Campari (Alfa Romeo)Tonini (Maserati)Marano (Bugatti)


Pescara (I), 6 August 1927 (Saturday).
Over 1100 cc Classes: 20 laps x 25.5 km (15.85 mi) = 510 km (316.9 mi)
1100 cc Class: 16 laps x 25.5 km (15.85 mi) = 408 km (253.5 mi)


Class over 1500 cc:
..Aymo MaggiA.MaggiBugattiT35C2.0S-8DNA - did not appear
..4Bruno PresentiB. PresentiAlfa RomeoRLTF 243.0S-6
6Gaspare BonaG. BonaBugattiT35C2.0S-8
..Tazio NuvolariT. NuvolariBugattiT35C2.0S-8DNA - did not appear
10Diego De SterlichD. De SterlichMaserati26B2.0S-8
..Ognibene AlveràO. AlveràBugattiT35C2.0S-8DNA - did not appear
..Alberto CappelliniA. CappelliniBugattiT35C2.0S-8DNA - did not appear
16Giuseppe CampariG. CampariAlfa RomeoP22.0S-8
..Antonio CaliriA. CaliriBugattiT352.0S-8DNA - did not appear
20Umberto PugnoU. PugnoBugattiT35T2.3S-8
22Gaetano NapoleoneG. NapoleoneDiattoSpecialS-4
24Gastone Brilli PeriG. Brilli PeriBallotIndy 19194.9S-8
..Ugo CittadiniU. CittadiniSunbeam2.0S-6DNA - did not appear
28Emilio MaterassiE. MaterassiBugattiT35C2.0S-8
..XXX2.0S-8DNA - did not appear
Class between 1100 cc and 1500cc
..Camillo Guidelli GuidiC. GuidiBugattiT371.5S-4DNA - did not appear
..Cleto NenzioniC. NenzioniBugattiT371.5S-4DNA - did not appear
..Baconin BorzacchiniOfficine A. MaseratiMaserati261.5S-8DNA - did not appear
38Salvatore MaranoS. MaranoBugattiT37A1.5S-4
..Emilio RomanoE. RomanoBugattiT371.5S-4DNA - did not appear
42Guido CiriaciG. CiriaciBugattiT371.5S-4
..XXX1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
46Innocenzo CiriI. CiriBugattiT371.5S-4
48Antonio ArrivabeneA. ArrivabeneBugattiT37A1.5S-4
50Carlo BellottiC. BellottiBugattiT371.5S-4Nino Cirio reserve
52Carlo ToniniC. ToniniMaserati261.5S-8
..Raffaele TotiR. TotiXX1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
..Cesare PastoreC. PastoreBugattiT371.5S-4DNA - did not appear
58Luigi "Gigi" PlatèL. PlatèChiribiriMonza C1.5S-4
..Federico ValpredaF. ValpredaChiribiri1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
1100 cc Class:
62Giuseppe PecoraroG. PecoraroSalmsonGSS1.1S-4
64Luigi FagioliL. FagioliSalmsonGSS1.1S-4
..Filippo TassaraF. TassaraDerby1.1S-4DNA - did not appear
Note: drivers without race number have been placed randomly within their class

The triumphant comeback of Campari at the Coppa Acerbo

by Hans Etzrodt
The 17 starters at the Coppa Acerbo consisted of nine Bugattis, two Maseratis, two Alfa Romeos, two Salmsons, one Chiribiri and one Diatto Special. Campari (Alfa Romeo P2), surfaced in Italy for the first time from his retreat since Monza in 1925, but he had raced in July 1926 at the Freiburg speed trial. He led the Coppa Acerbo unchallenged from start to finish. Second place was held in turn by the Bugattis of Materassi, Bona and Pugno who all retired, leaving second place to Tonini's 1500 Maserati, who also won the 1500 class. The 1500 Bugattis of Marano, Ciri and Ciriaci finished next in that order. The two 1100 Salmsons of Fagioli and Pecoraro had to complete only 16 laps with the latter being the class winner. Of the ten retirements the Bugattis of Pugno and Bellotti ended in a crash.
The Automobile Club di Pescara held the 1927 Coppa Acerbo for the fourth time and the race was part of the Italian Championship. In 1924 Minister Giacomo Acerbo had named the race in honor of his brother Capitano Tito Acerbo, a decorated war hero, who was killed during the last year of WW I. The same triangular 25.5 km Pescara circuit was used, over 20 laps or 510 km for cars over 1100 cc and only 16 laps or 408 km for the 1100 cc class. The start was outside the seaside resort of Pescara, where the road went straight for about one kilometer along the shore. Before the town of Pescara the course made a wide right turn heading inland for about 11 km along a winding road up into the Abruzzi Mountains through the villages of Villa Raspa, Spoltore and Capelle. From here, the road led into the approximately 11 km long Montesilvano downhill straight to the coast where every car could reach its maximum speed. A fast right turn at Montesilvano railroad station led into the Lungo Mare straight along the coast and finally through a chicane to slow the cars just before start and finish.
The Coppa Acerbo promoters expected a total of 33 cars according to their entry list but only 17 drivers, all independents, started in this national event. The class over 1500 cc comprised eight cars. The Diatto Special of Napoleone was unknown but supposedly was very fast, superior to the Bugatti, with an unknown engine. De Sterlich entered his 2000 supercharged 8-cylinder Maserati. Presenti raced a 1924 3000 cc 6-cylinder RLTF Alfa Romeo and Brilli Peri appeared with a 1919 Indianapolis Ballot. Bona had a 2000 supercharged 8-cylinder Bugatti while Materassi had 2000 supercharged Bugatti and Pugno a 2300 T35T not supercharged.
      Campari arrived with his 8-cylinder, 2000 cc Alfa Romeo P2, which he had acquired in 1925 when Alfa Romeo closed their racing department. It was undoubtedly the fastest car present and appeared with the exhaust lowered to fit a spare wheel on the left side of the tail, since he would race the car a week later at
      Klausen Mountain climb event. Campari's last race had been Monza in 1925 where he finished second, but he had raced once in July 1926 at the Freiburg speed trial, and the 1927 Coppa Acerbo was the first race appearance in Italy after his long absence from racing. He lived up to his reputation; neither his style nor his combativeness had waned. His intention was once again to participate actively in major races, and he would be one of the toughest drivers with his own P2. He had asked and received assistance from the Alfa Romeo works, with Attillo Marinoni, Luigi Bazzi and a mechanic. So, his was actually a semi-official works entry.
      The 1500 class included seven cars, five Bugattis of Marano, Ciriaci, Ciri, Arrivabene and Bellotti with Cirio as relief driver, plus Tonini's fast Maserati and the Chiribiri of Platè. The 1100 cc class consisted of the two Salmsons of Fagioli and Pecoraro. A complete list of entries is shown at the beginning of this report.
On Sunday at 8:00 AM the stands were already crammed with spectators and there were crowds all along the circuit. Also present were Augusto Turati, the General Secretary of the race and Giacomo Acerbo, Silvio Crespi, president of the ACI, and many Fascist authorities. The starting area was cleared for the long awaited event when the 17 cars appeared to take their positions on the grid, arranged in numerical order. The large cars occupied the front rows followed by the smaller category at the rear. At 9:00 AM Turati and Baron Acerbo were at the start, assisting timekeeper engineer Teoli to start each class as a group with gaps of three minutes to the next one. The large cars were set to start at 9:10 AM.
Pole Position
De Sterlich





