Il circuito del Montenero

III CIRCUITO DEL MONTENERO
(26 Agosto 1923)

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1923 - 26 agosto
Percorso: lunghezza 22,500 km
III Coppa del Montenero- Categoria Sport (8 giri -180 km)


1) RAZZAUTI Mario, su Ansaldo 2000, in 2h.41.59.2/5 (media 66,670 km/h);
2) LOTTI Corrado, su Ansaldo 2000, in 2h.43.34;
3) MARCONCINI Alete, su Chiribiri 1500, in 2h.45.34.4/5;
4) BRILLI-PERI Gastone, su Diatto 3000, in 2h.48.01.4/5;
5) CERCIGNANI Ferruccio, su Diatto 2000, in 2h.50.23;
6) BALESTRERO Renato, su OM 1500, in 2h.52.51.2/5;
7) PAGANI Luigi, su Ceirano 3000, in 2h.53.16.3/5;
8) FOSSATI Enrico, su CMN 2000, in 2h.57.53.3/5;
9) CECCHI Guido, su Om 1500, in 2h.58.53;
10) NOVI Dante, su CMN 2000, in 3h.02.39.1/5;
Giro pi veloce il 7 di Brilli-Peri Gastone in 18.13 a 74,108 km/h.

Classe 3000 cmc (8 giri - km 180)
1) BRILLI-PERI Gastone, su Diatto, in 2h.48.01./5 (media 64,274 km/h);
2) PAGANI Luigi, su Ceirano, in 2h.53.16.3/5;

Classe 2000 cmc (8 giri - 180 km)
1) RAZZAUTI Mario, su Ansaldo, in 2h.41.59.2/5 (media 66,670 km/h);
2) LOTTI Corrado, su Ansaldo, in 2h.43.34;
3) CERCIGNANI Ferruccio, su Diatto, in 2h.50.23;
4) FOSSATI Enrico, su CMN, in 2h.57.53.2/5;
5) NOVI Dante, su CMN, in 3h.02.39.1/5.

Classe 1500 cmc (8 giri - 180 km)
1) MARCONCINI Alete, su Chiribiri, in 2h.4534.4/5 (media 65,225 km/h);
2) BALESTRERO Renato, su OM, in 2h.52.51.2/5;
3) CECCHI Guido, su OM, in 2h.58.53.

(Da: Maurizio Mazzoni: Lampi sul Tirreno, Firenze 2006 - Auto-Moto-Ciclo del 1 Settembre 1923)
CIRCUITO MONTENERO 1923

Circuito Montenero - Livorno (I), 26 August 1923 8 laps x 22.5 km (13.98 mi) = 180 km (111.85 mi).

Drivers

First Category 1350 - 1500 cc

1 Luigi Bargagni, Fiat 501 S;
2 Carlo Guindani, Bugatti Silvani;
3 Renato Balestrero, OM 465;
4 Mario Corte, Bugatti DNA - (Did not appear);
5 Alete Marconcini, Chiribiri Monza;
6 Carlo Severi, Fiat 501S DNA - (Did not appear);
7 Guido Cesare Cecchi, Fiat 501S;
Second Category 1501 - 2000cc
8 Corrado Lotti, Ansaldo 4AS;
9 Ferruccio Cercignani, Diatto 20;
10 Mario Razzauti, Ansaldo 4AS or 4CS;
11 Enrico Fossati, CMN Sport tipo 7;
12 Carlo Masetti, Bugatti T22;
13 Dante Novi, CMN Sport tipo 7;
14 Amelio Baroncini, Nesseldorf DNS - (Did not start);
15 Carlo Parrini, Spa 23S;
16 Gastone Brilli Peri, Diatto 3000;
17 Emilio Materassi, Itala 51S;
18 Mario Mancini, Fiat;
19 Luigi Pagani, Ceirano CS2H;
Diego De Sterlich, Bianchi 18 DNA - (Did not appear);
Calesto Cantarini, Fiat DNA - (Did not appear);

