VI COPPA CIANO
Montenero - Livorno (I), 31 July 1932.
Over 1100cc: 10 laps x 20.0 km (12.4 mi) = 200.0 km (124.3 mi)
Below 1100cc: 8 laps x 20.0 km (12.4 mi) = 160.0 km (99.4 mi)
Nuvolari wins the Coppa Ciano
by Hans Etzrodt
The end of the international motor sport week at Livorno consisted of the 200 km race for the Coppa Ciano. The Swiss driver Villars was the only foreign entry in this otherwise national race in which the presence
of the Alfa Romeo works team contributed extra importance. The only serious competition to Nuvolari, Borzacchini and Campari in works Alfa Romeos came from their countryman Varzi in his red Bugatti. The remaining
entries played only a statistical role and consisted of eight Alfa Romeos, four Maseratis, two specials, one OM and one Bugatti. Nuvolari won in new record time, followed by his two teammates, then Varzi who
had to be content with fourth place ahead of four Scuderia Ferrari Alfa Monzas. Two independent entries were the last finishers. From the 17 starters only 10 cars reached the finish in time. The remaining cars
retired, except for Biondetti who crashed his MB-Speciale and was lucky to survive. Six cycle cars raced concurrently with the grand prix cars in a separate class up to 1100 cc. Principe Cerami won this 160 km
race ahead of Matrullo, both in Maseratis, followed by Pratesi and del Re, who were the only other finishers.
The Montenero circuit races near Livorno (called Leghorn in English) had been held since 1921. From 1922 onwards a 22.5 km circuit was used, which in 1931 was shortened to 20 km and routed from Ardenza Mare -
Montenero - Savolano - Castellaggio - and back to Ardenza Mare. The 1932 event was the 12th time that the race was held on the Circuito del Montenero and the organizer named it misleadingly the 12th Coppa Ciano
but in reality, 1932 was the 6th 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 the trophy. The Coppa Ciano name was
applied for the second time to the 1928 Montenero 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 1932 was the sixth running of the Coppa Ciano and the twelfth race on the Montenero circuit.
The Coppa Ciano race took place on the same day of the first Nice Grand Prix in France. The Italian event on the Montenero Circuit was considered the more important of the two because of its long tradition plus
works entries from Alfa Romeo and results counting for the Italian Championship. The 20 km circuit had to be lapped ten times by the cars over 1100 cc and the smaller cars up to 1100 cc had to cover only eight laps.
The class over 1100 cc received 26 entries of which the main contenders came from S.A. Alfa Romeo with two 2.6-liter monoposti for Tazio Nuvolari and Mario Umberto Borzacchini plus a 2.3-liter Monza for Giuseppe Campari.
The strongest rival to this formidable team was last year's winner Achille Varzi in his red 2.3-liter Bugatti. Four additional independent Bugatti entries were received from Cappagli, Giovanni Minozzi, Carlo Cazzaniga
and Renato Danese. The Scuderia Ferrari sent four 2.3-liter Alfa Romeo Monzas for Piero Taruffi, Pietro Ghersi, Guido D'Ippolito and Conte Antonio Brivio. Another seven independent Alfa Romeos were entered by Eugenio
Fontana, Renato Balestrero, Carlo Gazzabini and Mario Tadini in 2.3-liter Monzas, also Giovanni Salvati, Umberto Berti and Julio Villars in 6C 1750s. Maserati was represented by four independent entries by Secondo Corsi,
Conte Luigi Castelbarco, Signora Vittoria Orsini and Ferdinando Barbieri. Clemente Biondetti brought his MB Speciale and Conte Luigi Premoli his PBM, both hybrids of Bugatti and Maserati origin.
The up to 1100 cc cycle car class comprised 13 entries which are listed at the beginning of this report. All cars were from independents except Amedeo Ruggeri's Maserati, which was the only factory car. Luigi Platè
entered two of the odd Talbot "700-s" that were first raced in 1931. The 1500cc 8-cylinder engines were altered to comply with 1100 cc engine size by having two of their pistons removed.
Some of the Thursday practice times were published: Nuvolari in 15m8.4s, Borzacchini in 13m56.2s and Campari in 14m24.6s. On Friday Varzi was registered at 13m57.8s, Taruffi 14m58.4s, Ghersi 14m57.2s, D'Ippolito
16m15.6s and Fontana in 16m43.2s. In the small car class Prince Cerami's best time was 16m2.4s while Matrullo was stopped at 17m38.2s. The practice times had no influence on the starting positions since the starting
grid was based upon the race numbers, which were drawn by lots.
