Autodromo di Monza (I), 24 May 1931.
10 hours race on the 10.0 km (6.214 mi) A-Circuit.


2?Officine A. MaseratiMaserati26M2.5S-8DNA - car not ready
4?Officine A. MaseratiMaserati26M2.5S-8DNA - car not ready
6?Officine A. MaseratiMaserati26M2.5S-8DNA - car not ready
8Umberto Klinger/Pietro GhersiU. KlingerMaserati26M2.5S-8
10Carlo Pedrazzini/C. PedrazziniMaserati26B2.0S-8DNA - did not appear
12Achille Varzi/Louis ChironAutomobiles Ettore BugattiBugattiT512.3S-8
14Albert Divo/Guy BouriatAutomobiles Ettore BugattiBugattiT512.3S-8
16Marcel Lehoux/Philippe EtancelinM. LehouxBugattiT512.3S-8
18Jean-Pierre Wimille/Jean GaupillatJ.-P. WimilleBugattiT512.3S-8
20Robert Sénéchal/FrètetR. SénéchalDelage15S81.5S-8
22Boris Ivanowski/Henri StoffelB. IvanowskiMercedes-BenzSSK7.1S-6
24Antonio Maino/Gildo StrazzaA. MainoMercedes-BenzSSK7.1S-6DNS - did not start
26Giuseppe Campari/Luigi ArcangeliSA Alfa RomeoAlfa Romeo8C-23002.3S-8*
28Tazio Nuvolari/Baconin BorzacchiniSA Alfa RomeoAlfa RomeoTipo A3.52x6
30Ferdinando Minoia/Goffredo ZehenderSA Alfa RomeoAlfa Romeo8C-23002.3S-8**
32Francesco Pirola/Giovanni LuraniF. PirolaAlfa Romeo6C-15001.5S-6
34Guglielmo Lettieri/X.G. LettieriAlfa Romeo6C 17501.7S-6DNA - did not appear ***
36Luigi Castelbarco/Tino BianchiL. CastelbarcoMaserati26M2.5S-8DNS - did not start
38Amedeo Ruggeri/Renato BalestreroA. RuggeriTalbot7001.7S-8
40Carlo Di Vecchio/Gerolamo FerrariC. Di VecchioTalbot7001.5S-8
42??TalbotDNA - did not appear
44Angelo Facchetti/?A. FacchettiItalaDNA - did not appear
46??BugattiDNA - did not appear
48Villa/Gerardo TornelliVillaBugattiDNA - did not appear
50Alfredo Caniato/Mario TadiniA. CaniatoAlfa Romeo6C 17501.8S-8
* Fatal crash. Changed to Campari/Marinoni; then to Campari/Nuvolari
** Changed to Minoia/Borzacchini
*** Also Giovanni Minozzi