Alfa Romeo






Alfa Romeo



Brilli Peri


The 1500 cc class started at 9:13 AM
Pole Position














The 1100 cc class started at 9:16 AM
Pole Position




When the large cars were started, the Bugattis of Bona and Pugno jumped into an immediate lead chased by Campari's fast Alfa Romeo. Next at 9:13 the 1500 cc class was started and the 1100 c cars three minutes later.
      At the end of the first lap, Campari passed after 13m52s followed 25 seconds later by Materassi, who stopped to change his spark plugs. Bona, Pugno and De Sterlich passed next, ahead of Napoleone, Tonini, Pecoraro and Fagioli. Tonini and Pecoraro were leading their respective categories. Meanwhile it was announced that Arrivabene was out of the race, Presenti had retired at Villa De Michele with a cooling problem and Brilli Peri had retired his Ballot at Montesilvano with magneto failure.
      Tonini held the lead in his class and would stay there until the end. The first laps of Campari were very quick and he set the fastest lap of the race on the third lap in 13m32.4s. On the fourth lap De Sterlich stopped for a long time at his pit. Bona stopped briefly at his pit on the next lap. After the first quarter of the race, Campari led at 118.871 km/h race average and his average lap time during the five laps was 13m43s with the field down to 14 cars and the times were as follows after 5 laps:
1.Campari (Alfa Romeo)1h08m38.0s
2.Bona (Bugatti)1h14m26.6s
3.Pugno (Bugatti)1h15m49.2s
4.Tonini (Maserati)1h20m58.6s
6.Ciriaci (Bugatti)1h22m20.4s
7.Ciri (Bugatti)1h24m03.4s1 lap behind
8.Marano (Bugatti)1h25m02.0s1 lap behind
9.Fagioli (Salmson)1h25m36.0s1 lap behind
10.Pecoraro (Salmson)1h25m48.4s1 lap behind
11.Bellotti (Bugatti)1h26m29.6s1 lap behind
12.Napoleone (Diatto)1h30m52.4s1 lap behind
13.Platé (Chiribiri)1h31m21.2s1 lap behind
14.De Sterlich (Maserati)1h38m16.0s2 laps behind

After the fifth lap Materassi retired at his pit with a cooling problem and Bellotti also stopped to have Cirio relieve him in the cockpit. Bona stopped for his first tire change of many more to follow. Napoleone and De Sterlich stopped on the circuit and the latter retired after lap eight with valve failure. Bona changed a blown tire on the road and on lap nine stopped at the pits to change brake shoes which made him lose his second place to Pugno. Tonini refueled his Maserati on the 10th lap but did not lose his lead in the 1500 class. Campari's pace was such that at mid race he had lapped everyone except Pugno in second place. His average race speed had slowed to 110.591 km/h and his average lap time during the last five laps was 13m56.6s with the field now down to 12 cars in the following order after 10 laps:
1.Campari (Alfa Romeo)2h18m20.8s
2.Pugno (Bugatti)2h30m22.2s
3.Bona (Bugatti)2h34m04.0s1 lap behind
4.Tonini (Maserati)2h39m46.0s1 lap behind
5.Cirio/Bellotti (Bugatti)2h43m28.6s1 lap behind
6.Ciriaci (Bugatti)2h44m47.0s1 lap behind
7.Ciri (Bugatti)2h45m54.0s1 lap behind
8.Pecoraro (Salmson)2h45m57.8s1 lap behind
9.Marano (Bugatti)2h46m19.0s2 laps behind
10.Fagioli (Salmson)2h48m55.2s2 laps behind
11.Platé (Chiribiri)3h01m24.0s3 laps behind
12.Napoleone (Diatto)3h09m38.0s3 laps behind

