The Italian Driver, Ruggeri, killed at Aforztlh&y on the I 6-cvl. Maserati.
For some time it has been known that an attempt on records at Montihery was to be made by the 4 litre 16 cylinder Maserati. On December 6th, the equipe arrived at the French track, the two drivers, Luigi Fagioli and Amedeo Ruggeri, and the head of the Italian firm., Ernesto Maserati.
Practicing was immediately begun, and many laps were covered by both drivers at high speeds, sometimes nearly 140 m.p.h. being recorded. The intention was to go out for the World’s Hour Record now held by G. E. T. Eyston on the “Razor-blade ” Panhard et Levassor at 130.73 m.p.h., and all world’s records between 50 kilometres and 500 miles. But the attempt was doomed to end in disaster. On Wednesday,
December 7th, at about 12.15 p.m., the Maserati got out of control while in the hands of Ruggeri, turned over five times, demolished some fencing, and finished up more than a hundred yards from where it first rolled over. The unfortunate driver was thrown for a distance of 30 yards when the car made its first leap, and struck the concrete track with great violence. One of the first to reach poor Ruggeri, who was terribly injured, was the French driver, Albert Divo, and he immediately set about organising assistance for the Italian. In spite of a doctor being on the spot instantly and rendering first aid, Amedeo Ruggeri had passed away before the ambulance arrived at the hospital, without regaining consciousness. The accident happened on the
west banking of the track, and the car came to rest just beyond the end of the pits. The cause of the disaster will probably never be discovered, but it has been suggested that Ruggeri was holding the Maserati rather low on the banking for the high speed at which he was travelling.
Like many Italian ‘drivers, Ruggeri began his career on motor cycles. In 1921 he first appeared on a Harley-Davidson, but later forsook this for a 1,000 c.c. Indian, a machine with which he several times won the class championship of Italy.
Ruggeri has been buried in his native town, Bologna, and all European racing enthusiasts will condole with the Italian nation and the firm of Maserati on the loss of a very fine driver.
Around and about, July 1973
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