Il circuito del Montenero

IIa COPPA CIANO (19/26 Agosto 1928)

Introduzione Articoli Foto Classifica
e piloti
Percorso Pubblicitΰ

1928: 19 e 26 agosto
Percorso: lunghezza 22,500 km

Classifica Generale

“VIII Coppa del Montenero”- Formula Libera oltre 1500 cmc.
1) MATERASSI Emilio su Talbot, in 2h.38’.37”.2/5 (media 85,107 km/h);
2) NUVOLARI Tazio, su Bugatti, in 2h.39’.18”;
3) CAMPARI Giuseppe, su Alfa Romeo, in 2h.43’.37”.2/5;
4) TONINI Carlo, su Bugatti 1500, in 2h.52’.43”.4/5;
5) PICCOLO CUCINOTTA Letterio, su Maserati, in 2h.53’.37”.2/5;
6) BIONDETTI Clemente, su Salmson, in 2h.55’.23”;
7) PRESENTI Bruno, su Alfa Romeo 1500, in 3h.00’.16”;
8) CORTESE Franco, su Bugatti 1500, in 3h.03’.24”;
9) MASERATI Alfieri, su Maserati 1500, in 3h.04’.25”;
10) GIUSTI Angelo, su Bugatti 1500, in 3h.14’.28”;
Giro piω veloce il 5° di Nuvolari Tazio in 15’.38” a 86,354 km/h.

Classe oltre 1500 cmc. (10 giri - 225 km)
1) MATERASSI Emilio, su Talbot, in 2h.38’.37”.2/5 (media 85,107 km/h);
2) NUVOLARI Tazio, su Bugatti, in 2h.39’.18”;
3) CAMPARI Giuseppe, su Alfa Romeo, in 2h.43’.37”.2/5;
4) PICCOLO CUCINOTTA Letterio, su Maserati, in 2h.53’.37”.2/5;

Classe 1500 cmc. (10 giri - 225 km)
1) TONINI Carlo. su Bugatti, in 2h.52’.43”.4/5 (media 78,156 km/h);
2) PRESENTI Bruno, su Alfa Romeo, in 3h.16’.00”;
3) CORTESE Franco, su Bugatti, in 3h.03’.24”;
4) MASERATI Alfieri, su Maserati, in 3h.04’.25”;
5) GIUSTI Angelo, su Bugatti, in 3h.14’.28”.2/5.

Classe 1100 cmc. (10 giri - 225 km)
1) BIONDETTI Clemente, su Salmson, in 2h.55’.23”.2/5 (media 76,971) km/h;

“II Coppa Ciano - Coppa Livorno”- Macchine Sport classe oltre 1500 cmc (10 giri - 225 km)
1) RAZZAUTI Mario, su Alfa Romeo 1500, in 2h.47’.44”.3/5 (media 80,480 km/h);
2) PASTORE Cesare, su Maserati, in 2h.49’.21”.2/5;
3) CORTESE Franco, su Itala, in 2h.51.’38”;
4) BIONDETTI Clemente, su Salmson 1100, in 2h.54’.51”.4/5;
5) ROSA Archimede, su O.M., in 2h.58’.08”.2/5;
6) GHIZZI Italo, su Lancia, in 2h.59’.40”;
7) MORANDI Giuseppe, su O.M., in 3h.02’.22”;
8) BENINI Enrico, su Alfa Romeo 1500, in 3h.07’.49”;
9) BERNARDI Emilio, su O.M., in 3h.09’.30”;
10) PLINI PRATO Ugo, su Fiat 1100, in 3h.33’.49”;
11) ARZILLA Costanzo, su Fiat 1100, in 3h.34’.57”;
12) PERI Guglielmo, su Chiribiri 1500, in 3h.43’.45”;
13) DE MARTIS Oreste, su Fiat 1100, in 3h.46’.06”;
Giro piω veloce il 10° di Pastore Cesare in 16’.15”.2/5 a 83,043 km/h.