Razzauti wins the Coppa Montenero with Ansaldo.
The 16 cars at the start were divided into three categories for the 8-lap race on the Coppa Montenero circuit along 180 km twisting mountain roads. Brilli Peri (3.0-L Diatto), Materassi (3.0-L Itala) and Carlo Masetti (2.0-L Bugatti) were the favorites. Brilli Peri held the lead for the first two laps, Masetti led the third round, Marconcini (1.5-L Chiribiri) was in first place from lap four to six and Razzauti (2.0-L Ansaldo) led lap seven and eight. The absolute victory went to Razzauti from Livorno, who benefited from the forced delay of Brilli Peri and the retirement of Masetti and Materassi. Razzauti's victory confirmed the Ansaldo's qualities of speed and endurance. Brilli Peri had to be satisfied with winning his category. Marconcini (Chiribiri Monza) won the 1500 category and was third overall, ahead of larger cars. Razzauti won the race followed by Lotti (2.0-L Ansaldo) winner of the first event, Marconcini in third place, ahead of Brilli Peri, Cercignani (2.0-L Diatto), Balestrero (1.5-L OM), Pagani (3.0-L Ceirano), Fossati (2.0-L CMN), Cecchi (1.5-L Fiat) and Novi (2.0-L CMN) tenth.

The races on the Montenero Circuit near Livorno (Leghorn) had been held since September 25, 1921 when the sportsman Paolo Fabbrini launched an event to show that Livorno could organize an automobile race of some importance. Corrado Lotti with an Ansaldo was the first winner. The course was also called Circuito del Romito from 1922 onwards. The start was in Ardenza Mare at the Principe di Napoli bridge - then along Via della Torre - Via del Pastore - Via del Littorale (Ardenza) - under the railway - Via di Montenero - Via del Castellaccio - Savolano - climbing up to Castellaccio - Via di Quercianella and then the descent to the sea at Romito - Via Littorale - Maroccone - Via Amerigo Vespucci - Via Duca Cosimo - Via dei Bagni - Viale Vittorio Emanuele II - to the finish at Ardenza Mare. The course was full of natural beauty and remained unchanged over the years. It was considered difficult without being dangerous. The narrow road twisted through 164 turns with steep gradients through the mountains and was a small replica of the Madonie in Sicily, but considerably shorter and did not allow high speeds. Eight laps had to be driven round the 22.500 km circuit, a total of 180 km. The Auto-Moto Club Livorno held the 1923 Coppa Montenero for its third running. The cars were divided into three categories, from 1350cc to 1500cc, 1501cc to 2000cc, and 2001cc to 3000cc. The overall winner was presented with the Coppa Montenero, a challenge trophy gifted by the Livorno Mayor and would also receive 5,000 lire, second 2,500 and third 1,500. In addition, prizes were given for the individual categories.

Entries:
Many of the better-known Italian drivers appeared for the Coppa Montenero. From 21 entries the favorites included Count Carlo Masetti in a Bugatti, winner of the second Coppa Montenero. He was expected to challenge Materassi with an Itala and Brilli Peri with a 3000 Diatto. Mancini's Fiat was some sort of a modified touring car. Baroncini was disqualified because his Nesseldorf was over 3-Liter but had been declared as a 2,8-L. Mario Razzauti, a native of Livorno, started with a 2-liter Ansaldo type 4AS or 4CS, a sports car with single-ohc 4-cylinder engine of 1980cc 72.5 x 120 mm giving 48 hp at 3500 rpm. The car had front wheel brakes and a 2769 mm wheelbase. Cerignani, who drove a Type 20 Diatto, had in the past repeatedly managed to lead the 1350 Wanderer to victory and was capable of great achievements. CMN (Construzioni Meccaniche Nazionali SA) was an Italian aviation factory in Milan and Pontedera (Pisa), after Piaggio. After WWI in 1920, they switched to car production with a conventional, rather dated, high built design with a 4-cylinder sv engine in 2.2 and 3-L forms. They had entered the 1919 Targa Florio and several hill climbs. Two 2-L cars were entered for Enrico Fossati and Dante Novi.
The 1500 category comprised seven cars, five of which started. About the Silvani & Botta it is known that in 1920 engineer Silvani together with shareholder Botta founded an Italian automotive company based in Milan, producing cars under the brand name SB (Silvani&Botta) until 1924, or were entered also just as a Silvani. Eugenio Silvani developed a cylinder head and built up the engine of a Fiat 501 and increased the performance significantly. According to Alessandro Silva, the 1923 Silvani car at Montenero was a 1500 Bugatti-Silvani for Guindani, who in 1924 would have the SB. Local drivers from Livorno included Bargagni (1500 Fiat), Corte (1500 Bugatti), Cecchi (1500 Fiat), Razzauti (2000 Ansaldo), Parrini (3000 Spa) and Mancini (3000 Fiat). Corte, Severi, de Sterlich, Baroncini and Cantarini did not start or did not appear. A complete list of entries is at the beginning of this report.
Race
The 22.5 km circuit was closed at seven in the morning and all traffic was stopped and removed when a car with the race commissioner on board started from the finish line with a red flag and a white center. Long before the start, a large crowd had lined up along the circuit and had occupied the stands placed at the start and finish at Ardenza. The cars had lined up behind the starting line. Because of the dusty dirt-roads, they were started individually in order of their race number at intervals of one minute and two minutes to the next category. However, the cars were not necessarily released at one-minute intervals. The starting times were determined beforehand according to the race numbers and if cars did not appear at the start (e. g. #4), then the car #5 was held to its predetermined time of departure. The start began at 8:00 in the morning and the last car left at 8:20.