Campari and Nuvolari win at Monza with the new 2300 Alfa Romeo

by Hans Etzrodt
The ninth Gran Premio d'Italia was run to the 10-Hour international formula and was part of the 1931 European Championship. From 25 entries of the best European drivers, 14 took the start with eight classified after ten hours. Due to the length of the race, a second driver had to be nominated to each car. Nuvolari with the 12-cylinder Alfa-Romeo retired early, while in fourth place. The Varzi/Chiron Bugatti had been the early leader but expired due to rear axle failure. The Lehoux/Etancelin Bugatti, for three hours in third place, retired with a broken connecting rod. Campari with reassigned Nuvolari won for the factory with the new 2300 straight-8 Alfa Romeo. Minoia/Borzacchini in another works Alfa of the same type came second, Divo/Bouriat in a factory Bugatti third and independent Wimille/Gaupillat fourth, both in twin-cam Bugattis. Ivanowski/Stoffel finished in fifth place with a Mercedes-Benz SSK, next were 1500 cc class winners Pirola/Lurani (Alfa Romeo) fighting off Ruggeri/Balestrero (Talbot) and last finisher Klinger/Ghersi in a stricken Maserati. The race was overshadowed after the popular Arcangeli crashed fatally during practice the day before the race.
The Grand Prix of Italy at Monza was the first of three Grandes Epreuves that formed the International Grand Prix, later known also as European Automobile Championship, since all of the Grandes Épreuves took place in Europe. It was the first international drivers' championship in grand prix racing history. The original regulations stipulated 10-hour races in France, Belgium, Italy and Spain. Because of the long race duration, the Italian Automobil Club had moved the event forward to May 24 since there were longer daylight hours than on September 6. Instead of the ousted event, the Grand Prix of Milano would now be held on September 6. The CSI had approved this unusual change as late as the second week of March. This was rather late in the year since several drivers had already prepared for the Casablanca Grand Prix on May 17. Now they were wavering between the Grand Prix of Morocco and Italy. After Spain announced its withdrawal from the International Grand Prix in early March, the duration of the race was extended to 12 hours. AUTOMOBIL-REVUE in their race preview two days before the Italian Grand Prix wrote, "With the modified rules of the International Grand Prix, the duration of the races were increased to 12 hours. Despite the still contrary statements in most other sports newspapers, a 12-hour race is positively to be expected." No explanation, official or unofficial, could be found why the organizer reverted to the original ten-hour duration.
      The Italian Grand Prix, which also counted as the third round of the Italian Automobile Championship, took place on the famous 10-km Autodromo di Monza A-circuit, comprising the original 4.5 km high-speed oval track and the 5.5 km asphalt circuit. All racecars without restrictions on weight or engine capacity could participate. The classification separated cars up to 1100 cc and 1500 cc. For each entry a main driver and reserve driver had to be nominated. Driver changes were only allowed at the pits and in the presence of an official. During the race only one person was allowed in the car. The winners would be the driver pairing, who in the 10-hour period covered the largest distance. To be classified, the cars had to finish at least three-fifths of the victor's laps. The winner received 40,000 lire, the second 25,000, third 15,000, fourth 10,000, fifth 6,000, etc. with a total of 110,000 lire in prize money. After the third, sixth and eighth hour, intermediate classifications were to take place, which the organizer introduced in the hope of making this half day long race more interesting to the spectators. It was also an incentive for the drivers since the leader in first place after three, six and eight hours received each time 5000 lire, the second 3500 lire, the third 2500 lire, etc. Besides the monetary rewards the overall victor received the cup of the Italian Automobile Club and a large gold medal from the Sporting Commission.
25 Entries were received by the Reale Automobile Club d'Italia. The Maserati works headed the entry list with three cars but none of them arrived. The official reason given was lack of time to repair the two crashed cars from the Targa Florio, two weeks prior. Giovanni Lurani wrote, "Maserati were licking their Sicilian wounds." In reality, the Maserati brothers had finally realized that their 8C-2500 grand prix car no longer stood a chance in a fight with the new cars from Bugatti and Alfa Romeo. Maserati simply skipped the first of the International Grand Prix races and concentrated on improving their cars for the French Grand Prix which was due to take place in June. In any event, it could not have been of help that their leading driver Fagioli was most probably not yet restored back to health after his Targa Florio crash a fortnight previously. From three independent Maserati entries, only Umberto Klinger with Pietro Ghersi arrived with Klinger's 2500, representing Maserati unofficially with Ernesto Maserati supervising their pit. The other two cars did not appear for Luigi Castelbarco with Bianchi and the Swiss Carlo Pedrazzini in the other car but without having named his second driver.
      Ettore Bugatti sent two of his new T51 models to Monza for Louis Chiron with Achille Varzi and Albert Divo with Guy Bouriat. Just the assurance of Varzi and Chiron together as a team spoke of the significance and gravity of the battle ahead. Additional support came from two independently entered new twin-cam Bugattis by Marcel Lehoux teamed with Philippe Etancelin and Jean-Pierre Wimille with Jean Gaupillat, while two further Bugatti entries of obscure nature did not appear.