Classe oltre 1500 cmc. (10 giri - 225 km)
1) PASTORE Cesare, su Maserati, in 2h.49’.21”.2/5 (media 79,713 km/h);
2) CORTESE Franco, su Itala, in 2h.51’.38”;
3) ROSA Archimede, su O.M., in 2h.58’.08”;
4) GHIZZI Italo, su Lancia, in 2h.59’.40”;
5) MORANDI Giuseppe, su OM, in 3h.02’.22”;
6) BERNARDI Emilio, su O.M., in 3h.09’.30”;
Giro piω veloce il 10° di Pastore Cesare in 16’.15”.2/5 a 83,043 km/h.

Classe 1500 cmc. (10 giri - 225 km)
1) RAZZAUTI Mario, su Alfa Romeo, in 2h.47’.44''.3/5 (media 80,480 km/h);
2) BENINI Enrico, su Alfa Romeo, 3h.07’.49”;
3) PERI Guglielmo, su Chiribiri, in 3h.43’.45”;
Giro piω veloce il 7° di Razzauti Mario in 16’.26”.2/5 a 82,116 km/h.

Classe 1100 cmc. (10 giri - 225 km)
1) BIONDETTI Clemente, su Salmson, in 2h.54’.51”.4/5 (media 77,203 km/h);
2) PLINI PRATO Ugo, su Fiat, in 3h.33’.49”;
3) ARZILLA Costanzo, su Fiat, in 3h.34’.57”;
4) DE MARTIS Oreste, su Fiat, in 3h.46’.06”.
Giro piω veloce il 7° di Biondetti Clemente in 16’.37”.1/5 a 81,227 km/h.

Coppa delle Dame Macchine Sport (5 giri - 112,500 km)
1) Baronessa FIRPO VOTTI Emma, su Mercedes, in 1h.49’.24” (media 61,700 km/h).

(Da: Maurizio Mazzoni: “Lampi sul Tirreno”, Firenze 2006)

Circuito Montenero, Livorno (Italy), 19 August 1928.
10 laps x 22.5 km (13.98 mi) = 225.0 km (139.8 mi)

Class 1100cc

2 Pietro Cattaneo, (Amilcar) - 1100cc (DNA - did not appear);
4 Clemente Biondetti, (Salmson) - 1100cc;
6 Giorgio Faggioli, (Salmson) - 1100cc (DNA - did not appear);
8 Luigi Fagioli, (Salmson S. Sebastian) - 1100cc (DNA - did not appear);
10 Giuseppe Giovanardi, (Giovannardi Guzzi) - 500cc;
12 Giuseppe Lusiardi, (Salmson) - 1100cc;
14 Ignazio Moresco, (Lombard AL3) - 1100cc;
Class 1500cc
16 Cesare Pastore, (Maserati 26) - 1500cc;
18 Angelo Giusti, (Bugatti T37A) - 1500cc;
20 Salvatore Marano, (Maserati 26) - 1500cc;
22 Bruno Presenti, (Alfa Romeo 6C) -1500 - 1500cc;
24 Franco Cortese, (Bugatti T37A) - 1500cc;
26 Luigi Beccaria, (Bugatti T37) - 1500cc;
28 Carlo Tonini, (Bugatti T37A) - 1500cc;
30 Guglielmo Peri, (Chiribiri) - 1500cc;
32 Ernesto Maserati, (Maserati 26) - 1500cc;

Class over 1500cc
34 Emilio Materassi, (Talbot 700) - 1600cc;
36 Tazio Nuvolari, (Bugatti T35C) - 2000cc;
38 Ugo Sisto Stefanelli, (Bugatti T35) - 2000cc (DNA - did not appear);
40 Mario Razzauti, (Itala Tipo 61) - 2000cc (DNA - did not appear);
42 Giuseppe Campari, (Alfa Romeo 6C-1700MMS) - 1500cc;
44 Baconin Borzacchini, (Maserati 26B) - 2000cc;
46 Letterio Piccolo Cucinotta, (Maserati 26B) - 2000cc;
48 Giovanni Minozzi, (Bugatti T35) - 2000cc;

