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The information within these pages was derived primarily from contemporary magazines and newspapers. I am indebted to all those outstanding journalists and newsmen for their dedicated reporting. Without their stories, we would not have learned about what happened at these events. Secondary sources have also been helpful but to a much lesser extent. Several others have given valuable advice and corrected errors. I extend my appreciation to all those helpful specialists. I am immensely grateful to Leif Snellman for providing a site where these factual and elaborate accounts enable us to relive these long-ago races and also for his incredible lifelike drawings.
Hans Etzrodt


Jules Goux with the Ballot Grand Prix car was the most successful driver of the 1921 season, comprising four major events. The season opened with the free formula Targa Florio, won by Giulio Masetti (Fiat). Indianapolis had reduced engine capacity in 1920 from 5 to 3 liter (183 ci.), which had become the official 1921 formula in Europe. The French Grand Prix, a 3-Liter formula race, was won by Jimmy Murphy in a Duesenberg. The Italian Grand Prix at Monza, held to the 3-Liter formula, was won by Jules Goux (Ballot). As a result, only Ballot had two finishes in the Grandes Epreuves while Duesenberg with similar two finishes might also be considered as the best car.

On June 14, 1920, L'Auto (Paris) and Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, (Wien), Nr. 26, published the official regulations for the 16th Grand Prix de l'ACF. It required complicated pre-race engine tests and only cars were allowed if they were invited. The maximum engine capacity was 3-liter and car weights could not exceed a minimum weight of 800 kg - 1763 lb.

On June 15 and June 27, 1920, L'Auto and also Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung (Wien), Nr. 26, reported about the A.I.A.C.R. (International Association of the Recognized Automobile Clubs) meeting on June 15, under the chairmanship of President Baron de Zuylen de Nyvelt, first Vice-President General Sir H. C. L. Holden, second Vice-President Marquis Ferrero-Ventimiglia, Treasurer Lehrdeux-Vernimmen, Board Members Quinones de Leon (Spain), count Robert de Vogué, Edmond Chaix, chevalier René de Knyff, Lucien Hènnequin (France), B. Hogan (America), Count de Liedekerke (Belgium), Chevalier I. van Vredenburch (Holland), Carlo Moldenhauer (Italy), H. Pfyffer von Altishoffen (Switzerland), C. Mustad (Norway), G. Rytzell, Axel Norlander, Axel Åkerman (Sweden) and F. Prior (Denmark). The Automobile Clubs of China, Finland, Poland and Czechoslovakia were admitted into the AIACR. At the end of the meeting, a number of records were officially acknowledged, which had been presented by the Royal British Automobile Club. René de Knyff addressed the representatives of the Automobile Clubs with an invitation, to participate at the Grand Prix de la ACF in 1921. No other races were discussed.

On December 14, 1920, the Calendar Congress was held in Brussels, following the Belgian Automobile Salon. The following dates were listed for the 1921 Grandes Épreuves.
                April 4 - Grand Prix of Corsica
                May 29 - Targa Florio
                July 23 - Grand Prix de la ACF
                August 13 - Grand Prix of Belgium
                September 4 - Grand Prix of Italy
                September 11 - Circuit of Brescia
                October 10 - Grand Prix de France (A.C. de l'Oest) at Le Mans.
Great Britain, which was not represented at the Calendar Congress, wanted to hold a Grand Prix of Great Britain, which the "Autocar" wanted to stage at Brooklands to exactly the same regulations used at Indianapolis, meaning over 500 miles for cars of 3-Liter maximum engine capacity and 800 kg - 1763 lb. minimum weight.

The 1921 Formula was 3-liter maximum engine capacity, already applied since 1920 in America, which was now adopted for 1921 grand prix racing plus a minimum empty weight limit of 800 kg - 1763 lb., including wheels and tires but without water, fuel, spare parts and tools. In case the weight of driver and mechanic was less than 120 kg, the difference had to be made up by ballast.

Formula Libre without the 3.0-liter restrictions worked well and produced good racing, allowing smaller and others with larger engines to contest non-Formula Grand Prix races.

1921 Targa Florio regulations specified racecars without restriction of engine capacity and production cars divided into four categories according to engine capacity up to 2-liter, 3-liter, 4.5-liter and over 4.5-liter. As production car was understood only a car described in the normal factory sales catalogues. Further the following items had to conform with the production type: engine stroke and bore, length and width of chassis, lay-out of the valves, dimensions and shape of radiator, lights, position of gearbox and control levers, diameter and stroke of valves, pistons and connecting rods. The bodywork was free under condition that it had two seats for competitors, the generator dynamo was not removed, including headlamps and lights.