During the few laps when Cirio relieved the rookie Bellotti aboard his supercharged Bugatti, he regained three positions but had to stop with a burned foot. On the 12th lap Bellotti resumed the race taking over the cockpit again. After the brilliant conduct of his relief driver Cirio, Bellotti ended in a crash on lap 13 down the slope of Capelle. Fagioli had to stop on the circuit with engine trouble. Campari made a pit stop of about six minutes, calmly refueling and changing wheels. At three quarters of the race Campari had slowed down to 105.407 km/h race average and his average lap time during the last five laps was only 15m48s with the times as follows after 15 laps:
1.Campari (Alfa Romeo)3h37m21.4s
2.Pugno (Bugatti)3h44m56.4s
3.Bona (Bugatti)3h51m54.0s
4.Ciriaci (Bugatti)4h05m26.8s1 lap behind
5.Marano (Bugatti)4h08m10.2s1 lap behind
6.Ciri (Bugatti)no time2 laps behind
7.Pecoraro (Salmson)4h14m29.0s2 laps behind
8.Platé (Chiribiri)4h28m58.0s3 laps behind
9.Fagioli (Salmson)4h29m10.2s3 laps behind
10.Napoleone (Diatto)4h59m57.0s5 laps behind

Gigi Platé retired immediately after passing the finish line on lap 15. On lap 16 Pugno, who had firmly held second place, became victim of a serious accident at a Capelle curve, where he was severely injured. Pugno put the left front wheel over the edge of the track which gave way under the weight of the car, causing his car to tip over and fall fifteen meters. His mechanic emerged unscathed but Pugno was immediately brought to the Pescara hospital where his friend Dr. Ciro took care of him. His condition was serious, as he showed great pain and internal bleeding. (On the following day his condition had improved, though he was not yet out of danger. He was visited by all his team members and the authorities of Pescara. The doctors said that even after three days he would not be declared out of danger.)
      Consequently, Bona was again in second position and he stopped at the pits for precautionary reasons having a good lead over Tonini. Meanwhile, at the end of lap 16 Pecoraro and Fagioli completed the 408 km of their race. When Napoleon's Diatto retired on lap 17, there were only six cars left: Campari (Alfa Romeo), Bona (Bugatti), Tonini (Maserati), Marano (Bugatti), Ciri (Bugatti) and Ciriaci (Bugatti). Bona suffered six tire failures during the race. Nonetheless, he was in second place about half a lap behind Campari on lap 20 when he had to retire at Montesilvano with the carburetor sleeve broken, caused by a rebounding stone.
      During the last five laps Campari had slowed down to an average lap time of 16m03s and had lapped the entire field at least twice. After 20 laps Campari crossed the finish line as victor and the only finisher in the large car class. Campari was carried in triumph and was praised by Turati and Acerbo. He won the Coppa Acerbo, 50,000 lire, the gold medal from Mr. Mussolini for the fastest lap and from Turati for the first of the militia and the challenge trophy of the R.A.C.I. Sporting Commission. Carlo Tonini, winner of the 1500 cc class, won 20,000 lire and the silver medal of the military minister. Marano came second and received 8,000 and Ciri in third place received 3,000. Pecoraro won the 1100 cc class and received 15,000 lire and Fagioli in second place received 8,000.



1.16Giuseppe CampariG. CampariAlfa RomeoP22.0S-8204h53m36.6s
2.52Carlo ToniniC. ToniniMaserati261.5S-8205h26m14.0s + 32m37.4s
3.38Salvatore MaranoS. MaranoBugattiT37A1.5 S-4205h27m38.0s + 34m01.4s
4.46Innocenzo CiriI. Ciri BugattiT371.5 S-4205h29m15.0s + 35m38.4s
5.42Guido CiriaciG. CiriaciBugattiT371.5S-4205h38m41.2s + 45m04.6s
DNF.6Gaspare BonaG. BonaBugattiT35C2.0S-819carburetor
DNF22Gaetano NapoleoneG. NapoleoneDiattoSpecialS-417
DNF58Luigi PlatèL. PlatèChiribiriMonza C1.5S-415mechanical 
DNF20Umberto PugnoU. PugnoBugattiT35T2.3S-815crash
DNF50C. Bellotti / Nino CirioC. BellottiBugattiT371.5S-412crash 
DNF10Diego de SterlichD. de SterlichMaserati26B2.0S-88valve
DNF28Emilio MaterassiE. MaterassiBugattiT35C2.0 S-85cooling problem
DNF24Gastone Brilli PeriG. Brilli PeriBallotIndy 19194.9S-80magneto
DNF4Bruno PresentiB. PresentiAlfa RomeoRLTF 243.0S-60cooling problem
DNF48Antonio ArrivabeneA. ArrivabeneBugattiT37A1.5S-40  
Fastest lap: Giuseppe Campari (Alfa Romeo) on lap 3 in 13m32.4s = 113.0 km/h (70.2 mph).
Fastest lap (1500cc): Nino Cirio (Bugatti) on lap 9 in 15m07.2s = 101.2 km/h (62.9 mph).
Winner's average speed: 104.2 km/h (64.8 mph
Winner's average speed (1500cc - Tonini): 93.8 km/h (58.3 mph).

Results of 1100 cc class


1.62Giuseppe PecoraroG. PecoraroSalmsonGSS1.1S-4164h32m05.8s 
2.64Luigi FagioliL. FagioliSalmsonGSS1.1S-4164h51m19.0s + 19m13.2s
Fastest lap 1100 cc: Luigi Fagioli (Salmson) on lap 2 in 16m20s = 93.7 km/h (58.2 mph).
Winner's average speed: 90.0 km/h (55.9 mph).
Weather: sunny and very hot.

Primary sources researched for this article:
ACI, Roma
Automobil-Welt, Berlin
La Gazetta dello Sport, Milano
La Stampa, Torino
L'AUTO, Paris
L'Auto Italiana, Milano
L'Impero, Roma
R.A.C.I., Roma
Special thanks to:
Alessandro Silva
Signora Paola Masetta
Michael Müller

Star 13 August 1927: Maurice Harvey (Alvis 12/50) wins J.C.C. 250 Miles 1.5 litre sports car race at Brooklands.