      After extensive pre-practice tests of their cars at the Monza track, the Alfa Romeo factory finalized their three entries on May 20 with strong driver pairings of Giuseppe Campari with Luigi Arcangeli, Baconin Borzacchini with Goffredo Zehender in their two new 8-cylinder 2300 cars, which had been further improved since it won the Targa Florio in Nuvolari's hands. For Tazio Nuvolari and Attilio Marinoni the factory entered an excitingly brand new car, the Tipo A monoposto, equipped with a 12-cylinder 3.5-liter power plant. These works driver pairings were not to be final because after the last day of practice driver changes were to take place. Three independent Alfa Romeo entries were made by Francesco "Nino" Pirola and Count Giovanni Lurani in Pirola's stripped Alfa Romeo 1500 cc sports type, while Alfredo Caniato with Mario Tadini and Guglielmo Lettieri both entered with 6C 1750 types in race trim, of which the latter did not appear.
      The large group of independent entries consisted of a 4-year old 1.5-liter straight-eight grand prix Delage by Robert Sénéchal and Henri Frètet, two heavy 7.1-liter Mercedes-Benz SSKs in racing trim from Boris Ivanowski with Henri Stoffel and Antonio Maino teamed with Ermenegildo Strazza. Further independents Amedeo Ruggeri and Renato Balestrero entered a modified 1927 Talbot 1750 cc straight-8 grand prix car, Carlo di Vecchio and Girolamo Ferrari in the same type of car and one rather dubious Talbot that did not appear. Lastly, an uncertain Itala entry by Angelo Facchetti did not show up.
Referring to the expected Bugatti-Alfa Romeo duel, the newspapers reported on the upcoming battle between France and Italy. Such language lent to the contest patriotic undertones and increased the tension within the tifosi. Alfa Romeo Managing Director Prospero Gianferrari and Chief Designer Vittorio Jano had decided to test their new cars at Monza two days before official practice began on Thursday, May 21. While Campari and Arcangeli tried out two 8C-2300 cars, Nuvolari and Borzacchini tested the 12-cylinder monoposto instead. In the afternoon, Nuvolari and Borzacchini drove the 8-cylinders and Alfa test driver Attilio Marinoni drove more than 30 laps with the 12-cylinder, the brand new car was felt to have precarious road holding.
      Luigi Fusi, designer engineer and Alfa Romeo historian, wrote that during official practice test cars were used as well as those intended for the race. The Bugatti pit was managed by Meo Costantini. Varzi's first lap in the Bugatti was 3m33s and he progressively registered laps at 3m32 and then a 3m30s lap at an average speed of 171.10 km/h. Immediately after the Italian Champion, Chiron completed many laps at times of 3m35s and one at 3m34s.
      For the official Friday training Vittorio Jano additionally invited Ferdinando Minoia who did 14 laps in the 8C-2300. Minoia put up a stunning performance and impressed Jano, who then marked him down to race on Sunday. During Saturday morning practice session between 9:30 AM and noon the three cars to be raced the following day were tested. According to Luigi Fusi, at 12:30, Jano went with the drivers to the restaurant and had an Autodrome buffet lunch while the mechanics guarded the cars left near the pits. Engineer Gianferrari and guests still stayed near the cars and Arcangeli, very keen to try out the monoposto for the first time, got Gianferrari's permission to drive the 12-cylinder car. After he told the mechanics that he would do just a few laps to find out about handling and acceleration, he drove away with determination. At the end of the first lap he drove by the pits at top speed greeting them with his hand but he did not return and people in the pits thought his engine must have expired. But then marshals informed the pits that an Alfa Romeo had left the track near the pits at the Curva del Vialone. Some mechanics and Gianferrari hurried to the crash site and found Arcangeli dead beyond the corner under the trees. Castagneto, the director of the Monza Autodrome, sent an ambulance there to take the body to the Monza hospital mortuary.
      Since there were no eyewitnesses, the circumstances of the accident could only be reconstructed with the help of some marks on the track and trees. In the fast left hand Curva del Vialone after the underpass following Lesmo, the flamboyant Arcangeli must have gone into a high-speed skid. This same wide sweep had killed Ugo Sivocci during practice in 1923 driving the P1. Possibly by accelerating, Arcangeli may have tried to regain control over the car but failed to do so. The car then brushed against a tree at high speed. Arcangeli, now completely out of control, was in collision with a second tree (Armco was not yet invented) and was hurled out of his seat. He died instantly with severe head injuries. Thereafter the car must have flipped over several times and was found resting on its side. Luigi Fusi wrote that the car could not be used for the race; the body was covered with dents, but more importantly the chassis was distorted. Alfa Romeo management contemplated withdrawing from the race in mourning for their driver, as they had done in 1923 when Ugo Sivocci had crashed at Monza in the same corner. The evening before the race they received a telegram from Italo Mussolini, head if the fascist government, ordering them to compete and win, which changed their mind. It was crucial for Italian prestige that an Italian car won the Italian Grand Prix, not a Bugatti from France.
Sunday morning at Monza promised a sunny warm spring day. Drawing lots determined the starting order on the grid. The non appearance of several cars had decimated the field from 25 to 14 teams. The Maino/Strazza SSK and the Castelbarco/Bianchi Maserati did not start. Both cars were shown on the grid of the 1979 Marlboro 50-year Italian GP book, but a photo in IL LITTORIALE shows the true starting grid as shown below. Marinoni was now to drive with Campari in the 8-cylinder Alfa Romeo. Minoia/Zehender were to drive the sister car. Further changes had been made. Nuvolari and Borzacchini were to drive the 12-cylinder test car used in the pre-practice trials while the crashed car was put aside. On Saturday afternoon and night this second monoposto was set up at Portello for the race and was in the Alfa pits by 7:00 in the morning.
      At 8:00 AM the General of the Italian Air Arm, Marshal Italo Balbo, waved the checkered flag as the starting signal for the race that was to last until 6:00 PM.
Pole Position