The Races
Only the national clubs of France and Italy held races to the international Grand Prix formula. Indianapolis was run also to the 3-Liter formula and did comply with the European 3-Liter formula. The Targa Florio was a Grande Épreuve and considered a major event but was held to formula libre. There were also lesser events for Grand Prix cars, run to formula libre, including Garda Circuit, Mugello Circuit, Coppa Florio, GP Gentlemen and Coppa Montenero.

Cancelled Races
The April 4 Grand Prix of Corsica took place on April 21 as a race for sports cars. The Royal Belgian Automobile Club cancelled their 500 km Grand Prix planned for August 13 because they did not even receive the minimum of three entries.


Factory Racing Teams

SA Italiana Ing. Nicola Romeo & C. (Milan, Italy)
Alfa Romeo racecars were built by the factory racing department. The 40/60 model was based on a 1913 design with a 4-cylinder (110 x 160 mm) 6062 cc engine, producing 82 hp at 2400 rpm in 1921. The early 1921 cars were the 20-30 ES Sport models with a 4-cylinder (102 x 130) 4250 cc engine giving 67 hp at 2600 rpm. The 3-Liter RL types only appeared in 1922.
Drivers: Giuseppe Campari - Alberto Ascari - Ugo Sivocci - Enzo Ferrari - Giuseppe Baldoni - Maria Antonietta d'Avanzo.
Races entered: Targa Florio, Mugello Circuit, Gentlemen Grand Prix.

SA Automobili Ansaldo (Turin, Italy)
Ansaldo was a great Italian munitions and aircraft concern. After the war as of 1920 Giovanni Ansaldo produced the 4C car with a 4-cylinder 1746 cc ohc engine giving 40 hp at 3000 rpm. The 4CS sports version had a bored-out 1891 cc engine.
Drivers: Corrado Lotti - Tazio Nuvolari - Maria Antonietta d'Avanzo - Guglielmo Turner - Luigi Ardito - Carlo Gambetti - Alete Marconcini
Races entered: Garda Circuit, Mugello Circuit, Coppa Montenero.

Etablissements Ballot (Paris, France)
Ernest Ballot had designed engines for Delage and built his first cars in 1919 with 4.9-Liter 8-cylinder engine for the Indianapolis 500 race, designed by Ernest Henry. The Ballots were said to be the fastest cars at that time. For the 1920 Indianapolis 500 the 3-Liter engine formula went into effect and Ballot built a smaller version of the 4.9-Liter engine, but the Grand Prix was not held that year. For the 1921 French Grand Prix, Ballot entered 3-Liter cars with a straight-8 (66 x 112 mm) 2973 cc engine, delivering 107 hp at 3800 rpm. The weight was quoted as 780 kg and top speed as 180 km/h. At the same race Ballot also entered a smaller car, the 2LS, which had a 1996 cc (69 x 130 mm), 4-cylinder twin ohc 16-valve engine, giving 90 hp at 5000 rpm, capable of 170 km/h, in which Goux finished third.
Drivers: Jules Goux - Jean Chassagne - Ralph DePalma - Louis Wagner.
Races entered: French Grand Prix, Italian Grand Prix.

SA Giovanni Ceirano (Turin, Italy)
Before WW I, Giovanni Ceirano had built the Rapid and the SCAT (Società Ceirano Automobili Torino). In 1919 he made cars under his own name the first was the CS type, with 4-cylinder (80 x 130 mm) side valve, 15 hp engine; bored out the cars became the type CS2 and CS4 sports. A later faster model was the CS2H with enlarged engine to 85 x 130 mm. In 1920 there was a racing version of the CS24 which had a 4-cylinder 3-liter engine, winning in 1921 their class at Mugello. The CS2 of 1921 was the sports version of the C1 with 4-cylinder (75 x 130 mm) 2297 cc engine, with oh valves in T-head, giving 22/25 hp at 1500/200 rpm. With this car Saccomani finished second at the Grand Prix Gentlemen.
Drivers: Ernesto Ceirano - Paolo Arnone - Augusto Tarabusi - Pietro Cattaneo - Tommaso Saccomani.
Races entered: Targa Florio, Mugello Circuit, Grand Prix Gentlemen.