A crowd of 60 000 spectators witnessed the race, which was attended by the donor of the Cup, Signor Ciano, Minister of Communications, Vincenzo Florio and other luminaries. Some drivers withdrew, which were Salvati
(Alfa Romeo), Cappagli (Bugatti), Minozzi (Bugatti), Cazzaniga (Bugatti), Tadini (Alfa Romeo), Villars (Alfa Romeo) and Danese (Bugatti). Additionally, Gazzabini and Barbieri also did not appear at the start, which
reduced the field to 17 cars. The twisting and hilly Montenero Circuit was considered too dangerous for a massed start. Consequently the cars were sent off three at a time with a minute interval to the next row, so
that the entire starting procedure lasted just over five minutes, starting at 3:30 PM for the first three. The official Alfa Romeo team cars were in the fourth and fifth groups leaving the start. The small car class
followed after a one minute delay after the last of the large cars. Only six cars of the class up to 1100 cc started because Savelli (Talbot), Levi (Salmson), Aymini (Monaco), Platè (Talbot), Ardizzone (Fiat), Gazzabini
(Alfa Romeo) and Cappagli (Bugatti) had withdrawn.
The first driver to complete lap one was Varzi in 14m08s, then came Biondetti over two minutes later, but he stopped at his pit to change spark plugs in 1m30s, then joined
the race again. Corsi arrived next in third place almost three minutes behind Varzi, then Campari, Ghersi, Rondina and Brivio. When Nuvolari passed the finish line after
13m52s, there was great applause. He was followed by Balestrero, Borzacchini, Fontana, Castelbarco, Taruffi, Orsini and D'Ippolito. Gazzabini and Premoli's arrival was
not mentioned in the reports. Since the cars had started at different times, their positions on the track were different from their actual race order, which was as follows:
On the first lap Premoli had a bad crash at the descent towards Calafuria where his 2.8-liter BMP hit a stone road marker, lost a rear wheel, spun, overturned and fell into
a small ravine. He injured his shoulder and suffered other severe injuries. The unfortunate bleeding Premoli was put in an ambulance and taken to the Rosignano Solvay
hospital, where his condition was not considered life-threatening. Giovanni Lurani wrote, "Gigi Premoli with his special car had the most frightening accident, knocking his
head so seriously that he had to remain out of action for over a year." In the 1100 cc class Cerami (Maserati) was first in 15m57s, followed by Matrullo (Maserati) 16m15s,
Pratesi (Salmson) 16m52s, Ruggeri (Maserati) 17m04s and Del Re (Fiat) 17m50s.
|1.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||13m52s|
|3.||Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||14m05s|
|4.||Campari (Alfa Romeo)||14m22s|
|5.||Taruffi (Alfa Romeo)||14m26s|
|7.||Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||14m50s|
|8.||D'Ippolito (Alfa Romeo)||14m57s|
|9.||Castelbarco (Maserati)||no time|
|11.||Balestrero (Alfa Romeo)||16m00s|
|13.||Fontana (Alfa Romeo)||17m07s|
|15.||Signora Orsini (Maserati)||17m56s|
Varzi completed the second lap in 14m01s, Nuvolari in 13m55s. However Borzacchini established a new record lap in 13m46.2s at an average speed of 87.146 km/h, which enabled
him to overtake Varzi. Signora Orsini retired due to sickness. The positions at the end of lap two were:
In the small car class the battle between Matrullo and Cerami continued. Cerami (Maserati) remained first in 32m04s, followed by Matrullo (Maserati) 32m29s, Pratesi (Salmson)
33m34s and Ruggeri (Maserati) 33m56s.
|1.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||27m47s|
|2.||Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||27m52s|
|4.||Campari (Alfa Romeo)||28m28s|
|5.||Taruffi (Alfa Romeo)||28m45s|
|7.||Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||29m25s|
|8.||D'Ippolito (Alfa Romeo)||29m51s|
On the third lap Nuvolari established a new record lap of 13m42.2s at an average speed of 87.570 km/h, which improved upon last year's record of 14m00.6s at 85.652 km/h, made
by Varzi in his Bugatti. Borzacchini followed not far behind and Campari drove his usual steady race. Gazzabini was a slow driver, so it is not surprising that he was not
mentioned in the reports. The order after three laps was:
In the 1100 cc class Cerami (Maserati) 47m58s was still in the lead, followed by Matrullo (Maserati) 48m43s and Del Re (Fiat)
53m25s. Cambi's Salmson retired with a broken oil pipe.
|1.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||41m29s
|2.||Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||41m37s|
|4.||Campari (Alfa Romeo)||42m30s|
|5.||Taruffi (Alfa Romeo)||42m46s|
|7.||Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||43m59s|
|8.||D'Ippolito (Alfa Romeo)||44m30s|
|10.||Balestrero (Alfa Romeo)||47m37s|
|14.||Fontana (Alfa Romeo)||52m49s|
After four laps the Nuvolari-Varzi duel had changed to one between Nuvolari and Borzacchini. "Nivola" completed another lap in 13m45s, which was equaled by Borzacchini.
