Meregalli (Diatto)
14 Guido Meregalli
G. Meregalli
Diatto 20S
Nuvolari (Ansaldo)
13 Tazio Nuvolari
T. Nuvolari
Ansaldo 6AS
Minoia (OM)
9 Ferdinando Minoia
Officine Meccaniche SA


Circuito del Garda - Salo (I), 15 October 1922.
20 laps x 12.36 km (7.68 mi) = 247.2 km (153.61 mi)


Category 1101 cc to 1500 cc
1Giuseppe RicciG. RicciAurea400SC1.5S-4
2Antonio MasperiA. MasperiOM4C1.5S-4
3Armando TestoniA. TestoniFiat5011.5S-4
4Costantino PetromilliC. PetromilliPetromilli1.1S-4DNA - Did not appear
5Luigi "Gigi" TornielliMarquis L. TornielliDiatto-Bugatti1.5S-4
6Sandro BertoliS. BertoliFiat5011.5S-4
7"Deo" ChiribiriChiribiri & C.ChiribiriRoma 50001.5S-4
8Alberto MaggiCount A. MaggiOM12/15HP1.3S-4
9Ferdinando MinoiaOfficine Meccaniche SAOM4C1.5S-4
10Giuseppe MorandiOfficine Meccaniche SAOM4C1.5S-4
11Francis LombardiF. LombardiFiat5011.5S-4
12Franz ConelliCount F. ConelliFiat5011.5S-4
Category 1501 to 2000 cc
13Tazio NuvolariT. NuvolariAnsaldo6AS2.0S-4
14Guido MeregalliG. MeregalliDiatto20S2.0S-4
15Gigi PlatèG. PlatèAnsaldomod42.0S-4
16Andrea ConfortiA. ConfortiDiatto2.0S-4
17Luigi RotondiL. RotondiAnsaldo2.0S-4

Meregalli wins Garda Circuit

by Hans Etzrodt
The 16 starters at the 20 laps Garda Circuit were divided into two categories when four OM battled four Fiat, one Chiribiri, one Aurea and one Diatto-Bugatti with two Diatto and three Ansaldo in the 2000 category. Deo (1500 Chiribiri) led from the 2nd lap until he retired on lap 12. Meregalli (2000 Diatto) then took the lead but fell behind to retake first place on lap 14, which he held until the end. Morandi (1500 OM) was second but his car broke down on lap 18. Masperi (1500 OM), Nuvolari (2000 Ansaldo) and Minoia (1500 OM) followed and battled for front positions. Eventually Meregalli won ahead of Nuvolari, Minoia and Masperi, followed by six slower cars. The six retirements included the fast Deo Chiribiri.
The first event on Circuito del Garda dated back to 1921 but for 1922 the circuit length was increased to 12.360 km, driving 20 laps, a total of 247.200 km. The race was held near Salò on the western shores of Lake Garda. Starting in Salò the circuit headed south, snaking up the curves of the Zette hill, reaching Cunettone after 4.3 km. Then the course headed north-west past Villa for 4.5 km to Tormini, where the road dropped back to Salò after 3.4 km. The 17 entries were divided into two categories, 1500 and 2000 cc. The Brescia Sporting Organization announced that following ACI Sports Commission instructions the closure of registrations was set for midnight on 6 October. The prizes were the same for both categories: The first received 4,000 Lire and a gold medal, the second 2,000 and gold medal, the third 1,000 and gold medal, 14,000 Lire total. The driver who did the fastest lap (after the tenth lap): received a large gold medal.
In the 1500 category was 'Deo' Chiribiri (Amadeo, son of the constructor) with a Chiribiri Roma 5000 type. He was to battle against four Fiat 501, which were driven by Testoni, Bertoli, Lombardi and Count Franz Conelli. There were also four OM, a 1500 driven by Antonio Masperi, a 1300 Type 12/15HP by Alberto Maggi and two 4C works entries for Ferdinando Minoia and Giuseppe Morandi. Alessandro Silva told us that both cars had a special 4-cylinder1500 engine made for the 1921 GP voiturettes at Brescia but totally different than the types 465/467 or 469. There was also Giuseppe Ricci with an Aurea 400SC and "Gigi" Tornielli with a Diatto-Bugatti.
      The 2000 category was led by Guido Meregalli in a Diatto 20S Grand Prix car with a 1,997 cc (79.7x100 mm), 4-cylinder twin o.h.v. engine, delivering 75 hp at 4,500 rpm and a top speed of 155 km/h. The Diatto type of Andrea Conforti was unknown. The three Ansaldo were driven by Tazio Nuvolari in a Type 6AS, Gigi Platè with a Type mod4 and Luigi Rotondi's Type was unknown. In order to differentiate between the two categories, the 1500 cars carried a white number on a black background and the 2000 cars a black number on white background.
On Thursday, October 12, the unofficial practice continued on the Garda Circuit. Despite the rain that fell on Wednesday, the roads were in perfect condition. Minoia, Meregalli, Masperi, Testoni, Vertoli and Maggi drove very fast. The road surfaces were compressed and numerous teams of workers gave the finishing touches to the road to be ready for Friday's official practice which took place on the completely closed circuit.
      On Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. official practice took place with all accesses barred with particular care by the military commando and the Circuit Commissioners. Ricci, Masperi, Testoni, Tornelli, Bertoli, Deo, Maggi, Minoia, Morandi and Lombardi in the 1500 category were driving and only Franz Conelli was not present. In the 2-liter category all five drivers were active. The best laps were achieved by Minoia, Morandi and Bertoli in the 1500 cc category and fastest of the 2000 cars were Meregalli and Nuvolari. The favorites were Meregalli in the fast Diatto, who had also won the 1920 Targa Florio, Deo's Chiribiri and the OMs of Minoia and Morandi. After the driver's practice the final road sprinkling was completed. Scrutineering took place on Saturday from 8 am to 12 noon at the Albergo Roma in Salò, a hotel where many drivers were staying.
On a sunny morning, the circuit was closed at 9:30 a.m. The Salò square had been completed for this sports meeting with stands built on both sides, overflowing with spectators, the large timing billboard, the pits where managers and mechanics made the last preparations while the cars were arranged in two rows awaiting the starting signal. The red Aurea of Ricci and the shimmering OM by Masperi were ahead of all other cars.
      The announcer Fabbre with the megaphone and Dr. Moldenhauer of the A.C.I. sporting commission were ready for action. The starting order was by race number, with the 1500 cars ahead of the 2000 category. The start was given to each driver from a standstill with the engine running, released separately with 30 seconds intervals from each other due to the dust created on the unsurfaced roads. The ground near the finish line was wet and went slightly downhill. After just 80 meters a sharp curve had to be faced, so the turns were not very fast. Only Petromilli did not appear for the start. At 10:20 a.m. Macoratti started the first car, Ricci in the Aurea. After 30 seconds Masperi was released, followed by the others at the same intervals: Testoni, Tornielli, Bertoli, Deo Chiribiri, Maggi, Minoia, Morandi, Lombardi and Conelli's Fiat. At 10.26 the 2-Liter cars were started at intervals, the Ansaldo of Nuvolari followed by Meregalli, Platè, Conforti and Rotondi.