Chiribiri & Co. (Turin, Italy)
Antonio Chiribiri founded the company in 1913. He began building little sports- and racecars in 1921 which had a pushrod-operated o.h.v. 4-cylinder (65 x 112 mm) 1453 cc, twin ohc engine, giving a top speed of 110 km/h. The cars were driven initially by 'Deo' Chiribiri (Amadeo, the son of the constructor). The 1500 type Roma 5000 cars were not ready in May 1921, so these were earlier unknown models. The Chiribiri Monza appeared as of 1923.
Drivers: 'Deo' Chiribiri - Jack Scales - Angelo Peroni.
Races entered: Garda Circuit, Mugello Circuit.

Daimler Motoren Gesellschaft (Stuttgart-Untertürkheim, Germany)
Mercedes was in racing since 1901. In 1921 DMG decided for the first time after the war to participate at the Targa Florio with one modified 28/95 type, called Sport, with a 6-cylinder (105 x 140 mm) 7274 cc engine, delivering peak power of 110 hp at 2000 rpm. The weight was quoted as 1800 kg and the top speed of 140 km was not used at the Targa Florio.
Drivers: Max Sailer.
Races entered: Targa Florio.

Diatto cars were built by Società Anonima Autocostruzioni Diatto (Turin, Italy)
Diatto had started building Cléments under license in 1905 and in 1921 he started his own company. At the beginning of 1921, they produced the Diatto 4 DS with 4-cylinder (85 x 120 mm) 2724 cc engine, producing 50 hp and a top speed of 150 km/h, a modified version of the 4 DC. In 1920, Diatto produced a 3-Liter car with 4- cylinder (90 x 116 mm) 2952 cc engine, producing 105 hp at 3700 rpm. The top speed of the car was 180 km/h with a weight of 1050 kg.
Drivers: Guido Meregalli - Alfieri Maserati - Domenico Gamboni
Races entered: Targa Florio, Mugello Circuit, Gentlemen Grand Prix.

Duesenberg Inc (Des Moines, Iowa, USA)
The Duesenberg brothers had emigrated from Germany to America when still children and in 1903, started an automobile supply company in Iowa. Duesenberg racing cars first appeared in 1914. Duesenbergs had raced at Indianapolis every year since 1917. In 1920 Tommy Milton became AAA-Champion in a Duesenberg and Jimmy Murphy came second in another team car. In 1921 Roscoe Sarles came second at Indianapolis in a Duesenberg and finished also second in the AAA-Championship. After Jimmy Murphy's great victory in the 1921 French Grand Prix, he had to go back to America.
Drivers: Albert Guyot - Jimmy Murphy - Joe Boyer - Roscoe Sarles - Eddie Miller - Bennett Hill - Joe Thomas - André Dubonnet.
Races entered: Indianapolis, French Grand Prix, other races of the 20-race AAA championship.

Fiat SpA (Turin, Italy)
Fiat had built racecars since 1904. In 1921 they raced the type 801/402 with a straight-8 (65 x 112) 2973 cc engine with shaft-driven twin ohc for the 16 valves, delivering 120 hp at 4400 rpm. The car's weight was quoted as 920 kg and top speed of 160 km/h. At the Targa Florio they entered four 14B/S57A with a 4-cylinder (104 x 143 mm) 4959 cc engine with shaft-driven ohc for the 8 valves, delivering 150 hp at 3500 rpm. The weight was 1170 kg and top speed 180 km/h.
Drivers: Giulio Masetti - Ugo Sivocci - Pietro Bordino - Ferdinando Minoia - Costantino Trombetta - Louis Wagner.
Races entered: Targa Florio, French Grand Prix (Le Mans), Italian Prix (Brescia).

Frontenac Motor Company (Indianapolis, Indiana, USA)
As Corporation Frontenac was founded by Louis Chevrolet in 1914. In 1916 he won with a 4-cylinder Frontenac the Uniontown Board Speedway race. More Frontenac wins followed in 1917. Frontenacs won in 1919 four major AAA races on the board tracks. In 1920 Louis Chevrolet moved his activities to Indianapolis at a space of a company that made the Monroe cars. With Cornelius Willett van Ranst he built seven racecars of identical design. Four cars raced under the Monroe name and three as Frontenacs. These 4-cylinder cars had a smaller capacity of 182 ci (2982 cc). In 1920 Gaston Chevrolet's Monroe with Frontenac engine won the Indianapolis 500, another car finished eighth but five cars retired. For 1921, Chevrolet and van Ranst designed a completely new 183 ci (2.999 cc) twin ohc straight-8 engine. One of these Frontenacs with Tommy Milton won Indianapolis in 1921.
Drivers: Tommy Milton - Ralph Mulford - Tom Alley - C.W. van Ranst - Jules Ellingboe.
Races entered: Indianapolis and some others of the 20 AAA races in 1921.