Materassi wins the Coppa Montenero for the fourth time
A mix of 19 race cars took the start for the 225 km Coppa Montenero. Materassi in his bored out 1500 Talbot achieved another victory his fourth at the difficult Montenero Circuit. Nuvolari followed nineteen seconds behind with his 2000 Bugatti and Campari finished third in a 1700 Alfa Romeo. These three drivers formed the trio which battled for the lead, keeping the spectators in suspense from start to finish. Tonini (1500 Bugatti) finished in fourth place followed by Piccolo Cucinotta (2000 Maserati), Biondetti (1100 Salmson), Presenti (1500 Alfa Romeo), Cortese (1500 Bugatti), Ernesto Maserati (1500 Maserati) and Giusti (1500 Bugatti) in tenth place. Marano, Moresco and Giovanardi had fallen far behind, exceeding the maximum allowable time and were not classified. There were six retirements, all with mechanical problems.

The races on the Montenero Circuit near Leghorn (Livorno) had been held since 1921. From 1922 onwards a 22.5 km circuit was used from Ardenza Mare - Montenero - Savolano, climbing up to Castellaccio and then descending to the sea at Romito to the start and finish at Ardenza Mare. The narrow road circuit twisted through 164 curves with steep gradients through the mountains and was a small replica of the Madonie in Sicily but considerably shorter and not allowing high speeds. Many of the curves had been expanded since the previous year, which would allow higher speeds. The start and finish with the grandstand was at Ardenza.
L'Automobile Club Livorno held the Coppa Montenero for its eighth running, a race that also counted towards the 1928 Italian Championship. The race on August 19 was followed by the Coppa Ciano, a sports car event on August 26. Both races were held on the Circuito del Montenero also known as Circuito del Romito, which had to be lapped ten times. They had wisely moved the starting time this year from morning to afternoon in the hope of attracting a greater crowd than in previous years. The regulations limited the number of entries to 40 cars which were divided into three classes, up to 1100cc, up to 1500cc and over 1500cc. To be classified, each competitor had to finish within 3 hours and 40 minutes, a maximum time limit that was based on 22 minutes per lap.
This year the race was endowed with exceptionally large prizes. The overall winner would be presented with the Coppa Montenero, a challenge trophy from the Mayor of Livorno and 50,000 lire. The prize money in each class was 10,000 lire for the first, 5,000 lire for second and 2,000 lire for third. The winner in the 1100 cc class received a gold medal from the King. The second overall finisher received a silver trophy donated by the province of the Livorno Delegation. A special prize was awarded to the driver who established the fastest lap of the race which was a bronze trophy from the Prime Minister Benito Mussolini. A Silver Cup from the Automobile Club Livorno was awarded to the first driver who lowered the existing lap record of Materassi in 16m.34s.

There was a two weeks break between the Coppa Acerbo and the Montenero Circuit, giving drivers and teams ample time to prepare for a new battle. Many of the better known Italian drivers appeared for the Coppa Montenero since the race counted towards the Italian Championship and 24 entries were received. Emilio Materassi was the favorite as triple winner, with Itala in 1925 and 1926 and with Bugatti in 1927. The Italian Champion arrived with last year's grand prix Talbot, 8-cylinders of original 1500 cc but had its engine bored out slightly, increasing its capacity to 1503 cc, which allowed it to race in the 2-liter category. After the Coppa Acerbo race Giuseppe Campari had sold his victorious Alfa Romeo P2 to Varzi and arrived at Livorno with a 6C-1500 Alfa Romeo but fitted with a new 1700 engine from the factory. The car was most likely the same or similar model that Campari had raced at the Targa Florio but now with the new 1700 engine. It was the latest supercharged 6C-1500 MMS Mille Miglia winning car, a stripped sports car without rear bodywork, revealing a cylindrical exposed fuel tank and a spare wheel at the back while the cockpit was open with two bucket seats. The car was probably on loan from the factory since Campari as a former Alfa Romeo driver maintained a close connection with the factory. Tazio Nuvolari who had a good chance for outright victory entered his 2000 cc supercharged Bugatti while Giovanni Minozzi raced a similar car but without supercharger. Other strong contenders were Letterio Piccolo Cucinotta and Baconin Borzacchini in 2000 cc Maseratis. The 1500 cc class comprised four Bugattis, three Maseratis, an Alfa Romeo and a Chiribiri. Franco Cortese and Carlo Tonini in supercharged Bugattis had the best chance for winning their class. They were racing against the supercharged Maseratis of Ernesto Maserati, Cesare Pastore and Salvatore Marano, the latter two were independent entries. The 1100 cc class included four starters of which Clemente Biondetti and Lusiardi in Salmsons had the best possibility for a class victory while Moresco with a Lombard and Giovanardi in his 500 cc car would have a hard battle. A complete list of entries is at the beginning of this report.