Start
(h08:00) N1 Bargagni, Fiat 1500;
(h08:01) N2 Guindani, Silvani&Botta 1500;
(h08:02) N3 Balestrero, O.M. 1500;
(h08:03) N4 Corte, Bugatti Silvani 1500 (Did not start);
(h08:04) N5 Marconcini, Chiribiri 1500;
(h08:05) N6 Severi, Fiat 1500 (Did not start);
(h08:06) N7 Cecchi, Fiat 1500;
(h08:08) N8 Lotti, Fiat 2000;
(h08:09) N9 Cercignani, Diatto 2000;
(h08:10) N10 Razzauti, Ansaldo 2000;
(h08:11) N11 Fossati, CMN 2000;
(h08:12) N12 Masetti, Bugatti 2000;
(h08:13) N13 Novi, CMN 2000;
(h08:15) N14 Baroncini, Nesseldorf 3000 (Did not start);
(h08:16) N15 Parrini, Spa 3000;
(h08:17) N16 Brilli-Peri, Diatto 3000;
(h08:18) N17 Materassi, Itala 3000;
(h08:19) N18 Mancini, Fiat 3000;
(h08:20) N19 Pagani, Ceirano 3000.

Exactly at 8:00 AM the starter Teoli of the Auto Moto Club in Rome gave the starting signal to Bargagni in the Fiat to be followed by the remaining 15 cars. During the first lap Brilli Peri was the fastest, leading Masetti by 22 seconds. None of the cars retired. Brilli Peri's average race speed was 71.290 km/h with the field in the following order after the first lap:
1. Brilli Peri (Diatto) 18m.56.2s -3000cc (category);
2. Masetti (Bugatti) 19m.18.0s -2000cc;
3. Marconcini (Chiribiri) 19m.30.6s -1500cc;
4. Materassi (Itala) 19m.42.0s -3000cc;
5. Balestrero (OM) 19m.53.8s -1500cc;
6. Razzauti (Ansaldo) 20m.17.4s -2000cc;
7. Guindani (Silvani Botta) 21m.01.0s -1500cc;
8. Pagani (Ceirano) 21m.10.8s -3000cc;
9. Lotti (Ansaldo) 21m.24.4s -2000cc;
10. Bargagni (Fiat) 21m.35.8s -1500cc;
11. Cerignani (Diatto) 21m.55.8s -2000cc;
12. Cecchi (Fiat) 22m.18.2s -1500cc;
13. Fossati (CMN) 23m.10.2s -1500cc [time adjusted];
14. Parini (Spa) 23m.21.3s -3000cc;
15. Novi (CMN) 23m.49.6s -2000cc [time adjusted];
16. Mancini (Fiat) 24m.09.8s -2000cc [time adjusted].