Materassi (Bugatti)Marano (Bugatti)Borzacchini (Maserati)


Montenero - Livorno (I), 14 August 1927.
10 laps x 22.5 km (14.0 mi) = 225 km (139.8 mi)


Class up to 1500 cc
2Salvatore MaranoS. MaranoBugattiT37A1.5S-4
3Filippo TassaraF. TassaraDerbyScap1.1S-4
4Raffaelo TotiR. TotiChiribiri12/161.5S-4
5Carlo GambettiC. GambettiBugatti1.5S-4
6Federico ValpredaF. ValpredaChiribiri12/161.5S-4
7Cesare PastoreC. PastoreBugattiT371.5S-4
8Antonio BrivioA. BrivioDerbyScap1.1S-4
9Cleto NenzioniC. NenzioniBugatti1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
10Giuseppe PecoraroG. PecoraroSalmson1.1S-4
11Baconin BorzacchiniOfficine Alfieri MaseratiMaserati261.5S-8
12Arnaldo FranchettiA. FranchettiMaserati261.5S-8
14Abele ClericiA. ClericiSalmson1.1S-4DNA - did not appear
15Alfonso ZampieriA. ZampieriAmilcarC61.1S-6
16Emilio RomanoE. RomanoBugattiT37A1.5S-4
18Clemente BiondettiC. BiondettiSalmson1.1S-4
19Francesco ValleF. ValleBugatti1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
20Carlo BellottiBellottiBugatti1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
21GuidettiGuidettiBugatti1.5S-4DNA - did not appear
Class between 1501 cc and 2000cc
22Dario Piolanti D. PiolantiOM665S2.0S-6
23Emilio MaterassiE. MaterassiBugattiT35C2.0S-8
24Antonio CaliriA. CaliriBugattiT352.0S-8
25Diego de SterlichDiego de SterlichMaserati26B2.0S-8
26Tazio NuvolariT. NuvolariBugattiT352.0S-8
27Franco CorteseF. CorteseItala64 Spl2.0S-6
28Alberto CappelliniA. CappelliniBugattiT352.0S-8
29Aymo MaggiA. MaggiBugatti2.0S-8DNA - did not appear
30Leo CoilbertL. CoilbertBugatti2.0S-8DNA - did not appear
Class over 2000cc
31Bruno PresentiB. PresentiAlfa RomeoRL3.0S-6
32Gino BertocciG. BertocciAlfa RomeoRL3.0S-6
Note: Race numbers 13 and 17 were not used because they were considered to be unlucky.

Materassi wins the Coppa Montenero for the third time

by Hans Etzrodt
A mix of 23 racecars appeared at the start of this minor event of the 225 km Coppa Montenero. Materassi in his 2000 Bugatti led the ten lap race from start to finish. Nuvolari (2000 Bugatti) and Cortese (2000 Itala) were unable to challenge him. Borzacchini (Maserati), Marano (Bugatti) and Valpreda (Chiribiri) were the fastest contenders in the 1500 class. Nuvolari and Borzacchini encountered problems and lost time which they were unable to recover. Materassi won the race for the third time in a row ahead of Marano, Borzacchini, Nuvolari, Cortese, Valpreda, Zampieri (Amilcar), Romano (Bugatti), Caliri (Bugatti), Piolanti (OM), Tassara (Derby), Bertocci (Alfa Romeo) and Gambetti (Bugatti) who was last in 13th place. There were ten retirements and no accidents.
The races on the Montenero Circuit near Livorno (Leghorn in English) had been held since September 25, 1921 when the sportsman Paolo Fabbrini launched an event to show that Livorno could organize a car race of some importance. Corrado Lotti with an Ansaldo was the first winner. The course was also called Circuito del Romito from 1922 onwards with the start in Ardenza di mare at the bridge Principe di Napoli - then along Via della Torre - Via del Pastore - Via del Littorale (Ardenza) - Underpass of the railway - Via di Montenero - Via del Castellaccio - Savolano - climbing up to Castellaccio - Via di Quercianella (the new road) - and then the descent to the sea at Romito - Via Littorale - Antigua Barrier (Marroccone) - Via Amerigo Vespucci - Via Duca Cosinio - Via dei Bagni - Viale Vittorio Emanuele II - to the finish at Ardenza di mare. The course remained unchanged and was considered difficult without being dangerous, and was full of natural beauty. The narrow road twisted through 164 curves with steep up and down slopes through the mountains and was a small replica of the Madonie in Sicily but considerably shorter and did not allow high speeds. Ten laps had to be driven around the 22.5 km circuit, a total of 225 km.
      L'Automobile Club Livorno held the 1927 Coppa Montenero for its seventh running, a race that counted towards the 1927 Italian Championship. The Coppa Montenero on August 14 was followed by the Coppa Ciano, a race for sports cars, on August 15, staged on the Circuito del Montenero. The cars were divided into three classes, up to 1500 cc, over 1501-2000 and over 2000. The overall winner would be presented with the Coppa Montenero, a challenge trophy and gift from the Mayor of Livorno. The prize money for each of the three classes was 20,000 lire, 10,000 for the first, 5,000 for second, 3,000 for third and 2,000 for fourth. A long list of special prizes included several trophies and gold medals.
There was a break of eight days between the Coppa Acerbo and the Montenero Circuit, giving drivers and teams little time to prepare for the new battle. Most of the better known Italian drivers appeared for the Coppa Montenero since the race counted towards the Italian Championship and 30 numbered entries were received. Emilio Materassi was the favourite as double winner with an Itala in 1925 and 1926. Franco Cortese from Livorno drove one of the latest Itala 61 Sport. Nuvolari appeared with the Bugatti with which he won the Rome Grand Prix. The week before he had raced at the Coppa del Mare which was also held on the Montenero Circuit where he had fallen from his 350 cc Bianchi bike, damaging an arm. A week later he was still suffering from the injury but was allowed to race. A complete list of numbered entries is at the beginning of this report.
A large crowd had come to witness the outcome of the duel between Materassi and Nuvolari, the most famous drivers, plus many others. It was a hot day but the spectators were not at all troubled by the heat since a cool breeze was blowing from the sea to the shore where the stands were located. From 30 cars on the entry list, 23 lined up for the start. The following drivers did not appear: #9 Nenzioni (Bugatti), #14 Clerici (Salmson), #19 Valle (Bugatti), #20 Belotti (Bugatti), #21 Guidetti (Bugatti), #29 Maggi (Bugatti) and #30 Coilbert (Bugatti).
      Because the dusty dirt road circuit was rather narrow at some places and difficult for drivers to pass each other, as a safety precaution, the cars were started individually from a standing start with intervals of 30 seconds between each car and a two-minute interval between each class. However, the cars were not necessarily released at 30 seconds intervals, similar to the Targa Florio or Mugello starting procedures. This was because the start times had been determined beforehand according to their numbers and if particular cars did not appear at the start (e.g. #9), car number 10 was held to its predetermined time of departure. For instance -as per calculation- Pecoraro left 30 seconds after 9:04 AM because the #9 car did not appear.
      So, the regulations spelled out that each driver had to start at the time that was assigned to his car. At the assigned time the driver was considered as having started, and would begin to race from the assigned time until its completion of the entire distance. Starting in the order assigned by the official timekeeper, the time began to count which effected the classification for the driver. If a driver could not start, he would have to immediately move his car off the road past the starting line.
9:00´00"1BorgattaBugattiClass up to 1500cc
9:04´00"#9 Nenzioni (Bugatti) DNA
9:06´00"#14 Clerici (Salmson) DNA
9:08´00"#19 Valle (Bugatti) DNA
9:08´30"#20 Bellotti (Bugatti) DNA
9:09´00"#21 Guidetti (Bugatti) DNA
9:09´30"2 minute interval to next higher class
9:11´00"22PiolantiOMClass 1501 - 2000cc
9:12´30"25de SterlichMaserati
9:14´30"#29 Maggi (Bugatti) DNA
9:15´00"#30 Coilbert (Bugatti) DNA
9:15´30"2 minute interval to next higher class
9:17´00"31PresentiAlfa RomeoClass over 2000cc
9:17´30"32BertocciAlfa Romeo
The cars lined up in a single row at the hairpin of Ardenza ready to take the start which was given at 9:00 AM by Ms. Maria Ciano, the daughter of the Minister of Communications, Count Costanzo Ciano di Cortelazzo. The 1500 class, which included 1100 cc cars, was released first. The seconds were counted down and Miss Maria Ciano lowered the traditional flag to send off the #1 Bugatti of Borgatta to applause from the crowd, and clouds of smoke and acrid odor from the exhaust. After 30 seconds Marano started and one after the other the 23 cars were started individually until Bertocci's Alfa Romeo was the last to leave. The enthusiastic crowd applauded the most prominent drivers as they were preparing for the start.