Varzi still held third place but was no match to the Alfa monoposti. Taruffi was still matching the pace of Campari. The standings were:
In the small car class Cerami (Maserati) remained first with 1h04m, followed by Matrullo (Maserati) 1h05m, Pratesi (Salmson) 1h06m50s, Del Re (Fiat) 1h11m31s and Ruggeri
|1.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||55m14s
|2.||Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||55m22s|
|4.||Campari (Alfa Romeo)||56m33s|
|5.||Taruffi (Alfa Romeo)||56m52s|
On lap five Nuvolari was still leading Borzacchini but only by nine seconds, then came Varzi in third place but already over one minute behind Nivola, followed by Campari,
Taruffi, Ghersi, Brivio and D'Ippolito. Perhaps the highlight of this race was the battle between Ghersi and Brivio for 6th and 7th places. After the first lap Ghersi was
eight seconds ahead, but Brivio reduced this consistently to seven seconds on lap two, four seconds a lap later and after five laps they were only two seconds apart. The
order after five laps was:
In the small car classification Cerami (Maserati) led in 1h19m59s, followed by Matrullo (Maserati) 1h21m05s, Pratesi (Salmson) 1h23m26s, Del Re (Fiat) 1h29m40s and Ruggeri
retired his Maserati.
|1.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||1h08m59s|
|2.||Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||1h09m08s|
|4.||Campari (Alfa Romeo)||1h10m36s|
|5.||Taruffi (Alfa Romeo)||1h11m04s|
|7.||Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||1h12m57s|
|8.||D'Ippolito (Alfa Romeo)||1h14m00s|
|10.||Balestrero (Alfa Romeo)||1h18m42s|
|14.||Fontana (Alfa Romeo)||1h23m25s|
After six laps Nuvolari's advantage stayed at nine seconds, while the gap between Varzi and Campari lessened. Finally, after more than 100 kilometers of racing Brivio fell
back a little, but was still only nine seconds behind Ghersi. Fontana retired due to mechanical troubles.
The order in the 1100 cc car class was Cerami (Maserati) 1h35m58s, Matrullo (Maserati) 1h37m26s, Pratesi (Salmson) 1h40m04s and in fourth place Del Re (Fiat) in 1h48m07s.
|1.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||1h22m46s|
|2.||Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||1h22m55s|
|4.||Campari (Alfa Romeo)||1h24m33s|
|5.||Taruffi (Alfa Romeo)||1h25m07s|
|7.||Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||1h27m19s|
|8.||D'Ippolito (Alfa Romeo)||1h28m36s|
|10.||Balestrero (Alfa Romeo)||1h34m25s|
On lap seven Borzacchini slowed down a bit and so did Nuvolari. The gap which had been a scant nine seconds increased marginally to 13, so Borzacchini was hardly out of
contention. Biondetti, who was expected to have a good race, was once more unlucky, as he broke a wheel-hub of his Bugatti and retired.
Cerami (Maserati) led the 1100 cc class in 1h52m08s, pursued by Matrullo (Maserati) 1h53m48s, Pratesi (Salmson) 1h56m04s and Del Re (Fiat) in 2h06m08s.
|1.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||1h36m40s|
|2.||Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||1h36m53s|
|4.||Campari (Alfa Romeo)||1h38m36s|
|5.||Taruffi (Alfa Romeo)||1h39m18s|
|7.||Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||1h41m47s|
|8.||D'Ippolito (Alfa Romeo)||1h43m25s|
|9.||Balestrero (Alfa Romeo)||1h49m58s|
On lap eight Varzi drove a lap in 13m57s, maintaining his advantage over Campari. Borzacchini drove a slightly faster lap than Nuvolari. At the same time Brivio cut into
Ghersi's lead by three seconds and was now only seven seconds behind. The order remained the same.
The eighth lap concluded the dull race of the 1100 cc class without any changes in a boring procession. Cerami was victorious, ahead of Matrullo, Pratesi and Del Re.
|1.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||1h50m42s|
|2.||Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||1h50m54s|
|4.||Campari (Alfa Romeo)||1h52m36s|
|5.||Taruffi (Alfa Romeo)||1h53m42s|
|7.||Brivio (Alfa Romeo)||1h56m21s|
|8.||D'Ippolito (Alfa Romeo)||1h58m14s|
|9.||Balestrero (Alfa Romeo)||2h05m22s|
On lap nine the order was still Nuvolari, Borzacchini, Varzi, Campari, Taruffi, Ghersi, Brivio and D'Ippolito. Nuvolari increased his advantage to 26 seconds from Borzacchini,
who was 1m43s ahead of the steadily driving Varzi in third place. The opinion of the press was that Campari was attacking Varzi. But on lap nine Varzi had actually started to
slow down, losing precious seconds from the advantage he had kept over Campari. This enabled the regularly driving Campari, who kept his lap times just around the 14 minutes
mark, to come closer to Varzi. Ghersi was now only three seconds ahead of Brivio. These minor changes brought a little excitement near the end of an otherwise lackluster race.