After the 2nd lap, Brilli Peri, Masetti and Marconcini were in the front positions, while Materassi in fourth place suffered a problem and fell to the very end. Balestrero advanced to fourth place and Lotti climbed from ninth to fifth. Razzauti remained sixth but Guindani (Silvani Botta) retired near Castellaccio with broken differential. Pagani was now seventh and Bargagni (Fiat) retired after the first lap near Ardenza. When approaching a turn, he hit the corner of a house resulting with serious damage to one of his Fiat's wheels and engine but fortunately without harm to people. Cerignani moved from eleventh to eighth place. Brilli Peri's race speed was 71.090 km/h with the 14-car field in the following order after the 2nd lap:

1. Brilli Peri (Diatto) 37m.45.6s -3000cc (category);
2. Masetti (Bugatti) 38m.45.2s -2000cc;
3. Marconcini (Chiribiri) 38m.58.0s -1500cc;
4. Balestrero (OM) 39m.55.0s -1500cc;
5. Lotti (Ansaldo) 40m.45.2s -2000cc;
6. Razzauti (Ansaldo) 41m.27.4s -2000cc;
7. Pagani (Ceirano) 43m.09.2s -3000cc;
8. Cerignani (Diatto) 43m.11.6s -2000cc;
9. Fossati (CMN) 44m.03.8s -1500cc [time adjusted];
10. Cecchi (Fiat) 44m.11.8s -1500cc;
11. Mancini (Fiat) 45m.57.4s -2000cc [time adjusted];
12. Parini (Spa) 47m.12.2s -3000cc;
13. Novi (CMN) 47m.44.2s -2000cc [time adjusted];
14. Materassi (Itala) 53m.17.4s -3000cc.

During the third lap, Brilli Peri lost the lead when he stopped at the pits and dropped to fifth place, four minutes behind Masetti who was the new leader ahead of Marconcini and Razzauti who had advanced from sixth to third place. Masetti and Lotti also stopped at the pits. Masetti resumed, complaining of engine problems. Balestrero and Lotti remained in their positions, while the back of the field showed only minor changes where Materassi had now been lapped. He had stopped in front of his pit and despite suggestions of his mechanic to abandon, Materassi went about to repair his car with noticeable delay. Masetti's race speed average was 68.748 km/h and his 3rd lap time was 18m.56.2s, with the order as follows after three laps:

1. Masetti (Bugatti) 58m.11.8s -2000cc (category);
2. Marconcini (Chiribiri) 58m.23.4s -1500cc;
3. Razzauti (Ansaldo) 1h.01m.26.6s -2000cc;
4. Balestrero (OM) 1h.01m.33.2s -1500cc;
5. Lotti (Ansaldo) 1h.01m.49.2s -2000cc;
6. Brilli Peri (Diatto) 1h.02m.23.8s -3000cc;
8. Pagani (Ceirano) 1h.05m.03.8s -3000cc;
7. Cerignani (Diatto) 1h.04m.09.8s -2000cc;
9. Fossati (CMN) 1h.06m.06.4s -1500cc;
10. Cecchi (Fiat) 1h.06m.28.8s -1500cc;
11. Mancini (Fiat) 1h.08m.36.0s -2000cc;
12. Novi (CMN) 1h.09m.51.6s -2000cc;
13. Parini (Spa) 1h.11m.14.2s -3000cc;
14. Materassi (Itala) 1h.29m.14.2s -3000cc (1 lap behind).


During the fourth lap Masetti stopped to refuel and change tires. He dropped to fourth place, five minutes behind Marconcini, who was now the new leader ahead of Razzauti in second place. Brilli Peri had a problem at the descent of Romito, when the left front spring separated. He was forced to a long repair of over 15 minutes in the pits and fell from sixth to 12th place. Materassi was driving again. Marconcini's race average speed was 69.581 km/h and his 4th lap time was 19m.13s, with the order as follows after four laps:

1. Marconcini (Chiribiri) 1h.17m.36.4s -1500cc (category);
2. Razzauti (Ansaldo) 1h.21m.25.0s -2000cc;
3. Lotti (Ansaldo) 1h.22m.29.0s -2000cc;
4. Masetti (Bugatti) 1h.22m.56.6s -2000cc;
5. Balestrero (OM) 1h.23m.45.8s -1500cc;
6. Cerignani (Diatto) 1h.26m.07.0s -2000cc;
7. Pagani (Ceirano) 1h.26m.53.8s -3000cc;
8. Fossati (CMN) 1h.28m.26.0s -1500cc;
9. Cecchi (Fiat) 1h.28m.50.0s -1500cc; [time estimated, it was not listed]
10. Mancini (Fiat) 1h.31m.36.0s -2000cc;
11. Novi (CMN) 1h.31m.56.2s -2000cc;
12. Brilli Peri (Diatto) 1h.34m.12.2s -3000cc;
13. Parini (Spa) 1h.35m.52.4s -3000cc;
14. Materassi (Itala) 1h.40m.20.8s -3000cc (1 lap behind).


During the 5th lap, Marconcini kept the lead, four minutes ahead of Razzauti in second place. Masetti dropped from fourth to very last place. After his repair, Brilli Peri advanced from 11th position to 9th place. Materassi probably stopped again as he was now two laps behind. Marconcini's average race speed was 69.477 km/h and his 5th lap time was 19m.32.8s, with the field in the following order after the 5th lap:

1. Marconcini (Chiribiri) 1h.37m.09.2s 1500cc category;
2. Razzauti (Ansaldo) 1h.41m.25.4s -2000cc;
3. Lotti (Ansaldo) 1h.41m.48.0s -2000cc;
4. Balestrero (OM) 1h.45m.31.0s -1500cc;
5. Cerignani (Diatto) 1h.46m.07.4s -2000cc;
6. Pagani (Ceirano) 1h.50m.32.8s -3000cc;
7. Fossati (CMN) 1h.50m.47.4s -1500cc;
8. Cecchi (Fiat) 1h.51m.04.2s -1500cc;
9. Brilli Peri (Diatto) 1h.54m.12.8s -3000cc;
10. Mancini (Fiat) 1h.55m.42.4s -2000cc;
11. Novi (CMN) 1h.57m.36.6s -2000cc (1 lap behind);
12. Parini (Spa) 2h.01m.09.8s -3000cc (1 lap behind);
13. Materassi (Itala) 2h.10m.23.4s -3000cc (1 lap behind);
14. Masetti (Bugatti) 2h.22m.11.6s -2000cc (2 laps behind).


During the 6th lap, Marconcini stopped to add to his oil supply but kept the lead four minutes ahead of Razzauti in second place. Balestrero lost time with a puncture and dropped one position as Cerignani moved to fourth place. Masetti stopped at the pits and retired either due to the gearbox or engine broken. Brilli Peri advanced from 9th to 7th place, while Materassi remained last. Marconcini's race speed average was 69.207 km/h and his 6th lap time was 19m43.2s with the 13-car field in the following order after the six laps:

1. Marconcini (Chiribiri) 1h.57m.02.4s -1500cc (category);
2. Razzauti (Ansaldo) 2h.01m.25.6s -2000cc;
3. Lotti (Ansaldo) 2h.01m.46.8s -2000cc;
4. Cerignani (Diatto) 2h.07m.27.4s -2000cc;
5. Balestrero (OM) 2h.09m.11.8s -1500cc;
6. Pagani (Ceirano) 2h.09m.55.6s -3000cc;
7. Brilli Peri (Diatto) 2h.11m.35.0s -3000cc;
8. Cecchi (Fiat) 2h.13m.24.4s -1500cc;
9. Fossati (CMN) 2h.13m.39.4s -1500cc;
10. Novi (CMN) 2h.19m.24.4s -2000cccc (1 lap behind);
11. Mancini (Fiat) 2h.19m.58.4s -2000cc (1 lap behind);
12. Parini (Spa) 2h.32m.08.2s -3000cc (1 lap behind);
13. Materassi (Itala) 2h.38m.37.4s -3000cc (2 lap behind).