SA des Automobiles et Cycles Peugeot (Lille, France)
It was observed with great interest that Peugeot did not enter in their countries 1921 Grand Prix but instead opted to participate at Indianapolis with two 3-Liter 4-cylinder cars driven by Jean Chassagne and Howdy Wilcox. Both cars retired early in the race. Between 1913 and 1920 Peugeot had entered at Indianapolis and won in 1913, 1916 and 1919 with some good placings in 1914 and 1915.

Sunbeam Motor Car Company Ltd, (Wolverhamton, Staffs., England)
Their racing history went back as far as 1907. In 1921 they made new cars for the 3-Liter formula with a straight-8 (65 x 112 mm) 2973 cc double ohc engine, delivering 108 hp at 4000 rpm, capable of 176 km/h. The dry weight was 1014 kg. They ran the cars as Sunbeams or Talbot/Darracqs, due to the STD merger in 1920, cause of the persisting confusion.
Drivers: Ora Haibe - René Thomas - André Boillot - Henry Segrave - Kenelm Lee Guinness - Jean Chassagne.
Races entered: Indianapolis, French Grand Prix at Le Mans.

VICTORIOUS DRIVERS and others nearby

The success of drivers in Major Grand Prix races can be found in the list of 1921 Major Grand Prix Races.

Jules Goux, 43, was born 1878 in Valentigney, France. His Father was superintendent at the Peugeot factory and Jules first job was at Peugeot. By 1903 he had become chief tester for the Lion-Peugeot cyclecar division. The same year he won the Balon d'Alsace hill climb. In 1907 he was third in the Coupe de l'Auto and he came third in the 1908 GP des Voiturettes at Dieppe. In 1909 and 1910 he won the Catalan Cup. In 1912 he won the Coupe de la Sarthe at Le Mans with a Peugeot and Goux came second after Boillot in the 1913 French Grand Prix. In 1913 he and Zuccarelli went to Indianapolis, which was won by Goux and at the 1914 Indy 500 he came fourth. At the 1914 French Grand Prix, Goux finished fourth after the three Mercedes. After the war in 1919, Goux came third at Indianapolis, and retired in 1920, always with Peugeot. 1921 was a successful year when he finished third with the 2-Liter Ballot at the French Grand Prix and he won the Italian Grand Prix in a 3-Liter Ballot.

Jimmy Murphy, 27, born September 12, 1894 in San Francisco, USA. After spending World War-I in the Army Air Corps, Murphy rode as riding mechanic with O'Donnell, Eddie Rickenbacker and Tommy Milton. In 1919 he was given his first chance to drive but crashed the Duesenberg. He was given a second chance in 1920 and won that 250-mile race. Out of the 10 championship races that year he won 3 and finished second in the 1920 AAA championship. In 1921 he won 4 of the 17 races and finished fourth in the AAA championship. He retired at Indianapolis but Murphy won the 1921 French Grand Prix at Le Mans with a Duesenberg, 15 minutes ahead of Ralph DePalma in a Ballot. Murphy's name was then known in Europe after his unprecedented victory - an American driver with an American car beating the best Europe had to offer.

Giulio Masetti, 28, was born 22 December 1894 in Vinci near Florence, Italy. His 3-year younger brother, the Count Carlo Masetti, was born 22. September 1897. Both brothers raced at the 1919 Targa Florio, Carlo placed fourth in an Aquila-Italiana and Giulio sixth in a Fiat. Giulio became more famous, after winning the 1921 Targa Florio with Fiat.

Tommy Milton, 28, was born 1893 in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA to a wealthy family in the dairy business. In 1913 he joined Alex Sloan's IMCA circus on the dusty fairground circuits. By 1916 he had joined the AAA, then the major Automobile racing group. In 1917 he won his first major victory at Providence, Rode Island. Milton won his first national championship in 1920 with 4 victories out of 10 title races. He left Duesenberg and for the 1921 Indianapolis he accepted a ride with Frontenac and won the race. He also drove the Durant/Miller and Durant/Duesenberg, winning the 1921 national Championship, victorious in 3 of the 19 races.

André Dubonnet, 24, born 28 June 1897 in Paris, France, was the son of Joseph Dubonnet, the founder of the Dubonnet aperitif firm. He inherited his great wealth. During WW I he was Sergeant, credited with six aerial victories as pilot for France. After the war he began racing a large Hispano-Suiza, winning the 1921 Georges-Boillot-Memorial-Cup at Boulogne. The same year he was given a place in the Duesenberg team at the French Grand Prix and surprised everyone by finishing in fourth place.