      After the first lap Materassi, who drove the race without a mechanic, finished at a record pace in 16m34.2s which beat last year's record. Nuvolari and Cortese were trying to keep up with Materassi but without success. Cortese was forced to stop for five minutes at his pit to change sparkplugs. Borzacchini made the fastest lap in his category at an average of 77.944 km. There was a ongoing struggle between Borzacchini and Marano. Brivio stopped at the pits to replace a tire and sparkplugs while Cappellini retired.

      After the second lap Materassi continued regularly at his very fast pace in the lead. Gambetti slowed his Bugatti heading for the pits with fouled spark plugs. Biondetti and De Sterlich followed him into the pits, while Romano stopped at the pits after losing power, Biondetti stopped to top up the radiator and Borgatta to change a wheel. It was rumored that Bertocci had stopped at a road junction with engine failure, but it must have been a minor problem since the Alfa Romeo appeared again. After this lap Presenti was forced to retire his Alfa Romeo having made the fastest lap in his category.

      After the third lap, Materassi had slowed his pace and was leading in 50m03s. The Florentino passed Borgatta who had started nine minutes ahead of him. Nuvolari was the only one who improved his lap time but had fallen 1m21s behind the leader and was 54 seconds ahead of the Maserati driven by Borzacchini who was followed by Marano and Valpreda. De Sterlich, who was slightly faster than Borzacchini, stopped at the pits where Ernesto Maserati relieved him in the cockpit. Brivio retired after three laps. The first five cars were in the following order at the end of the third lap:
1.Materassi (Bugatti)50m03s
2.Nuvolari (Bugatti)51m24s
3.Borzacchini (Maserati)52m18s
4.Marano (Bugatti)53m11s
5.Valpreda (Chiribiri)53m20s

On the fourth lap Materassi drove the fastest lap of the race in 16m34.0s at an average speed of 81.488 km/h. The success of Materassi was not questioned and he continued with no one challenging him. Nuvolari drove a good race but lost valuable time at the pits to change spark plugs and top up the radiator. He resumed quickly after three minutes. Cortese in the 2000 Itala finished the lap in 16m50.4s at an average speed of 80.919 km/h. Borzacchini completed the lap in 17m12.4s which was a new record for the 1500 category. Zampieri with the 1100 Amilcar passed the finish line and at the bend ran into a fence protecting the spectators. This happened without serious consequences and he proceeded in the race. After Borgatta retired there were still 19 cars in the field. As a result of his pit stop, Nuvolari had been overtaken by Borzacchini, but they were separated by only three seconds. The order of the leading trio was as follows after four laps:
1.Materassi (Bugatti)1h06m37s
2.Borzacchini (Maserati)1h09m31
3.Nuvolari (Bugatti)1h09m34s

On the fifth lap Valpreda who was just in front of Franchetti reached the grandstand with the tire completely detached from the rim. Borzacchini drove the fifth lap at 79.225 km/h while Brivio stopped again to change a wheel. Toti retired his Chiribiri with engine problems and was followed by the retirements of the two Maseratis driven by Franchetti and De Sterlich/Maserati.

