreyfus, Ruggeri, and Ghersi completed the first ten. On the second lap Chiron re-passed Campari and Nuvolari, Fagioli was fourth ahead of Varzi. Caracciola, Castelbarco and Premoli stopped at the pits on lap two. The German spent an awfully long time - 14 minutes - to have the magneto worked on and only left the pits when his opponents in the meantime had gained a five laps advantage. Despite his hopeless position Caracciola proceeded in the race but never had a chance to make up the lost ground. Chiron drove a new record lap on the third round in 3m24s at 176.125 km/h. After 5 laps or 50 kilometers the order was:
1. Chiron (Bugatti)17m38s
2. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)17m38s
3. Fagioli (Maserati)17m40s
4. Varzi (Bugatti)17m46s
5. Campari (Alfa Romeo)17m47s

The battle for the lead was fierce and kept changing continuously. After 10 laps Fagioli held the lead with his Maserati in 34m48.6s at 172.364 km/h, ahead of Nuvolari's Alfa Romeo, followed by the Bugattis of Varzi and Chiron, Borzacchini's Alfa, Ruggeri's Maserati, Dreyfus and Brivio. Fagioli, who felt at home on the Monza circuit, held his position for many laps. Even Nuvolari's attempts to pass the 16-cylinder Maserati were of no avail. W. F. Bradley in The Autocar described the situation: "The race was very thrilling. At intervals of less than two minutes the leaders would flash by, either on the inner or outer of the two parallel tracks, at 140 miles per hour, sometimes side by side, until one wondered who would give way on the bends, but never separated by more than a few lengths." Interesting that Varzi had overtaken Chiron, who had been Bugatti's leading protagonist during the early laps. Not only that, he was a full 18 seconds ahead of Chiron. This situation was nowhere reported. But we can deliberate over the question of Chiron's slump. The most likely reason was the onset of his car's fuel feed problems, plugged up fuel lines and possible carburetor jets, diminishing the engine's performance. It was hot and dry because the sun was shining all the time. The hot temperatures combined with the greater effort to drive the 5-liter Bugatti and overcome its inherent handling problems, including the possibility that Chiron may still have been weak from his accident at Monaco. After 15 laps Fagioli led with 52m04s at an average speed of 172.855 km/h in the order of:
1. Fagioli (Maserati)52m04.0s
2. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)52m07.2s
3. Campari (Alfa Romeo)52m14.2s
4. Varzi (Bugatti)52m16.0s
5. Chiron (Bugatti)52m34.8s
6. Ruggeri (Maserati)53m37.4s
7. Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)53m38.2s
8. Dreyfus (Bugatti)53m39.0s
9. Ghersi (Alfa Romeo)55m38.2s
10. Divo (Bugatti)55m47.0s
11. Lehoux (Bugatti)57m21.0s
12. Premoli (Maserati)57m26.0s

On lap 19 Campari passed Nuvolari for second place. On the following round Lehoux retired with engine trouble and Castelbarco had a slight accident when his car skidded off the track and crashed but the driver was not badly hurt. Divo was running steadily at the rear in the 2300 cc Bugatti and did not impress. After 20 rounds Fagioli maintained his lead with 1h09m11.4s at an average speed of 173.435 km/h in the order of:
1. Fagioli (Maserati)1h09m11.4s
2. Campari (Alfa Romeo)1h09m18.2s
3. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)1h09m20.4s
4. Varzi (Bugatti)1h09m47.6s
5. Chiron (Bugatti)1h10m17.8s
6. Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)1h10m58.6s
7. Dreyfus (Bugatti)1h11m22.6s
8. Ruggeri (Maserati)1h11m31.0s
9. Siena (Alfa Romeo)1h11m38.4s
10. L. Castelbarco (Maserati)1h12m14.8s
11. Divo (Bugatti)1h14m15.0s
12. Ghersi (Alfa Romeo)1h14m15.8s
13. Lehoux (Bugatti)1h15m00.4s
14 Caracciola (Alfa Romeo)1h29m18.0s