Pietro Bordino, 34, was born 22 November 1887 in Turin, Italy. In 1904 at age 17 he became a Fiat riding mechanic for Lancia and Nazzaro. He drove himself in 1908, winning his first race at the Chateau Thierry climb. In 1910 he won the 1-Mile speed trial at Modena. The following year he participated at Brooklands record attempts with a special Fiat and finished eighth in the 1913 Targa Florio. In 1921 he was part of the Fiat racing team, setting the fastest lap at the Italian Grand Prix in Brescia but retired in the race.


April 21 1921 --- Pierre Delaunay (F) died almost instantly on the first lap of the Corsica Grand Prix for sports cars, driving a 1.4-Liter Bignan. When one of the wheels came loose at high-speed crossing a bump near Corte, the car went out of control, left the road and overturned. 31-years old Delaunay was driving for Bignan since 1920 and had been a pilot in WW I and was a French war hero. Louis Godard, his riding mechanic, was critically injured and died days later in a hospital.

May 12 1921 --- Captain John Hartshorne Cooper (GB) died at Brooklands during practice with his self-made 200 hp aero-engine record car, which after hitting one of the many bumps left the track and overturned. The 26-years old driver was pulled from underneath his car with serious head injuries and died soon after in the hospital. Harold Easton, his riding mechanic, was thrown from the car and survived.

May 14 1921 --- Thédore Pilette (B) died on a return trip from the Stuttgart Mercedes factory to Brussels in a traffic accident at Steinfort, Luxembourg with his mechanic, Bruyère. He was the importer in Brussels, Belgium for Mercedes and Bugatti. Pilette was born September 8, 1883 in St. Gilles, Belgium and started racing in 1903. At the July 27, 1907 Ardennes Circuit race over 600 km, Pilette retired on lap 6 of the 7-lap race. On June 6, 1909 he won the 13 km Béthane/Coupe de la Meuse hill climb in a Mercedes. At the Coupe de Spa on September 23, 1912 he finished first in the 5 km Malchamps hill climb with the Mercedes 16/45 Knight. In 1913 he started at Indianapolis with a Mercedes-Knight and finished in fifth place. At the August 1913 Grand Prix de France, Pilette finished third with a Mercedes ahead of his teammates Salzer, Lautenschlager and Elskamp. At the 1914 French Grand Prix, Pilette retired early In the race with the works Mercedes.

May 22 1921 --- Josef Žák (CS) was killed at the Zbraslav-Jiloviste hill climb when his 45 hp Praga spun out of a turn, flipped twice over and burst into flames. His injured riding mechanic survived. Hugo Kaufmann, manager of the Semperit Brake Company in Prague wrote in the Prager Tagblatt No. 120 on 25. May: after a long straight the cars developed the greatest speed before the car passed the turn, two meters after which on the inside was a telegraph pole consisting of two posts with one of them standing ¾ meter into the road. Žák was about 15 meter after the turn in his car sliding when the right rear wheel left the road and dug itself into the soft soil for about 20 to 25-meter. Žák pulled the car to the left to regain the center of the road, when the rear wheel was suddenly pushed up by the upcoming escarpment, overturning the car, ejecting the passenger and burying the driver underneath.

Jun 14 1921 --- Roberto Barzanti (I) - also named falsely as Baraldi and Bartaldi - died at the Kilometer speed trial with flying start at the Cascine Park in Florence. La Stampa reported on June 14 that the race driver Roberto Barzanti was running along Viale della Regitia in an Isotta Fraschini, the car skidded right in front of the grandstand. Barzanti tried to swerve towards viale della Regina, but in the effort the steering broke and the car crashed violently against a tree at 150 km/h. Due to the violent impact, the car broke into thousand pieces and the two passengers were thrown against the trees. The pieces of the car were projected over a wide range, striking some spectators and among them was Piccini, a member of the Committee. The two passengers injured were promptly rescued and taken to the Vespueci Hospital where the unfortunate Barzanti died shortly after. The injured mechanic was reported to get well from his injuries in eighty days.