Alfa Romeo


Alfa Romeo






Alfa Romeo

Di Vecchio/Ferrari





Alfa Romeo








Alfa Romeo

Campari in the Alfa Romeo 8C-2300 blasted into the lead, followed by Lehoux, Wimille and Varzi. At the end of the first lap, Varzi's blue Bugatti was leading Campari's red Alfa Romeo, followed by Etancelin's blue Bugatti, Klinger's red Maserati and Ivanowsky's blue or yellow Mercedes-Benz SSK. Divo stopped at his pit to change a spark plug. After two laps Varzi still held the lead of the front group, which included Lehoux, Campari and Klinger. The field began to break up in little groups. Sénéchal stopped at the end of the third lap for four minutes to fix ignition problems. After five laps Varzi was 27 seconds ahead of Campari. Sénéchal stopped again on lap eight but now for a long time to fix a magneto problem on his Delage. On lap ten Varzi had increased his lead to 36 seconds, while Divo stopped once more to change a tire. The Klinger/Ghersi Maserati could not keep up the pace and fell back. The Ivanowski/Stoffel Mercedes had lost their fifth position with repeated problems, and fell behind. Varzi was still leading after 15 laps at an average speed of 172.935 km/h, ahead of Campari, followed by Lehoux, Minoia and Nuvolari in the Alfa Romeo Tipo A. Bugattis first and third after an hour's racing couldn't have gone down too well with the tifosi.
1. Varzi (Bugatti)55m14.2s
2. Campari (Alfa Romeo)56m14.4s
3. Lehoux (Bugatti)56m39.4s
4. Minoia (Alfa Romeo)58m20.0s
5. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)58m57.0s
6. Ivanowski (Mercedes-Benz)
7. Ruggeri (Talbot)
8. Klinger (Maserati)
9. Divo (Bugatti)
10. Wimille (Bugatti)
11. Di Vecchio (Talbot)
12. Pirola (Alfa Romeo)
13. Caniato (Alfa Romeo)
14. Sénéchal (Delage)

The Caniato/Tadini Alfa Romeo 6C-1750 had fallen to last position with engine problems and finally had to give up after completing 14 laps. Varzi had further increased his lead over Campari. On lap 20, Divo changed tires and was ahead of the Mercedes. Campari established the fastest lap on lap 24 in 3m32.8s equal to 167.753 km/h and beating Antonio Ascari's existing 1924 record with the Alfa Romeo P2 in 3m34.6s, an average speed of 167.753 km/h. Nuvolari had increased his pace in the 12-cylinder Alfa and passed Minoia. After 30 laps, Varzi was still first at an average speed of 173.141 km/h.
1. Varzi (Bugatti)1h50m20.0s
2. Campari (Alfa Romeo)1h51m23.2s
3. Lehoux (Bugatti)1h53m04.2s
4. Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)1h54m50.4s
5. Minoia (Alfa Romeo)1h54m58.4s
6. Divo (Bugatti)2h02m49.0s
7. Ivanowski (Mercedes-Benz)
8. Ruggeri (Talbot)
9. Klinger (Maserati)
10. Wimille (Bugatti)
11. Di Vecchio (Talbot)
12. Pirola (Alfa Romeo)
13. Sénéchal (Delage)

Nuvolari's run ended on lap 32. The retirement of Alfa Romeo's 12-cylinder monoposto has been variously described as either an intentional withdrawal by Jano or a differential failure. Luigi Fusi, Alfa Romeo's historian, gave the most credible account. On lap 32, Nuvolari passed the pits with a dead engine and stopped at the first turn from where he walked back to the pits. (After the race, it was determined that the main bearings of one engine had seized due to lack of oil from the wet sump when cornering at high speed. Consequently, the engines were later reverted to dry sump lubrication.)
      The frequency of pit stops increased after two hours. Replacing four wheels, refilling fuel and oil and changing the driver usually took 45 seconds. Vittorio Jano and Engineer Gianferrari who managed the Alfa pits did not accept that two of their top drivers, Nuvolari and Borzacchini, should now be left without a drive because their car was out of the race. They decided to delay the refueling of the 8-cylinder cars to change driver pairings again, which was permitted. In the meantime, Pirola stopped the little Alfa at 10:20 AM and Lurani took over. When Varzi stopped with tire problems, Chiron took over the Bugatti, but meanwhile Campari's Alfa Romeo had taken the lead to the applause of the tifosi. On lap 39, Campari made his fuel stop but instead of Marinoni, Nuvolari took over. Borzacchini took the wheel of Minoia's car, replacing Zehender who had been nominated for the car just hours before.
      During all this time, Chiron went into the lead on lap 43. But after lap 44, Chiron came slowly into the pits with differential problems, supposedly a lost tooth out of the ring gear; a very unusual problem for a Bugatti. With the leading Bugatti out so early, the race had lost its main excitement and the lead changed to Nuvolari in Campari's 8C-2300 Alfa Romeo. Due to the problems of their rivals, Klinger's Maserati had moved from ninth to fourth place. After three hours, Campari/Nuvolari were leading with over 460 km at 155.333 km/h.
1. Campari/Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)46 laps
2. Minoia/Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)46 laps
3. Lehoux/Etancelin (Bugatti)45 laps
4. Klinger/Ghersi (Maserati)45 laps
5. Divo/Bouriat (Bugatti)44 laps
6. Varzi/Chiron (Bugatti)44 laps
7. Ivanowski (Mercedes-Benz)
8. Ruggeri (Talbot)
9. Wimille (Bugatti)
10. Di Vecchio (Talbot)
11. Pirola (Alfa Romeo)
12. Sénéchal (Delage)