On lap 23 Fagioli had to change tires and refuel, which took no less than 3m7s until he could start again, having fallen to eighth. In the meantime Nuvolari once more held the lead and Campari was second. But then Campari stopped after lap 23 to change all four wheels, take on fuel, oil and water and wipe the windscreen, all in 1m29s, which lost him several places. Between lap 15 and 25 Varzi had lost a further 36 seconds on Nuvolari, who was lapping three seconds a lap quicker. This might have been due also to the onset of gearbox problems Varzi encountered and slowing him down. An odd situation was the dead-heat between Varzi and Chiron on lap 25, both the same time by a split second. Were they driving next to each other? Very unlikely! It could have been a simple typo by the reporter or typesetter at the Italian newspaper. It was reported that Varzi and Chiron had both slowed their early pace. After 25 laps Nuvolari still led in 1h26m35.6s at an average speed of 173.256 km/h in the order:
1. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)1h26m35.6s
2. Varzi (Bugatti)1h27m21.4s
3. Chiron (Bugatti)1h27m21.4s
4. Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)1h28m36.2s
5. Campari (Alfa Romeo)1h28m56.2s
6. Dreyfus (Bugatti)1h29m17.6s
7. Ruggeri (Maserati)1h29m38.4s
8. Fagioli (Maserati)1h30m07.4s
9. Ghersi (Alfa Romeo)1h32m46.4s
10. Caracciola (Alfa Romeo)1h36m39.0s
11. Premoli (Maserati)1h43m40.4s

Nuvolari's stop for new tires and refueling took 1m36s. On lap 26 Borzacchini was hit on his forehead by a stone thrown from the wheel of a car he was going to pass but the Italian continued courageously to reach his pit despite blood over his face and white overalls. While Borzacchini received medical attention, he was substituted immediately by Marinoni. The pit stops caused changes in the positions of the race and brought Varzi and Chiron into the lead since they would come in for their tire changes later.
      After 26 laps the order was Varzi, Chiron, Nuvolari, Campari, Dreyfus, Ruggeri, Fagioli and Siena. Chiron and Varzi in the 5-liter Bugattis seemed to be as fast as any car on the straights but in the curves the new Alfa Monoposti and 16-cylinder Maserati were able to leave them behind. While Chiron and Varzi had maintained good positions and a victory of theirs seemed to be a good possibility, trouble was on its way. Both drivers had slowed down from their initial fast speed shown at the beginning due it seemed to the heavy Bugattis' tiring handling. Both drivers stopped on lap 26 and 27. Varzi had problems selecting a gear and was out of the race with a faulty transmission. Then Chiron drove slowly into his pit and complained about pain in his shoulder. His slow down was due to a choked fuel line. The lines and filters were cleaned and then Varzi took the wheel of Chiron's car, as the Frenchman decided not to carry on. Because of the long stop Varzi in Chiron's Bugatti tried to regain lost ground while Chiron got his pains alleviated by a masseur. When Ghersi came into the Ferrari pits for a tire change and refuel, Brivio took over his Alfa Romeo Monza. Divo, who had kept going steadily near the end of the field, brought his Bugatti in for new tires and fuel, to be relieved by Bouriat. Nuvolari and Campari now had an easy time at the front. Dreyfus had worked himself into third position with an outside chance for more because his Alfa Romeo was too slow to meddle with the two monoposti. Fagioli was fourth after having made up the deficit from his earlier long stop. After 30 laps Nuvolari led with 1h46m15.2s at an average speed of 169.433 km/h and the order was:
1. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)1h46m15.2s
2. Campari (Alfa Romeo)1h46m30.6s
3. Dreyfus (Bugatti)1h47m22.4s
4. Fagioli (Maserati)1h47m28.2s
5. Borzacchini/Marinoni (Alfa Romeo)1h49m52.4s
6. Siena (Alfa Romeo)1h50m44.2s
7. Divo (Bugatti)1h52m22.4s
8. Ruggeri (Maserati)1h52m27.4s
9. Ghersi (Alfa Romeo)1h54m14.6s
10. Caracciola (Alfa Romeo)1h59m57.6s
11. Premoli (Maserati)2h08m00.0s