A large crowd had come to witness the outcome of the duel between Campari, Materassi and Nuvolari, the most famous drivers plus all the others. It was an extremely hot day but the spectators were not at all troubled by the heat since a cool breeze was blowing from the sea on the shore where the stands were located. From the 24 cars that had been entered, 19 lined up for the start. The following drivers did not appear: #2 Cattaneo (Amilcar), #6 G. Faggioli (Salmson), #8 L. Fagioli (Salmson), #38 Stefanelli (Bugatti) and #40 Razzauti (Itala). 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 an interval of 30 seconds between each car. However, the cars were not necessarily released at 30 seconds intervals, similar to the Targa Florio or Mugello starting procedures. The start times had been determined beforehand according to their numbers and if particular cars did not appear at the start (e.g. #6 and #8), car number 10 was held to its predetermined time of departure. For instance Biondetti left 30 seconds after 3:00 PM because the #2 car did not appear.
The regulations spelled out that the start took place at the finish line on the Boulevard Principe di Napoli from standstill with the engine running. 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. The actual start at 3:00 PM, which was announced by three cannon shots fired near the finish line, was given by Ms. Maria Ciano, the daughter of the Minister of Communications Count Costanzo Ciano di Cortellazzo. She lowered the traditional flag, to send off Biondetti. The crowd was very enthusiastic and applauded the most prominent drivers as they were preparing for the start. When Emilio Materassi received the "go" signal the applause became an ovation. So, one after the other all 19 cars were started individually until 11m.30s later when Minozzi in the Bugatti was the last to leave.

Drivers Start
3:00'00 #2 DNA
3:00'30 4 Biondetti (Salmson);
3:01'00" #6 DNA;
3:01'30" #8 DNA;
3:02'00” 10 Giovanardi (Giovanardi);
3:02'30" 12 Lusiardi (Salmson);
3:03'00” 14 Moresco (Lombard) (Last of the 1100 cc cars started);
3:03'30" 16 Pastore (Maserati);
3:04'00" 18 Giusti (Bugatti);
3:04'30" 20 Marano (Maserati);
3:05'00" 22 Presenti (Alfa Romeo);
3:05'30" 24 Cortese (Bugatti);
3:06'00" 26 Beccaria (Bugatti);
3:06'30" 28 Tonini (Bugatti);
3:07'00" 30 Brilli Peri (Chiribiri);
3:07'30" 32 Maserati E. (Maserati) Last of the 1500 cc cars started;
3:08'00" 34 Materassi (Talbot);
3:08'30" 36 Nuvolari (Bugatti);
3:09'00" #38 DNA;
3:09'30" #40 DNA;
3:10'00" 42 Campari (Alfa Romeo);
3:10'30" 44 Borzacchini (Maserati);
3:11'00" 46 Piccolo (Maserati);
3:11'30" 48 Minozzi (Bugatti).

At the end of the first lap, last year's record of 16m.34s was broken by three drivers. Materassi finished in 15m.57.4s at 84,604 km/h average speed, followed by Campari in 16m.09.6s and Nuvolari in 16m.15s. Materassi who undoubtedly enjoyed great popularity among the Tuscan fans was greatly applauded. His plan was to drive the first eight laps below 16 minutes, enabling him to slow down at the end. Borzacchini ended his race with engine problems in his Maserati, while Peri's Chiribiri retired somewhere round the circuit with a broken fuel line. At the end of the first lap Materassi led at 84.604 km/h average speed, with the first three cars in this order:

1. Materassi (Talbot) 15m.57.4s
2. Campari (Alfa Romeo) 16m.09.6s
3. Nuvolari (Bugatti) 16m.15.0s

After lap two Materassi was still in the lead but between Nuvolari and Campari there was a difference of less than one second. Though, due to the single car starting procedure, Nuvolari appeared at the grandstands a minute and a half ahead of Campari. Nuvolari drove the lap in 16m.12.8s which brought his total time up to 32m.27.8s, Campari's time was 32m.28s. Cortese made the fastest lap of the 1500 cc category in 16m.41s at 81,118 km/h average speed. Pastore retired his Maserati with spark plug problems at the beginning of the second lap and Beccaria retired his Bugatti with the same problem. At the end of lap two Materassi remained in the lead ahead of Nuvolari and Campari.

1. Materassi (Talbot) 31m.53.0s (estimated time)
2. Nuvolari (Bugatti) 32m.27.8s
3. Campari (Alfa Romeo) 32m.28.0s

On the third lap Materassi increased his lead substantially with a lap in 15m.52s at 85.030 km/h average speed. He was followed by Nuvolari, Campari, Cortese, Presenti and Tonini in sixth place. After the retirements of Borzacchini, Peri, Pastore and Beccaria the field was down to 15 cars. After four laps Materassi's lead over Nuvolari had increased to 49.4 seconds, while Campari followed 42 seconds behind Nuvolari. The press and spectators alike followed the battle of the first three drivers intently.
Meanwhile the order of the remaining 12 cars was not made available and their progress was seldom mentioned. Biondetti with his Salmson drove the fastest lap in the 1100 cc class in 16m.59.2s at 79.474 km/h.
Materassi finished the fifth lap in 15m.45s at 85.714 km/h average speed. Nuvolari finally increased his pace with a lap in 15m.38s at 86.354 km/h average speed, which remained as the outright fastest lap. The gap between Materassi and Nuvolari was 46.4s while Campari followed 43.2 seconds behind. Presenti stopped to change spark plugs while Maserati was briefly at his pit for more oil and Giovanardi stopped for gasoline. Minozzi retired with carburetor trouble and Lusiardi retired at the pits with brake trouble. After mid-race, five laps and about one hour and twenty minutes into the race, the field was down to 13 cars.
After six laps Materassi's lead over Nuvolari had increased to 51 seconds and the Florentine's average speed had gone up to 86.616 km/h. Campari maintained his third place with a large gap between his Alfa Romeo and the remaining ten cars. There were no drivers amongst these contenders who could possibly pose a danger or disrupt the order of the three cars in front. On the seventh lap Materassi's lead over Nuvolari decreased to 43.6 seconds, while Campari was 2m.46.4s behind the Italian Champion. Moresco (Lombard), stopped at the pits to change spark plugs which took six minutes. Cortese in the 1500 Bugatti finished his seventh lap in 16m.28.4s at 81.951 km/h average speed which was the fastest lap in the 1500 cc class. At the end of lap eight Materassi's lead over Nuvolari went up to 49 seconds. Until lap eight, Franco Cortese was leading the 1500 class by 4m.33.4s over Tonini, followed by Presenti and Alfieri Maserati, but a flat tire detained him at the pits. Cortese changed the tire in less than a minute but then his Bugatti refused to start.
After nine laps, Materassi was leading with a lap in 16m.07.4s. Cortese was still repairing his car and received help from Foresti at the Bugatti pits where after a few minutes the engine resumed and Cortese restarted at breakneck pace. Cortese rushed desperately to make up the lost time, but he had fallen too far behind to catch Tonini. Presenti stopped his Alfa Romeo once more for spark plugs.
Materassi's last lap was 16m.05.8s when he crossed the finish line. He was received with great applause, finishing in the record time of 2h.38m.47.4s at 84.928 km/h average speed. His victory was his fourth at the Coppa Montenero. Nuvolari finished in second place, 18.6s behind. Nuvolari had made up half a minute in the course of the last two laps, which may have made the race more exciting for the spectators. One mistake by Materassi or one problem with his car and the winner could easily have been Nuvolari. However, assumedly Materassi with a healthy lead merely slackened his pace to ensure that his car finished the race. The two valiant opponents Materassi and Nuvolari were highly complimented by the authorities. Campari in his Alfa Romeo finished 4m.40s behind the victor. Tonini in fourth place won the 1500 class ahead of Presenti who drove a very consistent and fast race. There were ten finishers and while Marano in eleventh position was still running he was far behind too and did not qualify, having exceeded the maximum allowable time. In the 1100 class Biondetti was the only survivor and finished in 2h.55m.23.4s at an average of 76.969 km/h. Giovannardi and Moresco exceeded the maximum time allowed while Lusiardi in the other Salmson had retired after four laps with brake problems.