      On the sixth lap Zampieri's stopped his Amilcar at the pits to change a wheel. Biondetti retired his Salmson, followed by Pecoraro who complained of problems and Pastore who retired his Bugatti with engine trouble. These retirements reduced the field to 14 cars.

      Materassi finished lap seven in 16m35.2s, only one second slower than his lap record while Cortese's time in the Itala was 16m57s. Borzacchini who held second place, had to stop at his pits with a puncture on his Maserati which allowed Marano's Bugatti into second position and first in the 1500 class. Without a further pit stop, Nuvolari had fallen to fourth. The exact position of Nuvolari and other drivers including individual times were poorly reported in the available sources.

      On lap eight, no changes in the order were reported.

      On the ninth lap Marano held on to his second position with a gap of 11m29s to the leader. Borzacchini followed just 14 seconds behind. The Maserati driver failed to reduce the gap. On the penultimate lap Biondetti retired his Salmson. The order was as follows after nine laps:
1.Materassi (Bugatti)2h30m32s
2.Marano (Bugatti)2h42m01s
3.Borzacchini (Maserati)2h42m15s
4.Nuvolari (Bugatti)

After ten laps the arrival of Materassi's Bugatti was received by the crowd with loud continuing applause. Marano finished 12m28.2s behind in second place, just 7.2 seconds ahead of Borzacchini, followed by Nuvolari, Cortese and Valpreda in sixth place. One lap behind the excellent Zampieri finished in seventh position with his 1100 Amilcar winning his class ahead of Tassara's Derby. Romano, Caliri, and Piolanti had also been lapped while Bertocci and Gambetti were two laps behind.



1.23Emilio MaterassiE. MaterassiBugattiT35C2.0S-8102h47m18.0s 
2.2Salvatore MaranoS. MaranoBugattiT37A1.5S-4102h59m46.2s + 12m28.2s
3.11Baconin BorzacchiniOfficine A. MaseratiMaserati261.5S-8102h59m53.4s + 12m35.4s
4.26Tazio NuvolariT. NuvolariBugattiT352.0S-8103h00m49.6s + 13m31.6s
5.27Franco CorteseF. CorteseItala64 Spl2.0S-6103h02m27.8s + 15m09.8s
6.6Federico ValpredaF. ValpredaChiribiri12/161.5S-4103h03m05.3s + 15m47.3s
7.15Alfonso ZampieriA. ZampieriAmilcarS-61.1S-6103h08m47.0s + 21m29.0s
8.16Emilio RomanoE. RomanoBugattiT37A1.5S-4103h10m54.6s + 23m36.6s
9.24Antonio CaliriA. CaliriBugattiT352.0S-8103h13m08.0s + 25m50.0s
10.22Dario PiolantiD. Piolanti OM665S2.0S-6103h14m11.8s + 26m53.8s
11.3Filippo TassaraF. TassaraDerbyScap1.1103h18m10.0s + 30m52.0s
12.32Gino BertocciG. BertocciAlfa RomeoRL3.0S-6103h26m00.0s + 38m42.0s
13.5Carlo GambettiC. GambettiBugatti1.5S-4103h26m03.4s + 38m45.4s
DNF18Clemente BiondettiC. BiondettiSalmson1.1S-48  
DNF10Giuseppe PecoraroG. PecoraroSalmsonGGS1.1S-45  
DNF25D. de Sterlich/E. MaseratiD. de SterlichMaserati26B2.0S-85  
DNF7Cesare PastoreC. PastoreBugattiT371.5S-45engine 
DNF12Arnaldo FranchettiA. FranchettiMaserati261.5S-85  
DNF5Raffaele TotiR. TotiChiribiri12/161.5S-45engine 
DNF8Antonio BrivioA. BrivioDerbyScap1.13  
DNF31Bruno PresentiB. PresentiAlfa RomeoRL3.0S-62
DNF28Alberto CappelliniA. CappelliniBugattiT352.0S-80  
Fastest lap over 2000 cc: Bruno Presenti (Alfa Romeo) on lap 2 in 18m08.4s = 74.4 km/h (46.2 mph).
Fastest lap 2000 cc: Emilio Materassi (Bugatti) on lap 4 in 16m34.0s = 81.5 km/h (50.6 mph).
Fastest lap 1500 cc: Baconin Borzacchini (Maserati) on lap 6 in 17m02.4s = 79.2 km/h (49.2 mph).
Average speed of the over 2000 cc winner: Gino Bertocci (Alfa Romeo) at 65.5 km/h (40.7 mph).
Average speed of the 2000 cc winner: Emilio Materassi (Bugatti) at 80.7 km/h (50.1 mph).
Average speed of the 1500 cc winner: Salvatore Marano (Bugatti) at 75.1 km/h (46.7 mph).
Average speed of the 1100 cc winner: Alfonso Zampieri (Amilcar) at 71.5 km/h (44.4 mph).
Weather: sunny, dry.

Primary sources researched for this article:
ACI - rivista, Torino
IL Telegrafo, Livorno
La Gazetta dello Sport, Milano
La Stampa, Torino
L'Auto Italiana, Milano
Manifestazioni de Automobile Club Livorno
RACI - Settimanale, Roma
Special thanks to:
Signora Paola Masetta
Michael Müller

Star 14 - 15 August 1927: Clement / Duller (Bentley) wins Les 24 Heures de Paris at Linas-Montlhéry in torrential rain.