Varzi in Chiron's Bugatti retired after 39 laps due to a fuel feed blockage, which caused the car to run too lean and in turn was the cause of a seized piston. After 40 laps Nuvolari and Campari were still in front with Fagioli in third place catching up slowly. During those 15 laps Nuvolari had extended his lead over Campari from a scant 16 seconds to a much more comfortable 1m11s. After 40 laps Nuvolari led with 2h03m38.8s at an average speed of 169.838 km/h and the order was:
1. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)2h03m38.8s
2. Campari (Alfa Romeo)2h04m03.6s
3. Fagioli (Maserati)2h04m34.8s
4. Borzacchini/Marinoni (Alfa Romeo)2h08m06.6s
5. Dreyfus (Bugatti)2h08m16.4s
6. Siena (Alfa Romeo)2h08m23.2s
7. Divo (Bugatti)2h12m03.4s
8. Ghersi (Alfa Romeo)2h12m35.0s
9. Caracciola (Alfa Romeo)2h17m21.0s
10. Ruggeri (Maserati)2h18m53.0s
11. Premoli (Maserati)2h27m54.6s

Nuvolari must have been in his element, since there was nothing wrong with Campari's car. After 45 laps, around midrace, the order was:
1. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)2h38m42s
2. Campari (Alfa Romeo)2h39m53s
3. Fagioli (Maserati)2h42m35s

On lap 50 Campari lost his good position when he stopped for his second tire change. He lost a full eight minutes because his car would not start when cranked. It failed to ignite when push-started along the pits and then mechanics started work on the engine. An official had the mechanics push the car back from the Scuderia Ferrari pit to the Alfa pits where work continued feverishly for several minutes until the monoposto engine finally sprung to life. At the end of lap 50, Nuvolari led with 3h13m29.2s at an average speed of 170.554 km/h and the order was:
1. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)3h13m29.2s
2. Fagioli (Maserati)3h16m45.0s
3. Dreyfus (Bugatti)3h19m10.8s
4. Borzacchini/Marinoni (Alfa Romeo)3h19m40.4s
5. Campari (Alfa Romeo)3h22m35.0s
6. Siena (Alfa Romeo)3h23m12.4s
7. Divo (Bugatti)3h25m15.4s
8. Caracciola (Alfa Romeo)3h27m07.0s
9. Ghersi (Alfa Romeo)3h29m01.0s

After some time Nuvolari also stopped for new tires, fuel and service, which took 1m50s. In the meantime Fagioli in the 16-cylinder Maserati had regained the lead by driving at an incredible speed. Without question the Maserati was evidently the fastest car on the track, considerably faster than Nuvolari's Alfa Romeo monoposto. With both 5-liter Bugattis gone and Campari's monoposto now several laps behind, the race pointed to an exciting battle between Nuvolari and Fagioli.
      After lap 60 several driver changes took place. Bouriat in Divo's Bugatti came in for tires and fuel, to be relieved by a invigorated Chiron, who earlier had declined to drive and then refreshed himself. W. F. Bradley wrote in The Autocar that Borzacchini, after having had his head bandaged, felt better and decided against doctor's orders to take over the Alfa from Marinoni. But the pace was more than he could stand and after a short while he pulled back in, staggered out of the car and promptly fainted. Borzacchini recovered in time to avoid a ride in the ambulance waiting behind the pits. Caracciola, who had just parked his car with hopeless magneto problems jumped into the empty seat and took off in Borzacchini's car. On lap 61, Fagioli came in for new tires and temporarily handed over the car to Ernesto Maserati. At this third pit stop of the 16-cylinder Maserati, which took 4m10s, Fagioli, evidently lost all reasonable hope of winning the race. W. F. Bradley in The Autocar: "He changed all four tyres, filled up with petrol, oil and water, rinsed his mouth and poured water liberally over his head, wavered for a few seconds, and then turned the car over to Ernesto Maserati, with a loss of 4 min. 15 sec." On lap 65 Brivio in Siena's Alfa Romeo was forced to abandon the race due to ignition problems. The organizer later classified this car in ninth place having completed 654.723 km. Whether Ernesto Maserati in Fagioli's car made up time against Nuvolari is nowhere reported. Bradley mentioned that Maserati's stint in the 16-cylinder car lasted around 15 minutes, just enough time for Fagioli to refresh himself. Ernesto Maserati was still driving the car after 70 laps when the order was:
1. Nuvolari3h33m12s
2. Fagioli/Maserati3h34m00s
3. Dreyfus3h39m21s
4. Borzacch./Marin./Caracc.3h39m30s
5. Campari (Alfa Romeo)3h40m13s