During the 7th lap, Razzauti took the lead and was two minutes ahead of Marconcini in second place. Brilli Peri climbed from 7th to 5th place as he made the fastest lap of the race in 18m13s at 74.108 km/h average speed, having beaten the existing record set by Carlo Masetti the year before in19m56s at 68.227 km/h average. Balestrero suffered another puncture and dropped from fifth to seventh place. The field was reduced to ten cars after Mancini (Fiat) retired with a broken gearbox, Parini (Spa) ended his race with a broken brass bushing and Materassi definitively disappeared. Razzauti's race speed average was 67.227 km/h and his 7th lap time was 20m08.4s, with the field in the following order after the 7th lap:

1. Razzauti (Ansaldo) 2h.21m.34.0s -2000cc (category);
2. Marconcini (Chiribiri) 2h.23m.29.4s -1500cc;
3. Lotti (Ansaldo) 2h.24m.10.2s -2000cc:
4. Cerignani (Diatto) 2h.29m.13.4s -2000cc;
5. Brilli Peri (Diatto) 2h.29m.48.0s -3000cc;
6. Pagani (Ceirano) 2h.31m.17.6s -3000cc [time adjusted];
7. Balestrero (OM) 2h.31m.26.4s -1500cc;
8. Fossati (CMN) 2h.31m.27.6s -1500cc;
9. Cecchi (Fiat) 2h.36m.15.0s -1500cc;
10. Novi (CMN) 2h.40m.56.4s -2000cc.


Brilli Peri made up time, minute after minute. His Diatto responded magnificently to its driver but the "Montenero Cup" was now out of reach because he had not enough time to bridge the gap. The crowd eagerly applauded Brilli Peri's passage in the fast Diatto; but he, who had just finished the race, did not stop, and launched his car again, like a fury. The crowd was leaving slowly, but full of applause to all finishers, and gave a great ovation to Razzauti who was a popular local winner.

Results
1(N10) Mario Razzauti, Ansaldo 4AS or 4CS 2000cc (8 Laps) 2h.41m.59.4s;
2(N8) Corrado Lotti, Ansaldo 4AS 2000cc (8 Laps) 2h.43m.34.0s (+ 1m.34.6s);
3(N5) Alete Marconcini, Chiribiri Monza 1500cc (8 Laps) 2h.45m.34.8s /+ 3m.35.4s);
4(N16) Gastone Brilli Peri, Diatto 3000cc (8 Laps) 2h.48m.01.8s (+ 6m.02.4s);
5(N9) Ferruccio Cercignani, Diatto 20 2000cc (8 Laps) 2h.50m.28.0s (+ 8m.28.6s);
6(N3) Renato Balestrero, O.M. 465 1500cc (8 Laps) 2h.52m.51.4s (+ 10m.52.0s);
7(N19) Luigi Pagani, Ceirano CS2H 3000cc (8 Laps) 2h.53m.16.6s (+ 11m.17.2s);
8(N11) Enrico Fossati, CMN Sport Tipo 7 2000cc (8 Laps) 2h.57m.53.6s (+ 15m.54.2s);
9(N7) Guido Cesare Cecchi, Fiat 501S 1500cc (8 Laps) 2h.58m.53.0s (+16m.53.6s);
10(N13) Dante Novi, CMN 2000cc (8 Laps) 3h.02m.39.2s (+ 20m.39.8s);
DNF (N18) Mario Mancini, Fiat 2300cc (6 Laps) (gearbox);
DNF (N15) Carlo Parrini, Spa 23S 3000cc (6 Laps) (brass bushing);
DNF (N17) Emilio Materassi, Itala 51S 2800cc (6Laps) (mechanical);
DNF (N12) Carlo Masetti, Bugatti T22 2000cc (5 Laps) (engine or gearbox);
DNF (N1) Luigi Bargagni, Fiat 501S 1500cc (1 Lap) (crash);
DNF (N2) Carlo Guindani, Bugatti Silvani 1500cc (1 Lap) (differential).
Fastest lap: Gastone Brilli Peri (Diatto) on lap 7 in 18m.13s = 74.1 km/h (46.0 mph).
Winner's average speed 3000cc (Brilli Peri): 64.3 km/h (40.0 mph).
Winner's average speed 2000cc (Razzauti): 66.7 km/h (41.4 mph).
Winner's average speed 1500cc (Marconcini): 65.2 km/h (40.5 mph).
Weather: sunny and warm.

(by Hans Etzrodt in The Golden Era of Grand Prix Racing)

MARIO RAZZAUTI