August 30, 1921 - René Eycken, passenger of André Boillot died immediately when the 3-Liter 8-cylinder Talbot-Darrracq spun off the wet track during the rain, hit a tree, then another at the Malchamps trial at the Spa Meeting, Belgium. Boillot escaped with a broken jaw bone and bruises. The Spa Meeting, whose winner received the Cup of the newspaper La Meuse, included a 500 m sprint and the 5 km Malchamps hill to climb three times. André Boillot took part in this meeting, driving a 3 L Grand Prix Talbot-Darracq. In the Malchamps trial, he was the last to compete. He had not his usual riding mechanics as passenger but René Eycken, from Brussels, the Belgian importer of Talbot. When it was the time of the start, it was suddenly raining heavily. Now the tires were inadequate but Boillot decided to start at all costs. He stepped on it and drove as fast as possible. At the first corner the car skidded and hit a tree then another. Boillot was thrown out of the car. Eycken was crushed between the tree and the car. A 20 m-high flame shot up; the tank had just exploded. Eycken who was stretched out on the remains of the car was burnt alive. The rescuers couldn't help him. Boillot was alive but seriously hurt, his jaw was broken and he had numerous bruises. Tuesday 30 August 1921 around 10.15 am. The place of the accident was called "virage de la Ferme Delhougne". After the crash the Malchamps event was stopped, the second and third climbs were cancelled. [Source = Marc Ceulemans on Jan 31, 2003 at TNF]

 Silvani (Bugatti)
2A Eugenio Silvani
Silvani & Botta
Costantini (Bugatti)
1A Meo Costantini
Silvani & Botta
Bugatti T22
Lotti (Ansaldo)
9B Corrado Lotti
C. Lotti
Ansaldo Tipo 4


Circuito del Garda - Salo (I), 22 May 1921.
16 laps x 12.236 km (7.603 mi) = 195.776 km (121.655 mi)


Category "A" over 1101 to 1500 cc
1AMeo CostantiniSilvani & BottaBugattiT221.5S-4
2AEugenio SilvaniSilvani & BottaBugatti-Silvani1.5S-4
3AFranz ConelliCount F. ConelliDiatto-Bugatti1.5S-4
4APietro BezzeraLuigi FiginiFigini1.5S-4
5AEnrico RestelliE. RestelliRestelli1.5S-4
6AIgnazio De ProsperisAutomobili Costruzioni di V. Carena e MazzaPrince191.5S-4
7AXAutomobili Costruzioni di V. Carena e MazzaPrince191.5S-4DNA - Did not appear
8AGiovanni MarelloAutomobili Costruzioni di V. Carena e MazzaPrince191.5S-4
9AMario TruccanoVetturette Temperino S.A.Temperino1.2S-2DNA - Did not appear
10AUbaldo MartinelliVetturette Temperino S.A.Temperino1.2S-2DNA - Did not appear
11AMichelle BaccoliM. BaccoliBugattiT221.5S-4
12ACostantino PetromilliCyclecar Italiano .PetromilliStar107SS1.5S-4
13ANino FranchiniN. FranchiniBianchiTipo 181.5S-4DNA - Did not appear
14A"Deo" ChiribiriChiribiri & C.ChiribiriRoma 50001.5S-4
15AAngelo PeroniChiribiri & C.ChiribiriRoma 50001.5S-4
16AJack ScalesChiribiri & C.ChiribiriRoma 50001.5S-4
17AXCyclecar Italiano .PetromilliStar107SS1.5S-4DNA - Did not appear
Category "B" over 1501 to 2000 cc
1BGuido MeregalliG. Meregalli2.0S-4DNA - Did not appear
2BAbele ClericiA. ClericiBugatti2.0S-4DNA - Did not appear
3BTazio NuvolariT. NuvolariAnsaldoTipo 42.0S-4
4BMaria A. AvanzoM. Antonietta AvanzoAnsaldoTipo 42.0S-4
5BCaberto ConelliCount C. ConelliAnsaldoTipo 42.0S-4
6BAlete MarconciniA. MarconciniAnsaldoTipo 42.0S-4
7B"Ottelrac"(Carlo Nathan)AnsaldoTipo 42.0S-4
8BAlberto MarinoA. MarinoAnsaldoTipo 42.0S-4
9BCorrado LottiC. LottiAnsaldoTipo 42.0S-4
10BGastone Brilli-PeriG. Brilli-PeriAnsaldoTipo 42.0S-4