During the fourth hour, the Bugatti of Lehoux/Etancelin dropped out on lap 50 with a broken connecting rod. As a result, the Klinger Maserati moved into third place behind the leading Alfa Romeos. After four hours, Campari/Nuvolari still held the lead after 630 km.
1. Campari/Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)63 laps
2. Minoia/Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)61 laps
3. Klinger/Ghersi (Maserati)59 laps
4. Divo/Bouriat (Bugatti)59 laps
5. Ruggeri/Balestrero (Talbot)57 laps
6. Ivanowski (Mercedes-Benz)
7. Wimille/Gaupillat (Bugatti)
8. Pirola/Lurani (Alfa Romeo)
9. Di Vecchio/Ferrari (Talbot)
10. Sénéchal (Delage)

During the fifth hour, the Alfas were so far ahead of the third placed Maserati that Jano signaled them to slow down. The second works Bugatti still suffered from endless tire problems, bursting the right side tires. Meo Costantini in charge of the Bugatti pit, decided to change from regular racing tires to the heavier new Targa Florio type. This evidently solved their tire problems with the result that the Bugatti was able to pass the Maserati. By one o'clock, the halfway mark after five hours, the race had become rather monotonous. This was siesta time for the spectators, who began wandering off from the grandstands to return later before the end of the race. After 78 laps, the Campari/Nuvolari Alfa led at 156.800 km/h, followed by the Minoia/Borzacchini sister-car with 77 laps and the Divo/Bouriat Bugatti with 74 laps.
1. Campari/Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)78 laps
2. Minoia/Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)77 laps
3. Divo/Bouriat (Bugatti)74 laps
4. Klinger/Ghersi (Maserati)71 laps
5. Wimille/Gaupillat (Bugatti)69 laps
6. Ivanowski/Stoffel (Mercedes-Benz)69 laps
7. Ruggeri/Balestrero (Talbot)
8. Di Vecchio/Ferrari (Talbot)
9. Pirola/Lurani (Alfa Romeo)
10. Sénéchal (Delage)

Robert Sénéchal in the 1927 Delage had stopped several times at the pits. He appeared from time to time, drove a few laps then once again made prolonged pit stops to repair the magneto. On lap 80, he was already 19 laps behind. At the end he completed only 81 laps, a distance not sufficient to be qualified. Sénéchal had spent almost five hours in the pits, consumed three magnetos and drove the race by himself; as his co-driver Fretet did not get a chance to sit behind the wheel. Lurani, who had taken over the little Alfa at 10:20, held now 8th place after nearly three hours behind the wheel when he stopped for refueling and Pirola took over. The Ruggeri/Balestrero Talbot fell back a few places and the Wimille/Gaupillat Bugatti passed both the Talbot and the Mercedes into fifth place. The Divo/Bouriat car received some help from Varzi who drove from laps 80 to 120. Considering Bugatti's continuous tire problems, third place was not a bad showing for the car. The Talbot of Di Vecchio/Ferrari retired on lap 88. After six hours, Campari/Nuvolari had covered 93 laps or 930 km.
1. Campari/Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)93 laps
2. Minoia/Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)92 laps
3. Divo/Bouriat/Varzi (Bugatti)90 laps
4. Klinger/Ghersi (Maserati)86 laps
5. Wimille/Gaupillat (Bugatti)83 laps
6. Ivanowski/Stoffel (Mercedes-Benz)82 laps
7. Di Vecchio/Ferrari (Talbot)
8. Pirola/Lurani (Alfa Romeo)
9. Ruggeri/Balestrero (Talbot)
10. Sénéchal (Delage)

During the seventh hour, the Campari/Nuvolari Alfa Romeo completed 1000 kilometers in 6h26m30s while Sénéchal at this time was in last place and had only covered 489 km. After seven hours, Campari/Nuvolari had covered 109 laps or 1090 km and the pair was two laps ahead of their sister car.
1. Campari/Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)109 laps
2. Minoia/Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)107 laps
3. Divo/Bouriat/Varzi (Bugatti)105 laps
4. Klinger/Ghersi (Maserati)101 laps
5. Wimille/Gaupillat (Bugatti)   96 laps
6. Ivanowski/Stoffel (Mercedes-Benz)   94 laps
7. Di Vecchio/Ferrari (Talbot)
8. Pirola/Lurani (Alfa Romeo)
9. Ruggeri/Balestrero (Talbot)
10. Sénéchal (Delage)

