HISTORY OF THE RACE.
The first Italian Grand Prix was run in 1921 on the Brescia road circuit, and was won by Jules Goux on one of the 3-litre Ballots, which were so narrowly defeated that year by the Duesenberg in the French Grand Prix. Goux covered the 326 miles of the race in 3 hours 35 minutes 9 seconds, and was followed home by Jean Chassagne also on a straight-eight Ballot and Louis Wagner on a Fiat.
In 1922 the scene of the race was moved to Monza track, which had just been completed and where it has been he.d ever since. The race was for 2-litre cars and resulted in a fine win for Pietro Bordino, on one of the new 6-cylinder Grand Prix Fiats, who covered the 500 miles of the race in 5 hours 43 minutes 13 seconds, an average speed of 86.9 m.p.h. Fiats were again victorious in 1923, and this time the winner, Carlo Salamano, drove one of the new straight-eight 2-litre cars which were the first successful supercharged racers. The race actually was that year merged with the European Grand Prix, and Salamano covered the 800 kilometres in 5 hours 27 minutes 38 seconds, an average speed of 91 m.p.h. Felice Nazzaro on a similar Fiat was again
second, and Murphy on a Miller third.
1924 was the turn of Alfa-Romeo and the race resulted in a victory for Antonio Ascari who on the straight-eight Grand Prix racer reduced the time for the distance to 5 hours 2 minutes 5 seconds, an average of 98.7 m.p.h. Louis Wagner and Guiseppe Campari, this year’s winner, Nv ere second and third on similar cars, and Minoia, who finished 2nd this year, also on an :Wit-Romeo was fourth. The race was unfortunately marred by the death of Count Zborowski.
In 1925 the Milanese firm was again successful, but this time the winner, Gaston Brilli Pen i was not able to equal Aseari’S record, his time being 5 hours 14 minutes 33 seconds, an average of 94.76 nip h. Guisippe Campari, also on an Alfa-Romeo was again second, and 1VIeo Costantini on a 1,500 c.c. Bugatti was third. In 1926 the race was something of a fiasco, for, run under the new 1,500 c.c. rule only one Bugatti driven by’ Sabipa ” finished. The distance on this occasion was reduced to 372 miles, and the winner’s time was 4 hours 20 minutes 29
seconds, an average of 85.9 m.p.h. The next year the race was again merged with the European Grand Prix, and still under the 1,500 c.c. rule, a better field was collected. The winner proved to be Robert Benoist on the straight-eight Delage, whose time was 3 hours 26 minutes 59 4/5 seconds, equal to an average speed of 90 m.p.h. Second place was gained by Morandi on a straight-eight 0.M., and Peter Kreis on a Miller was third.
The 1928 race was again merged with the Grand Prix of Europe, and was won by Louis Chiron on a 2-litre Bugatti, his time for the 372 miles being 3 hours 45 minutes 8 1/5 seconds, an average speed of just under 100 m.p.h. Ac.hille Varzi on a 2-litre Alfa-Romeo was second, and Tazio Nuvolari this year’s winner, was third on a 2-litre Bugatti.
In 1929 and 1930 the Italian Grand Prix was replaced by the Grand Prix of Monza, the winner on both occasions being Achille Varzi, first on a 2-litre Alfa-Romeo and then on a 21–litre Maserati. This year’s race is therefore the ninth of the series, and provided the third win for AlfaRomeo.