1°(N°34) Emilio Materassi, (Talbot 700) - 1600cc (10 Laps) 2h.38m.57.4s;
2°(N°36) Tazio Nuvolari, (Bugatti T35C) - 2000cc (10 Laps) 2h.39m.16.0s (+ 18.6s);
3°(N°42) Giuseppe Campari, (Alfa Romeo 6C) -1700MMS - 1700cc (10 Laps) 2h.43m.37.4s (+ 4m.40.0s);
4°(N°28) Carlo Tonini, (Bugatti T37A) - 1500cc (10 Laps) 2h.52m.43.8s (+13m.46.4s);
5°(N°46) Letterio Piccolo Cucinotta, (Maserati 26B) - 2000cc (10 Laps) 2h.53m.37.4s (+ 14m.40.0s);
6°(N°4) Clemente Biondetti, (Salmson) - 1100cc (10 Laps) 2h.55m.23.0s (+16m.25.6s);
7°(N°22) Bruno Presenti, (Alfa Romeo 6C) -1500cc (10 Laps) 3h.00m.16.0s (+ 21m.18.6s);
8°(N°24) Franco Cortese, (Bugatti T37A) - 1500cc (10 Laps) 3h.03m24.0s (+ 24m.26.6s);
9°(N°32) Ernesto Maserati, (Maserati 26) - 1500cc (10 Laps) 3h.04m.25.0s (+ 25m.27.6s);
10°(N°18) Angelo Giusti, (Bugatti T37A) - 1500cc(10 Laps) 3h.14m.28.4s (+ 35m.31.0s);
DNC(N°20) Salvatore Marano,(Maserati 26) - 1500cc (8 Laps) (exceeded time);
DNC(N°14) Ignazio Moresco, (Lombard AL3) - 1100cc (8 Laps) (exceeded time);
DNC(N°10) Giuseppe Giovanardi, (Giovanardi Guzzi) - 500cc (7 Laps) (exceeded time);
DNF(N°12) Giuseppe Lusiardi, (Salmson) - 1100cc (4 Laps) (brakes);
DNF(N°48) Giovanni Minozzi, (Bugatti T35) - 2000cc (4 Laps) (carburetor);
DNF(N°26) Luigi Beccaria, (Bugatti T37) - 1500cc (1 Lap) (spark plugs);
DNF(N°16) Cesare Pastore, (Maserati 26) - 1500cc (1 Lap) (spark plugs);
DNF(N°30) Guglielmo Peri, (Chiribiri) - 1500cc (0 Lap) (fuel pipe); DNF(N°44) Baconin Borzacchini, (Maserati 26B) - 2000cc (0 Lap) (engine).
Fastest lap: Tazio Nuvolari (Bugatti) on lap 5 in 15m.38.0s at 86.4 km/h (53.7 mph).
Fastest lap (1500 cc): Franco Cortese (Bugatti) on lap 7 in 16m.28.4s at 82.0 km/h (50.9 mph).
Fastest lap (1100 cc) : Clemente Biondetti (Salmson) on lap 4 in 16m.59.2s at 79.5 km/h (49.4 mph).
Winner's medium speed: 84.9 km/h (52.8 mph).
Winner's medium speed 1500 cc, Tonini: 78.2 km/h (48.6 mph).
Winner's medium speed 1100 cc, Biondetti: 77.0 km/h (47.8 mph).
Weather: sunny, dry, warm

In retrospect
During our research for this report we noticed that the Coppa Montenero in 1928 must have been considered to be a minor race due to the fact that the national media provided relatively sparse coverage. Due to this shortfall our report is less detailed than originally intended.

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