The first lap did not take long to end. Blaring trumpet horns sounded repeatedly, signaling the arrival of each car within the town of Salò, where the roads were completely blocked off, like on the entire Circuit. It was Ricci's Aurea who appeared first, closely followed by Masperi's OM. Deo's Chiribiri was already third after having passed three cars ahead of him. On the second lap, Deo Chiribiri who was driving very fast, had taken the lead and was followed by Meregalli, Masperi, Minoia, Morandi and others. Ricci had an accident and retired past the finish line, while Maggi also reached the pits and retired. The times of the leaders were as follows after two laps:
1.Deo (Chiribiri)     17m40.0s1500 cccategory
2.Meregalli (Diatto)     18m13.2s2000 cc
3.Masperi (OM)     20m47.0s1500
4.Minoia (OM)--"--
5.Morandi (OM)--"--

On the third lap the Chiribiri continued in the lead at a very fast pace, followed by the three OM among the light cars, while Meregalli was followed by Nuvolari in the 2000 category. Lombardi stopped to replace a used spare wheel. At the end of the fourth lap Deo was leading Minoia, Morandi, Meregalli and Nuvolari. Conforti retired at the pits after an accident. The times of the fastest five drivers were as follows after four laps:
1.Deo (Chiribiri)     32m25.0s1500 cccategory
2.Minoia (OM)     37m12.0s--"--
3.Morandi (OM)     37m28.0s--"--
4.Meregalli (Diatto)     37m41.2s2000 cc
5.Nuvolari (Ansaldo)     39m25.8s--"--