On lap 71 Ernesto Maserati was called in and the recuperated Fagioli took over the car for the remainder of the race. Nuvolari was now one lap ahead of Dreyfus in second place and Caracciola was third in Borzacchni's car. Fagioli found himself in fourth place and set off with great determination to make up the lost time. He proceeded very purposefully, which enabled him to make up time quickly. He passed the Bugatti of Dreyfus who was still one lap ahead of him. Then he went past Chiron in Divo's car. On lap 74 Fagioli next grabbed the fast Alfa Romeo of Caracciola. The last hour was very exciting to follow Fagioli's progress. The tenacious Italian managed to improve his lap time for seven laps in a row to regain second place. His laps were 3m25s, 3m23s, then 3m22s, 3m21s and finally 3m19.4s, equal to 180.541 km/h average speed. This record lap was three seconds faster than Nuvolari's best in the slower monoposto. Fagioli even thundered past Nuvolari, which was not only a great moment for the spectators but Fagioli's determined chase brought new life into the race. Nuvolari could consent to the pass because he held a one lap advantage to Fagioli. The battle between Nuvolari and Fagioli was very exciting for the spectators, while behind there was a fight for third place between Dreyfus, Caracciola in Borzacchini's car and Campari, in which the Frenchman was defeated. On lap 77 Fagioli passed Dreyfus for the second time and took second place.
      While the Bugatti and Alfa Romeo drivers had exchanged the cars among themselves, Nuvolari had driven single-handedly for the entire five hours, after which he flashed past the finish with 83 laps completed, frantically cheered loudly by his compatriots. Fagioli finished second about 2˝ minutes later, while Caracciola moved Borzacchini's Alfa into third place. With this victory Nuvolari secured his position as the most successful driver of this season. For the third time within around two months the 40-year old Italian excelled in the hardest races, Monte Carlo, the Targa Florio and now at Monza. For Alfa Romeo it was also a great success to win the first race with their brand new monoposto. Count Giovanni Lurani wrote in his book NUVOLARI: "His wife Carolina preferred to be a simple housewife, this time she was called upon to place the crown of laurels on her husband's head. A delirious crowd invaded the track and carried Nuvolari on their shoulders."