Silvani wins Garda Circuit

by Hans Etzrodt
The 20 starters at the Garda Circuit race over 16 laps were divided into two categories when twelve 1500 cars battled with eight of the 2000 category. Silvani and Costantini in 1500 Bugattis led the first laps chased by Baccoli (1500 Bugatti). Four cars dropped out right away. Restelli (Restelli) ended his race on lap five. Franz Conelli (Diatto-Bugatti) retired on lap six followed by Bezzerea Figini) on lap seven and the 2000 Ansaldos of Marino and Marconcini on lap eight. At that time only 11 cars were left with Silvani in the lead ahead of Costantini followed by the four Ansaldos of Lotti, Caberto Conelli, d'Avanzo and Nuvolari . Jack Scales (Chiribiri) and Brilli-Peri (Ansaldo) retired next and Caberto Conelli crashed his Ansaldo at the beginning of the 16th lap. Eventually, Silvani won by over two minutes ahead of Costantini followed by Lotti and Nuvolari in Ansaldos, Deo (Chiribiri), Baccoli (Bugatti), Peroni (Chiribiri) and Maria d'Avanzo (Ansaldo). The remaining 12 cars retired.
The Automobile Club di Milano organized this first race on Circuito del Garda in 1921 over 16 laps on a 12.236 km circuit, a total of 195.776 km. The race was held near the city of Salò on the western shores of Lake Garda. Start and finish was located at the entrance of Salò, at the end of the Tormini descent. From Salò the circuit headed south, snaking up the curves of the Zette hill, reaching Cunettone after 4.3 km. Then the course led north-west past Villa for 4.5 km to Tormini, where the road dropped back to Salo after 3.4 km. A stand with 1000 seats was built at the finish, including pits for the individual entries opposite of the stand and next to it stood a large sign board to show the drivers' lap times. On the circuit roads the dust was completely suppressed with quick-lime to minimize dust. The 20 entries were divided into two categories, 1500 cc numbered "A" and "B" for 2000 cc cars. It was an international race due to the start of British driver Jack Scales with a Chiribiri.
The 1500 category comprised 12 starters. Three Chiribiri were entered for 'Deo' Chiribiri (Amadeo, the son of the constructor), Angelo Peroni and Jack Scales. The Roma 5000 cars were not ready in May 1921, so these were earlier unknown models. They were to battle against two cars from Eugenio Silvani. The engineer Silvani together with the shareholder Botta founded in 1920 an Italian automotive company based in Milan that produced cars under the brand name SB (Silvani & Botta) until 1924. Cars were entered also just as a Silvani. According to Alessandro Silva, the 1921 Silvani car at Garda Circuit was a Diatto-Bugatti modified by Silvani to become a 1500 Bugatti-Silvani with 1367 cc (66 x 100) engine. This was less capacity than Franz Conelli or Costantini of 1498 cc (68 x 100). According to Michael Müller, Costantino entered an 16-valve Bugatti T22 with 2400 mm wheelbase, chassis no. 929, sold to him through Diatto as importer already the year before. A similar Bugatti T13 was entered by Michele Baccoli. Count Franz Conelli drove a Diatto-Bugatti made on license by Diatto. The Restelli had a 4-cylinder engine of 1352 cc, the Prince had 1460 cc, the Star 1499 cc and the Temperino had only a 2-cylinder engine of 1191 cc (85 x 105). Figini was an unknown car. The Ansaldo had an 1847 cc (70 x 120) 4-cylinder engine.
On Sunday morning the weather was sunny and pleasant. Six drivers did not appear for the start, including four from category 1500, a Prince car, Truccano, Martinelli, Franchini and two 2000 cars of Meregalli and Clerici. The cars were ready and lined up in two columns in front of the grandstand, ahead of the checkered banner above the finish line. The starting order was by race number, with category "A" ahead of the "B" cars. The start was given to each driver from a standstill with the engine running, released separately with 20 seconds intervals from each other due to the dust created on the unsurfaced roads. The first to start was Costantini at 10:00 a.m. He quickly disappeared into the town of Salò and then reappeared, far away, on towards Zette; followed by Silvani, Conelli, Bezzera, Restelli, De Prosperis, Marello, Baccoli, Petronilli, "Deo", Peroni and Scales. First of the "B"category was Nuvolari who started at 10:04, followed at the same intervals by d'Avanzo, Conelli, "Ottelrac", Marino, Maroncini, Lotti and Brilli-Peri at 10:06,20 seconds, the last starter.