After 3:15 PM Lurani took over from Pirola. Their 1500 Alfa was delayed by a prolonged stop to clear dirt out of the fuel line. They had a close battle with the Talbot of Ruggeri and Balestrero. Varzi in the Divo/Bouriat Bugatti had unlapped himself from the second Alfa Romeo and got a lap back. After eight hours, Campari/Nuvolari had covered 124 laps or 1240 km and had put another lap on their sister car.
1. Campari/Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)124 laps
2. Minoia/Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)122 laps
3. Divo/Bouriat/Varzi (Bugatti)121 laps
4. Klinger/Ghersi (Maserati)113 laps
5. Wimille/Gaupillat (Bugatti)110 laps
6. Ivanowski/Stoffel (Mercedes-Benz)107 laps
7. Pirola/Lurani (Alfa Romeo)
8. Ruggeri/Balestrero (Talbot)
9. Di Vecchio/Ferrari (Talbot)
10. Sénéchal (Delage)

During the ninth hour, the Klinger/Ghersi Maserati, which had held fourth place for a long time, had a lengthy pit stop on lap 113 for extensive engine work, causing the Maserati to fall from fourth to eighth place. After nine hours, Campari/Nuvolari had covered 1390 km.
1. Campari/Nuvolari (Alfa Romeo)139 laps
2. Minoia/Borzacchini (Alfa Romeo)137 laps
3. Divo/Bouriat/Varzi (Bugatti)136 laps
4. Wimille/Gaupillat (Bugatti)124 laps
5. Ivanowski/Stoffel (Mercedes-Benz)121 laps
6. Pirola/Lurani (Alfa Romeo)115 laps
7. Ruggeri/Balestrero (Talbot)
8. Klinger/Ghersi (Maserati)
9. Di Vecchio/Ferrari (Talbot)
10. Sénéchal (Delage)

During the tenth hour, the Klinger/Ghersi Maserati was still sitting in the pits for a lengthy engine repair but 12 minutes before the end they again joined the race, but driving at a slow pace. Lurani brought the little Alfa in so Pirola could drive the last hour. With their tire problems cured, Divo and Varzi in the works Bugatti had been making great efforts for several hours to catch up with the Alfa Romeos. In the penultimate lap, Borzacchini almost lost second place after hitting a pheasant at top speed and had the radiator pushed in without losing any water. A five second pit stop was required to determine that it was only harmless radiator damage and was not causing a leak. After ten hours, eight drivers were classified. Di Vecchio retired after 87 laps, while Sénéchal was flagged off after 81 laps. Both failed to classify since they did not cover three fifths of the distance driven by the winner, the minimum of 935 km,
      The 10-hour race was reported to have been a boring affair but Alfa Romeo had finally broken Bugatti's supremacy in grand prix victories. Consequently, the 8C-2300 racing cars became known as the 'Monza' models for their victory at the Italian Grand Prix.



1.26G. Campari/T. NuvolariSA Alfa RomeoAlfa Romeo8C-23002.3S-81551557.754 km(Note 1)
2.30F. Minoia/B. BorzacchiniSA Alfa RomeoAlfa Romeo8C-23002.3S-81531535.087 km
3.14A. Divo/G. BouriatAutomobiles Ettore BugattiBugattiT512.3S-81521525.319 km
4.18J.-P. Wimille/J. GaupillatJ.-P. WimilleBugattiT512.3S-81381386.082 km
5.22B. Ivanowski/H. StoffelB. IvanowskiMercedes-BenzSSK7.1S-61341343.255 km
6. 32F. Pirola/G. LuraniF. PirolaAlfa Romeo6C-15001.5S-61291290.243 kmSee: In retrospect
7.38A. Ruggeri/R. BalestreroA. RuggeriTalbot7001.7S-81291290.000 kmSee: In retrospect
8.8U. Klinger/P. GhersiU. KlingerMaserati26M2.5S-81141140.000 km
DNF40C. Di Vecchio/G. FerrariC. Di VecchioTalbot7001.7S-887  870.000 km6h27m40.2s
DNC20R. Sénéchal/FrètetR. SénéchalDelage15S81.5S-881  809.977 km
DNF16M. Lehoux/P. EtancelinM. LehouxBugattiT512.3S-849  490.000 km3h12m10s   con-rod
DNF12A. Varzi/L. ChironAutomobiles Ettore BugattiBugattiT512.3S-844  440.000 km2h45m57s   differential
DNF28T. Nuvolari/B. BorzacchiniSA Alfa RomeoAlfa RomeoTipo A3.52x631  310.000 km2h02m12s   mechanical
DNF50A. Caniato/M. TadiniA. CaniatoAlfa Romeo6C 17501.7S-614  140.000 km1h03m55.4s
Fastest lap: Giuseppe Campari (Alfa Romeo) on lap 24 in 3m32.8s = 169.2 km/h (105.2 mph)
Winner's medium speed: 155.8 km/h (96.8 mph)
Weather: sunny, very hot.
In retrospect:
About a week later, a change in the results was announced (which is already included in the above results). Upon completion of the tenth hour, drivers who already had begun the lap were allowed to finish it, as long as the lap was completed in less than five minutes and the fraction of that lap, counted until the end of the tenth hour, was included in the results. But since the Talbot team Ruggeri/Balestrero had used more than five minutes, its fractions for the last lap was dropped so the initial result of 1290.534 km was changed to 1290.0 km. Ruggeri/Balestrero was thus demoted from sixth to seventh place and seventh place finisher Pirola/Lurani, who had scored 1290.243 km, moved up to sixth. (Note 2)