|1.||Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)||2h04m16s|
|2.||Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)||2h04m42s|
|4.||Campari (Alfa Romeo)||2h06m37s|
At the end of the tenth lap Nuvolari became the celebrated victor with Borzacchini in second place, followed by Campari. The opinion had persisted that Campari was attacking
Varzi, while in fact Varzi had slowed down even more on lap ten, which enabled Campari to advance to third place on the very last lap. Varzi in fact crossed the line first,
not having been passed on the road throughout the entire race, but since he had started three minutes before Nuvolari, victory went to the latter as he roared over the finishing
line about one minute later. Taruffi, fastest of the Scuderia Ferrari drivers, was happy with his performance in fifth place ahead of teammates Ghersi, Brivio and D'Ippolito.
|1.||30||Tazio Nuvolari||S.A. Alfa Romeo||Alfa Romeo||B/P3||2.6 ||S-8||10||2h18m19.4s|
|2.||36||Mario U. Borzacchini||S.A. Alfa Romeo||Alfa Romeo||B/P3||2.6 ||S-8||10||2h18m45.0s|
|3.||26||Giuseppe Campari||S.A. Alfa Romeo||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3 ||S-8||10||2h20m38.0s|
|4.||4||Achille Varzi||A. Varzi||Bugatti||T51||2.3||S-8||10||2h20m52.0s|
|5.||34||Piero Taruffi||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||10||2h24m30.0s|
|6.||42||Pietro Ghersi||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||10||2h24m55.0s|
|7.||46||Antonio Brivio||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||10||2h24m56.0s|
|8.||44||Guido D'Ippolito||Scuderia Ferrari||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||10||2h27m44.0s|
|9.||16||Renato Balestrero||R. Balestrero||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||10||2h38m57.0s|
|10.||10||Luigi Castelbarco||L. Castelbarco||Maserati||26M||2.5||S-8||10||2h39m45.0s|
|DNC||6||Silvio Rondina||S. Rondina||OM||665||2.2||S-6||9||flagged off|
|DNC||2||Secondo Corsi||S. Corsi||Maserati||26||1.5||S-8||9||flagged off|
|DNF||8||Clemente Biondetti||C. Biondetti||MB-Speciale||2.5||S-8||7||broken wheel hub|
|DNF||12||Eugenio Fontana||E. Fontana||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||6|
|DNF||14||Vittoria Orsini||V. Orsini||Maserati||26||1.5||S-8||3|
|DNF||50||Luigi Premoli||L. Premoli||PBM||3.0||S-8||1||crash, overturned|
|DNF||18||Carlo Gazzabini||C. Gazzabini||Alfa Romeo||Monza||2.3||S-8||?|
Fastest lap: Tazio Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo) on lap 3 in 13m42.2s = 87.6 km/h (54.4 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 86.8 km/h (53.9 mph)
Weather: sunny and hot
|1.||60||Domenico Cerami||D. Cerami||Maserati||4CM 1100||1.1 ||S-4||8||2h08m29s|
|2.||64||Francesco Matrullo||F. Matrullo||Maserati||4CM 1100||1.1 ||S-4||8||2h10m01s|
|3.||74||Albino Pratesi||A. Pratesi||Salmson||1.1||8||2h13m33s|
|4.||62||Luigi del Re||L. del Re||Fiat-Lombard||AL3||1.1||S-4||8||2h24m24s|
|DNF||82||Amedeo Ruggeri||Officine A. Maserati||Maserati||26C||1.1||S-8||5|
Fastest lap: Domenico Cerami (Maserati) on lap 3 in 15m53.8s = 75.5 km/h (46.9 mph)|
Winner's medium speed: 74.7 km/h (46.4 mph)
Weather: sunny and hot
1. Compiling the starting grid:
The first three rows and fifth row are correct with the help of three photographs.
Four drivers, two each in row 4 and 6 could not be placed at their proper grid position.
After lengthy investigation the following is a likely scenario but cannot be proven correct.
Row 4 might have included #42 Ghersi and #46 Brivio (both likely in the same row).
Row 6 might have consisted of #44 D'Ippolito and #50 Premoli.
Primary sources researched for this article:|
AZ - Motorwelt, Brno
CORRIERE DEL TIRRENO
Manifesto by the Royal AC of Italy & Moto Club Livorno
Motor Sport, London
Special thanks to:
Alessandro Silva, Biblioteca Labronica 'F.D. Guerrazzi', Dott.ssa Alessandra Stoppa, John Humphries