Results

Pos.No.DriverEntrantCarTypeEngineLapsLength/Status

1.8Tazio NuvolariSA Alfa RomeoAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.6S-883837.608 km
2.12Fagioli / MaseratiOfficine A. MaseratiMaseratiV55.0V1682829.878 km
3.2Borzacchini / Marinoni / CaracciolaSA Alfa RomeoAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-882827.549 km
4.14Giuseppe CampariSA Alfa RomeoAlfa RomeoTipo B/P32.6S-882820.035 km
5.22René DreyfusR. DreyfusBugattiT512.3S-882820.000 km
6.26Divo / Bouriat / ChironAutomobiles E. BugattiBugattiT512.3S-881817.919 km
7.24Ghersi / BrivioScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-879796.193 km
8.40Amedeo RuggeriOfficine A. MaseratiMaserati8C 28002.8S-875750.000 km
9.28Siena / BrivioScuderia FerrariAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-865654.723 km
10.18Luigi PremoliL. PremoliMaserati26M2.5S-858580.000 km4h30m44.8s
11.20Rudolf CaracciolaSA Alfa RomeoAlfa RomeoMonza2.3S-857570.000 km3h42m22.8s *
DNF10Chiron / VarziAutomobiles E. BugattiBugattiT545.0S-839overheating
DNF16Achille VarziAutomobiles E. BugattiBugattiT545.0S-826transmission
DNF4Marcel LehouxM. LehouxBugattiT512.3S-820connecting rod
DNF6Luigi CastelbarcoConte L. CastelbarcoMaserati26M2.5S-819crash
Fastest lap: Luigi Fagioli (Maserati) on lap 77 at 3m19.4s = 180.5 km/h (112.2 mph).
Winner's medium speed: 167.5 km/h (104.1 mph)
Weather: sunshine, warm

* Note: read explanation below at 'Contradictions encountered'.
In retrospect:
The results of the Italian Grand Prix counted towards the European Championship, together with the French and German Grands Prix. With their great victory at the Italian Grand Prix Alfa Romeo held first place with one point, Maserati second with two points and the Bugatti Factory was next with six points. Drivers' points were one for Nuvolari, two for Fagioli, three for Borzacchini, four for Campari, five for Dreyfus, six each for all other competitors and seven for non starters.
      Maserati was criticized for their service organization because Fagioli lost in total a full 11 minutes in the pits despite the fact that his 16-cylinder car did not have any serious defect. In contrast the organization at Alfa Romeo was faultless.

Contradictions encountered:
ˇ The last row of the starting grid appears to have been a problem. Gazzabini #30 (Alfa Romeo) is shown in most grids on row 5 and Ruggeri on row 6. Because Gazzabini did not start in the race, Ruggeri moved into the vacant place on row 5. There is photographic evidence for this in the lead picture of The Autocar report of the Italian Grand Prix.
ˇ The start was planned for 9:30 and was so described in most reports but the Ialian Newspaper reported the start at 9:42 and the Frankfurter Zeitung wrote 9:45.
ˇ The number of Maserati factory drivers was rather small and many errors were seen in magazine reports. Officine A. Maserati employed very few drivers in 1932. Fagioli for sure, Dreyfus up to the Avusrennen and then Ruggeri. All other Maserati drivers were driving independently.
ˇ The main confusion was found with the various driver changes during the race. Most reports ignored the fact that the injured Borzacchini relieved Marinoni in his car to have a second stint, then he returned after a short time totally exhausted into the pits before Caracciola took the car over for the remaining laps.
ˇ Several reports ignore the fact that Fagioli relieved Ernesto Maserati on lap 71 and thereby wrongfully credited Ernesto Maserati for the exciting final chase, the various record laps including the fastest lap of the race. But as the earlier times show, Maserati also put in some very fast laps.
ˇ After Caracciola retired on lap 57, his time was stopped at 3h42m22.8s having covered 570 km. But Caracciola drove Borzacchini's car before that time from before lap 70 onwards, so the question is that if the car was indeed on the track for 3h42m then who drove Caracciola's car, after the German retired it?
ˇ Why some of the cars that retired were classified by the organizers as finishers is in itself a mystery.

Primary sources researched for this article:
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Berlin
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
AUTOMOBIL-REVUE, Bern
AZ - Motorwelt, Brno
BZ am Mittag, Berlin
Frankfurter Zeitung, Frankfurt a. M.
Freiburger Zeitung, Freiburg i. Breisgau
IL LITTORIALE, Roma
Mercedes-Benz Archiv, Stuttgart
MOTOR UND SPORT, Pössneck
The Autocar, London
The Motor, London

Special thanks to Alessandro Silva and John Humphries





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© 2014 Leif Snellman, Hans Etzrodt - Last updated: 15.04.2014