Euston (Bugatti)Casse (Salmson)Jennky (Bugatti)


La Baule (F), 25 August 1927 (Thursday).
20 laps x 5 km (3.1 mi) = 100 km (62.1 mi)


Race cars:
Georges CasseG. CasseSalmsonGP1.1S-4
Pierre GoutteP. GoutteSalmsonGP1.1S-4
WolberWolberAmilcarside valve1.1S-4
De BéjarryDe BéjarrySalmson1.1S-4
René MarieR. MarieDonnet1.1S-4
Edmond BourlierAutomobiles DelageDelage- DH10.6V-12
Antoine PatissouA. PatissouFordAntoine3.0S-4
George EystonG.E.T. EystonBugattiT35B2.3S-8
Janine JennkyMme J. JennkyBugattiT352.0S-8
Edmond BourlierAutomobiles DelageDelage 15 S 8 19271.5S-8
Sport cars:
TurenneTurenneAmilcarside valve1.1S-4
Ernst Günther v.Wentzel-MosauBaron v.Wentzel-MosauMercedes-BenzSS7.3S-6
Jacques PollackJ. PollackPanhard-Levassor5.0S-6
De VaulxDe VaulxDelage3.0S-6
BeausoleilBeausoleilGeorges Irat2.0S-4
Touring cars:
José ScaronJ. ScaronAmilcar1.1S-6
PatronPatronDarmont- Blackburne1.1S-4
Charlotte VersignyMme C. VersignyTalbot2.0S-4
Lucy O'Reilly-SchellMme L. O'Reilly-SchellBugattiT401.5S-4
De CostierDe CostierBugattiT401.5S-4

George Eyston wins at La Baule with his Bugatti

by Hans Etzrodt
At the fourth Grand Prix Automobile de La Baule, a minor international event, there were 25 starters, a mix of racecars, sports and touring cars, racing along La Baule's wide beach at low tide. On the day before the Grand Prix, a Flying Kilometer speed trial was won by Bourlier with the 12-cylinder 10.6-liter Delage at 202.247 km/h. Most of the 28 cars that took part, started the following day in the 100 km race, which was also led by Bourlier but in an 8-cylinder 1500 Delage Grand Prix car. Until the twelfth lap, he battled Eyston's 2300 Bugatti, who then took the lead and won the race while Bourlier retired. Casse (1100 Salmson) finished second ahead of Mme. Jennky (2000 Bugatti), Goutte (1100 Salmson) and Valentini (1100 BNC) followed by nine slower cars. 11 cars retired including stragglers who had to leave the beach for the mainland before the high tide arrived.
The race at the beach of La Baule was first held in 1924 and was won by Maurice Benoist (E.H.P.), averaging 98.135 km/h. In 1925, the winner was Béjot (Bugatti) at an average of 111.262 km/h and in 1926 Wagner (Delage) won at an average of 123.583 km/h. The record lap was made by Roland Coty (Coty) in 2m12.2s at an average of 136.157 km/h. The 1927 race was the fourth Grand Prix Automobile de La Baule, organized by the Automobil Club de l'Ouest with assistance of Phare de la Loire (the Lighthouse of the Loire). The race meeting was open to constructors and owners of motorcycles, sidecars, cyclecars and automobiles. The 5 km long beach course comprised two parallel 2.5 km straights, joined at each end by hairpin bends. The drivers had to complete 20 laps, a total of 100 km. The terrain conditions for the race were ideal since it took place on the very flat and hard beach, at low tide, allowing very high speeds on both 2.5 km straights.
      On Tuesday, August 23, the cars for the La Baule Flying Kilometer speed trial were weighed and checked by the AC Ouest officials and good performances were expected. The event brought together an imposing number of cars of all displacements and makes, among them the fastest cars at the time and was endowed with beautiful prizes, cash and works of art.
      On Wednesday, the day before the main event, the speed trial started at 9:45 in the morning. The timing was done over one kilometer with a flying start with one run in each direction with the resultant average time. A total of 28 cars participated, also some motorcycles not shown here. The fastest car was the large 280 hp V-12 Delage with 10.6-liter engine driven by Bourlier. He sprinted through the Kilometer in 17.8 seconds at 202.847 km/h. For the first time after the war an entry from a German driver was made by Baron Günther von Wentzel-Mosau, who was seventh fastest in 23.4s at 153.846 km/h average speed with his Mercedes-Benz SS. But the fastest sports car was driven by Jacques Pollak in the 5-liter Panhard-Levassor with slide-valve engine at 155.844 km/h. Jacques Pollak won the Bretons Cup, presented to the fastest sports car at the km speed trial, while José Scaron with the 1100 cc touring car received the second Bretons Cup for reaching 102.564 km/h.
      Valentini (1100 BNC) and René Marie (1100 Donnet) did not take part in the speed trial, but both raced in the 100 km race.

La Baule speed trial with flying start over 1.0 km, average time and speed of two runs.