      Contradictions encountered:
Results (distances and average speeds Note 3) published in Motor Sport and The Motor were surprisingly not correct.
      The 1931 Italian Grand Prix was referred to as the 1931 European Grand Prix in one secondary source, which is not correct because the European Grand Prix title was not assigned in 1931.
      Only distances and average speeds of the first eight cars were published. Regrettably the actual times were nowhere reported.

      The European Championship standings showed Campari with one point in the lead, followed by Minoia with two. The Divo/Bouriat pair had three points and Wimille/Gaupillat four. Ivanowski/Stoffel, Pirola/Lurani and Ruggeri/Balestrero also had four points since they had covered more than ¾ of the distance. Five points went to Klinger/Ghersi, Di Vecchio/Ferrari and Sénéchal who covered more than ½ of the distance. The Lehoux/Etancelin and Varzi/Chiron teams completed only ¼ of the distance and received six penalty points.
      Although Varzi drove for over 40 laps in the Divo/Bouriat Bugatti, he received no points for his efforts. Nuvolari and Borzacchini, even though the drivers finished first and second respectively in other cars than their own, received the winner's rewards but no winner's points. Nuvolari received seven penalty points and Borzacchini eight since he had not driven in his originally assigned car, which retired after 31 laps, less than ¼ of the distance. Since both drivers had been contenders for the outright win, the Alfa Romeo manager reassigned them to the other two factory cars. While Nuvolari took over Campari's car on lap 40, replacing Marinoni the nominated driver, Borzacchini drove with Minoia, replacing the originally assigned Zehender. Because of these driver changes, into different cars from which they had been entered, neither Marinoni nor Zehender drove in the race and both received eight penalty points. Drivers could only score points with the car they had been nominated for or had started with in the race. See also 1931 European Championship.