Deo's race continued impressively, in spite of signs given to him by his pit. At the end of the 6th lap Deo had overtaken many cars on the road. Meregalli, who also passed many of his opponents was second, ahead of Minoia, Morandi and Masperi. On lap seven Minoia stopped for 1m48.4s, changing a tire and also to top up fuel, which dropped him to eighth place on the following lap. At this point Meregalli was fourth and Nuvolari followed in fifth place. On lap eight Minoia stopped at the pits to have his mechanic inspect the underside of his car. In the haste to leave he lost the mechanic, fortunately without consequences. After the eighth lap, Deo led ahead of Meregalli, Morandi, Nuvolari and Masperi. The times were as follows after 8 laps:
1.Deo (Chiribiri)1h10m50.6s1500 cccategory
2.Meregalli (Diatto)1h13m31.8s2000 cc
3.Morandi (OM)1h15m03.6s1500 cc
4.Nuvolari (Ansaldo)1h17m52.4s2000 cc
5.Masperi (OM)1h29m38.0s1500 cc

On the 9th lap Deo, who suffered from carburation problems, stopped for 1m42.6s at the pits and again 3m46s on the 10th lap, handing the category-lead to Morandi. Lombardi changed a tire while Rotondi retired. No changes happened until the 12th lap when Deo retired and arrived on foot at the pits due to carburetor failure or a broken oil pump. Meregalli who had fallen behind, passed Morandi on lap 14 to retake the lead followed by Morandi, Masperi, Nuvolari and Minoia, who had made up time after his pit stop. The order was as follows after 14 laps:
1.Meregalli (Diatto)2h07m31.8s2000 cccategory
2.Morandi (OM)2h33m19.8s1500 cc
3.Masperi OM)--"--
4.Nuvolari (Ansaldo)2000 cc
5.Minoia (OM)1500 cc

The positions did not change until the 19th lap when the rear axle of Morandi's OM came adrift on the Zette climb. This enabled Minoia, who had passed Masperi, to become winner of the 1500 category. Morandi was able to limp back to the pits, where he retired. The victory among the 1500 cars went to Minoia who completed one more lap, while the crowd cheered Guido Meregalli for his carefully conducted race.



1.14Guido MeregalliG. MeregalliDiatto20S2.0S-420 3h01m38.6s
2.13Tazio NuvolariT. NuvolariAnsaldo6AS2.0S-4203h10m30.6s+   8m52.0s
3.9Ferdinando MinoiaOfficine Meccaniche SAOM4C1.5S-4203h12m11.6s+ 10m33.0s
4.2Antonio MasperiA. MasperiOM4C1.5S-4203h16m54.6s+ 15m16.0s
5.11Francis LombardiF. LombardiFiat5011.5S-4203h23m53.6s+ 22m15.0s
6.15Gigi PlatèG. PlatèAnsaldomod42.0S-4203h27m14.2s+ 25m35.6s
7.6Sandro BertoliS. BertoliFiat5011.5S-4203h31m27.2s+ 29m48.6s
8.12Franz ConelliCount F. ConelliFiat5011.5S-4203h32m39.0s+ 31m00.4s
9.3Armando TestoniA. TestoniFiat5011.5S-4203h37m46.8s+ 36m08.2s
10.5Luigi "Gigi" TornielliL. TornielliDiatto-Bugatti1.5S-4203h53m03.8s+ 51m25.2s
DNF10Giuseppe MorandiOfficine Meccaniche SAOM4C1.5S-419rear axle 
DNF7"Deo" ChiribiriChiribiri & C.ChiribiriRoma 50001.5S-411carburetor/oil pump
DNF17Luigi RotondiL. RotondiAnsaldo2.0S-49
DNF16Andrea ConfortiA. ConfortiDiatto2.0S-43accident damage
DNF8Alberto MaggiCount A. MaggiOM12/15HP1.3S-41  
DNF1Giuseppe RicciG. RicciAurea400SC1.5S-41accident damage
Fastest lap 2000 cc: Guido Meregalli (Diatto) on lap 13 in in 8m58.6s = 82.6 km/h (51.3 mph).
Fastest lap 1500 cc: "Deo" Chiribiri (Chiribiri) on lap 8 in 8m47.2s = 84.4 km/h (52.4 mph).
Winner's average speed: 81.7 km/h (50.7 mph).
Weather: sunny dry.
In retrospect:
The final result times differed between the sources and we believe to have selected the correct times for this report.

The Garda Circuit length of 12.360 km x 20 laps = 247.200 km race length, was used in 1922 and 1923 while 12.236 km circuit length was used in 1921 with 6 laps, 1924, 1925, 1926 with 20 laps and 1927 with 25 laps.

Primary sources researched for this article:
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
La Gazetta dello Sport, Milano
La Stampa, Torino
La Stampa Sportiva, Torino
L'Auto, Paris
Omnia, Paris
Stadium, Barcelona
Special thanks to:
Alessandro Silva
Giuseppe Prisco
Giancarlo Cavallini for his book Circuito del Garda


© 2021 Leif Snellman, Hans Etzrodt - Last updated: 16.05.2021