The first lap was led on the road by Costantini after 10m10.2s, followed by Silvani at 10m11.6s. In corrected time, Silvani who had started 20 seconds after Costantini, was actually leading. On the first lap, Petromilli disappeared from the fight, as did Marello and De Prosperis. "Ottelrac" retired with a handbrake accident on the first lap, beginning the retirements of the 2000 category.
      On the second lap Silvani overtook Costantni who followed the leader. "Deo" and Baccoli were said to be fighting for the lead. Meanwhile, from the last positions, Scales, "Deo" and Baccoli came to the front. Restelli abandoned on the fifth lap because he left the track and accepted help of third parties before he could free his car. He left again, but was rightly warned against continuing the race. Franz Conelli retired on lap six due to a failure of the rear chassis bridge. Bezzera - who drove regularly with his Figini retired on lap seven due to an engine problem. After the seventh lap only five 2000 cars were left, namely Lotti, Caberto Conelli, Nuvolari, Brilli-Peri and d'Avanzo.
      Marconcini retired on the eighth lap due to a bad clutch, including Marino who stopped with a jolt on the descent towards Salò with an irreparable failure of the transmission. The fight intensified between Lotti, Nuvolari, Brilli-Peri and d'Avanzo.
      Meanwhile, the survivors continued their battle. While Silvani secured a brief advantage over Costantini the four Ansaldos of Lotti, Caberto Conelli, d'Avanzo and Nuvolari were excellently placed in the race and competed for first place.
      Scales' race ended with distributor failure after the 13th lap when he was only a short distance from Silvani, when in third position, Brilli-Peri retired on lap 15, following a fall of the exhaust pipe. Up to the 15th lap the victory was bitterly contested by Caberto Conelli who retired at the beginning of the 16th lap when just a few seconds behind Lotti. Caberto Conelli collided with the barriers near the stand and the impact caused slight bruises to his mechanic.
      Silvani victoriously crossed the finish line after 2h47m05.2s, followed by Costantini over two minutes behind, with Lotti's Ansaldo third ahead of Nuvolari, Deo, Baccoli, Peroni and Maria d'Avanzo the last finisher. They were received with vibrant applause, which surrounded the winners and losers of this very difficult race.



1.2AEugenio SilvaniSilvani & BottaBugatti-Silvani1.5S-416 2h47m05.2s 
2.1AMeo CostantiniSilvani & BottaBugattiT221.5S-4162h49m28.0s+   2m22.8s
3.9BCorrado LottiC. LottiAnsaldoTipo 42.0S-4162h54m07.0s+   7m01.8s
4.3BTazio NuvolariT. NuvolariAnsaldoTipo 42.0S-4162h58m50.0s+ 11m44.8s
5.14A"Deo" ChiribiriChiribiri & C.ChiribiriRoma 50001.5S-4163h10m27.2s+ 23m22.0s
6.11AMichelle BaccoliM. BaccoliBugattiT221.5S-4163h11m13.0s+ 24m07.8s
7.15AAngelo PeroniChiribiri & C.ChiribiriRoma 50001.5S-4163h14m12.6s+ 27m07.4s
8.4BMaria A. AvanzoM. Antonietta AvanzoAnsaldoTipo 42.0S-4163h19m36.8s+ 32m31.6s
DNF5BCaberto ConelliCount C. ConelliAnsaldoTipo 42.0S-415crash
DNF10BGastone Brilli-PeriG. Brilli-PeriAnsaldoTipo 42.0S-414exhaust pipe
DNF16AJack ScalesChiribiri & C.ChiribiriRoma 50001.5S-412distributor 
DNF6BAlete MarconciniA. MarconciniAnsaldoTipo 42.0S-47clutch
DNF8BAlberto MarinoA. MarinoAnsaldoTipo 42.0S-47transmission
DNF4APietro BezzeraLuigi FiginiFigini1.5S-46engine 
DNF3AFranz ConelliCount F. ConelliDiatto-Bugatti1.5S-45rear chassis 
DNF5AEnrico RestelliE. RestelliRestelli1.5S-44outside help 
DNF6AIgnazio De ProsperisAutomobili Costruzioni di V. Carena e MazzaPrince191.5S-40  
DNF8AGiovanni MarelloAutomobili Costruzioni di V. Carena e MazzaPrince191.5S-40  
DNF12ACostantino PetromilliCyclecar Italiano .PetromilliStar107SS1.5S-40  
DNF7B"Ottelrac"(Carlo Nathan)AnsaldoTipo 42.0S-40handbrake
Fastest lap: Eugenio Silvani (Bugatti-Silvani) on lap 1 in 9m51.6s = 74.5 km/h (46.3 mph).
Winner's average speed ( Silvani): 70.3 km/h (43.7 mph).
Winner's average speed 2000 cc (Lotti): 67.5 km/h (41.9 mph).
Weather: sunny and warm.
In retrospect:
The final result times differed between the sources and we believe to have selected the correct times for this report.

Primary sources researched for this article:
La Gazetta dello Sport, Milano
La Stampa, Torino
La Stampa Sportiva, Torino
Special thanks to:
Alessandro Silva
Giuseppe Prisco
Giancarlo Cavallini for his book Circuito del Garda
Vladislav Shaikhnurov
Michael Müller


© 2022 Leif Snellman, Hans Etzrodt - Last updated: 07.02.2022