      Luigi "Gigione"Arcangeli died in a crash practicing for the Italian Grand Prix at Monza on Saturday the 23rd May 1931 with the new incredibly fast 12-cylinder Alfa Romeo tipo A. In Luigi Arcangeli, Italy had lost another of its great upcoming drivers after Pietro Bordino and Emilio Materassi had perished in 1928 and Gastone Brilli-Peri in 1930.
      Luigi was born in May of 1902 in Savignano at the river Rubicone between Forli and Rimini in the Romagna region. The little, stocky Italian began first racing bicycles, then at age 20 changed to motorcycles. He rode a Motosacoche, followed by an Indian, Harley Davidson, Calthorp and Garelli. His great success and many victories led to a drive for Moto Guzzi and later he joined Bianchi. 1926 was a great year for Luigi when he won the difficult Milano-Napoli race, then the similar pompous Giro d'Italia again in the saddle of a 350 cc Bianchi Bialbero. With the 500 cc Norton he came first at the Infinito- and Versilia circuit race, while he came second with the Moto Guzzi 500 C4V at the important Grand Prix des Nations in Monza. In 1927, another great season, he won with the 500 cc Sunbeam at Helvia Recina, Stradella, Imola and Vercelli. Now a very good, exuberant driver, he made himself a name by winning the demanding circuit race of Lario and the Grand Prix des Nations in Monza, with the 500 cc Sunbeam.
      During his motorcycle years, he also raced 1927 at Tripoli with a Derby cycle car but retired early on. His first contacts with automobiles had come around 1924 when he drove a few races with an 1100 cc Amilcar CG. In 1928, he alternated between two and four wheels. With a Bugatti T35C, he came first at the Circuito di Senigallia and achieved the best time at the coast of Rimini. He also drove a Sports Itala. The Scuderia Materassi called him to drive the 1.5-liter Talbot 700 grand prix car while still racing on two wheels. At Tripoli, the Talbots were withdrawn but at Alessandria he stayed second behind Nuvolari before spinning against a bridge and later he ran out of fuel. His first victory came two months later at Cremona, beating Nuvolari and Campari with the Talbot. At the Coppa Acerbo he came second with Materassi who had taken over his car. After Materassi's fatal crash in Monza, Arcangeli withdrew from the race in mourning, as did Brivio and Brilli-Peri. In 1929, he stayed with the Scuderia Materassi, retired at Tripoli and Alessandria but came fourth in the Royal Prize of Rome, winning the 1.5-liter class. At Mugello, he drove a 1.5-liter Bugatti when a broken oil pipe ended his race. In the Coppa Ciano, he came fourth again with the Talbot behind Varzi, Nuvolari and Campari. At the Monza Grand Prix, his Talbot won Heat 1 but retired with ignition problems in the Final while he was fourth overall with the Talbot in Cremona, but won the 1.5-liter class.
      For 1930, his best year yet, he signed up with Maserati to drive their 2.5-liter 26M grand prix car. He came second at Tripoli behind Borzacchini's 16-cylinder Maserati, retired at Monaco and crashed at the Targa Florio. His greatest victory came three weeks later at the Royal Prize of Rome where he won a fierce battle against Nuvolari's Alfa Romeo P2 and an exciting final neck-to-neck race against Chiron's Bugatti T51. At the Coppa Ciano, he retired with clutch problems and crashed his Maserati V4 at the Coppa Acerbo. Arcangeli drove a good race at the Monza Grand Prix, where he won Heat 2, beating all the aces. In the Final he looked like the sure winner but came second when a storming Varzi caught up with him on the last lap, beating him by a fraction of a second to the finish. In June, Enzo Ferrari brought Arcangeli to the Scuderia Ferrari, where he drove an Alfa Romeo 1750GS in several sports car events. He came third at Colle della Maddalena climb, fourth at Circuito Principe di Piemonte and Vittorio Veneto Cansiglio climb. Arcangeli then had four first place finishes at the Circuito delle Tre Provincie, Circuito di Senigallia, Coppa della Sila and with Carraroli at Circuito del Sud.
      In 1931, Luigi drove grand prix and sports cars for the Scuderia Ferrari. After missing the Monaco Grand Prix, he came fifth at Alessandria and crashed into a wall at the Mille Miglia after leading several times. Now also driving for Alfa Romeo, the factory team, he came sixth at the Targa Florio and the team had him entered for the 10-Hour Italian Grand Prix. Arcangeli was always prepared to give the last without consideration for himself or his car. In practice for the Italian Grand Prix at the wheel of the Alfa Romeo Tipo A monoposto, he tried to better Campari's lap time with the 8C-2300 and in doing so, he gave too much, unable to recover his sliding car.
      The funeral took place on Monday the 25th May. Great grief surrounded his funeral trip during the transport of his body from Monza to Portello then Cagnola Church to Savignano with a compassionate crowd at every place the transport passed through. This showed how popular he already had become. He was called with affection "Gigione" ("Gigione" in truth stays for "Big Gigi" where "Gigi" is familiar for "Luigi") or also "E leon d'Rumagna" (The lion of the Romagna region). Luigi Arcangeli, an outgoing person who regularly was surrounded by beautiful women, always dressed in a sporting style of elegance. In the course of his brief career, he succeeded to fulfill his beloved activity splendidly and arouse the enthusiasm of his many tifosi. The ambitious Arcangeli belonged to the group of top Italian drivers who were able to maintain their ability to drive with the fastest after changing from two to four wheels.

Primary sources researched for this article:
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
IL Littoriale, Roma
La Stampa, Torino
Motor Sport, London
MOTOR und SPORT, Pössneck
The Autocar, London
The Motor, London
Special thanks to:
John Humphries
Jo Quadt
Alessandro Silva

1. Distances are recalculated from the time the driver passed the finish line on second to last and last laps.
For example: A driver finish his 140th lap one minute before the race ends and does the last lap in 4 minutes. Distance given is thus 1400 km + 60/240 *10 km = 1402.5 km
Time for retired drivers must of course refer to the last time they passed the finish line.

2. The change of the results was explained in Automobil-Revue #46 1931 page 5 but the explanation there is completely wrong as it tries to keep the fractions to the Talbot team and give a full lap to the Alfa Romeo team for completing the last lap in less than five minutes. Of course the result of the Alfa Romeo team was never changed. It had received fractions of the last lap as had all the other top six finishers as well.

3. Average speed for each driver is of course in this case simply the distance divided with 10 so it is not included here.


© 2021 Leif Snellman, Hans Etzrodt - Last updated: 25.06.2021