1.Edmond BourlierAutomobiles DelageDelage- DH10.6V-1217.8s202.247 km/h
2.Edmond BourlierAutomobiles DelageDelage15 S 8 19271.5S-819.9s180.904 km/h
3.Pierre GoutteP. GoutteSalmsonGP1.1S-420.3s176.211 km/h
4.George EystonG.E.T. EystonBugattiT35B2.3S-820.6s174.757 km/h
5.Georges CasseG. CasseSalmsonGP1.1S-422s163.636 km/h
6.Jacques PollackJ. PollackPanhard-Levassor5.0S-623.1155.844 km/h
7.Ernst G. v. Wentzel-MosauBaron v. Wentzel-MosauMercedes-BenzSS7.3S-623.4s153.846 km/h
8.Antoine PatissouA. PatissouFordAntoine3.0S-427s133.333 km/h
9.Janine JennkyMme J. JennkyBugattiT352.0S-827.4s131.386 km/h
10.PatronPatronDarmontspécial1.1S-427.9s129.032 km/h
11.GrégoireGrégoireTracta1.1S-430s120.000 km/h
12.WolberWolberAmilcar1.1S-432.4s110.769 km/h
13.EckEckTalbot5.0S-632.8s109.756 km/h
14.HardouinHardouinBNC5271.1S-434.3s105.956 km/h
15.BustrosBustrosTalbot2.0S-434.4s104.347 km/h
16.José ScaronJ. ScaronAmilcar1.1S-635.1s102.564 km/h
17.BeausoleilBeausoleilGeorges Irat2.0S-435.1s102.564 km/h
18.NásseryNásseryRally1.1S-435.9s100.278 km/h
19.De BéjarryDe BéjarrySalmson1.1S-436.6s  98.360 km/h
20.Charlotte VersignyMme C. VersignyTalbot2.0S-437s  97.297 km/h
21.De VauxDe VauxDelage3.0S-637.1s  97.035 km/h
22.De CostierDe CostierBugattiT40 1.5S-437.2s  96.774 km/h
23.LehmannLehmannBugattiT401.5S-437.7s  95.490 km/h
24.PalisPalisBugattiT401.5S-438.1s  94.448 km/h
25.TurenneTurenneAmilcar1.1S-438.7s  93.023 km/h
26.Lucy O'Reilly-SchellMme L. O'Reilly-SchellBugattiT40 1.5S-439.3s  91.603 km/h
27.TréhuTréhuChenard-Walcker1.5S-441.3s  87.167 km/h
28.TemandTemandBugattiT401.5S-448.2s  74.680 km/h

race = Race car       sports = Sports car       touring = Touring car
A list of 30 entries (motorbikes and sidecars not included) is shown at the beginning of this report; 25 of those cars took part in the 100 km race but except the first 15 cars it is not known which of the other entries competed. Therefore all cars on the entry list are shown in the race results. (Possible non-starters included Hordouin (BNC), Nássery (Rally), De Béjarry (Salmson) and Grégoire (Tracta). The starting grid and race numbers are also unknown.
On Thursday, the 100 km Grand Prix de la Baule was held. The 25 entries were divided into two categories, up to 1100 cc and those over 1100 cc. The start took place in front of the Casino and one turn was at the Avenue de Provence, the other in front of the Hermitage Hotel.
      The 20-lap race started at 10:15 and was, at least until the twelfth lap, a match between the 1500 Delage of Bourlier in first place and the 2.3-liter Bugatti of Eyston, who followed consistently 30 seconds behind. But Bourlier had to change his spark plugs twice and eventually gave up. Eyston took the lead after lap 12 and Bourlier retired on lap 14. Casse in the 1100 Salmson took second place, followed less than a minute later by Mrs. Jennky with a 2-liter Bugatti. There were 14 finishers. The rising tide left no option for the laggards but to head for solid mainland, which was also a practical and irresistible method of getting the cars off the beach and finishing the meeting.
      Eyston won the Hermitage Cup, assigned to the category over 1100 cc. Casse with the Salmson won the Golf Cup of La Baule for 1100 cc cars. In addition, Eyston won the Casino Cup, which was presented to the driver who made the best time of the race.



1.George EystonG.E.T. EystonBugattiT35B2.3S-82050m03.6s
2.Georges CasseG. CasseSalmsonGP1.1S-42055m51.6s + 5m48.0s
3.Janine JennkyMme J. JennkyBugattiT352.0S-82056m22.2s + 6m18.6s
4.Pierre GoutteP. GoutteSalmsonGP1.1S-42056m57.8s + 6m54.2s
5.ValentiniValentiniBNC5271.1S-42057m56.2s + 7m52.6w
6.René MarieR. MarieDonnet1098cc1.1S-4201h10m25.8s + 20m22.2s
7.Antoine PatissouA. PatissouFordAntoine 3.0S-4201h12m04.2s + 22m06.0s
8.José ScaronJ. ScaronAmilcar1.1S-6201h14m15.4s + 24m11.8s
9.TurenneTurenneAmilcar1.1S-4201h15m21.6s + 25m18.0s
10.PatronPatronDarmontspécial1.1S-4201h22m00.6s + 31m57.0s
11.WolberWolberAmilcar1.1S-4201h24m48.2s + 34m44.6s
12.Lucy O'Reilly-SchellMme L. O'Reilly-SchellBugattiT40 1.5S-4201h24m58.2s + 34m54.6s
13.TréhuTréhuChenard-Walcker1.5S-4201h30m47.2s + 40m43.6s
14.Charlotte VersignyMme C. VersignyTalbot2.0S-420  
DNFEdmond BourlierAutomobiles DelageDelage 15 S 8 19271.5S-813
DNFDe BéjarryDe BéjarrySalmson1.1S-4
DNFBeausoleilBeausoleilGeorges Irat2.0S-4   
DNFDe VaulxDe VaulxDelage3.0S-6   
DNFJacques PollackJ. PollackPanhard-Levassor5.0S-6   
DNFErnst G. v. Wentzel-MosauBaron v. Wentzel-MosauMercedes-BenzSS7.3S-6   
DNFDe CostierDe CostierBugattiT401.5S-4   

race = Race car       sports = Sports car       touring = Touring car

Fastest lap: George Eyston (Bugati) on lap 2 in 2m19.0s = 129.5 km/h (80.5 mph).
Overall winner's average speed: G. Eyston (Bugatti): 119.9 km/h (74.5 mph).
1100 cc winner's average speed: G. Casse (Salmson): 107.4 km/h (66.7 mph).
Weather: sunny, warm

Primary sources researched for this article:
Allgemeine Automobil-Zeitung, Wien
Automobil-Welt, Berlin
L'Auto, Paris
Le Figaro, Paris
Le Matin, Paris
L'Ouest-Éclair, Rennes
Omnia, Paris


© 2023 Leif Snellman, Hans Etzrodt - Last updated: 08.02.2023