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Coppa Acerbo

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Title: Coppa Acerbo  
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Subject: Richard Seaman, List of Formula One Grands Prix, Alfa Romeo 158/159 Alfetta, Luigi Fagioli, Alfa Romeo P2
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Coppa Acerbo

Coppa Acerbo / Circuito di Pescara
Pescara Circuit
Race information
Most wins (drivers) Giuseppe Campari (3)
Most wins (constructors) Alfa Romeo (10)
Circuit length 25.579 km (15.894 mi)
Race length 460.422 km (286.093 mi)
Laps 18
Last race (1957)
Pole position
Fastest lap

The Coppa Acerbo was an automobile race held in Italy, named after Tito Acerbo, the brother of Giacomo Acerbo, a prominent fascist politician. Following Italy's defeat in World War II, and the consequent demise of fascism, the race was renamed the Circuito di Pescara, and in some years was also referred to as the Pescara Grand Prix (Gran Premio di Pescara). The race was run between 1924 and 1961 and over the years was held to a variety of vehicle class regulations and durations. In 1957 the Pescara Grand Prix formed a round of the Formula One World Championship, a race which still holds the record as having the longest circuit length ever used for a Championship event.


  • Pescara Circuit 1
  • Pre-war races 2
  • Post-war races 3
  • Race winners 4
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Pescara Circuit

The Coppa Acerbo races were held over a 24–26 km (15–16 mi) circuit, beginning and ending at Pescara, on the Adriatic coast. The course layout featured an inland route through the Abruzzo hills, that passed through several villages, followed by a long, straight descent back to the coast, where a tight right-hand corner led on to a four-mile (6 km) long straight running next to the sea. The pit and paddock complex was located at the end of this straight. In an effort to slow competitor speeds past these pits the Pescara circuit became one of the first to have an artificial chicane installed, just before the pit lane. The Pescara circuit layout holds the record as the longest circuit to ever to host a Formula One World Championship event, with the Nürburgring Nordschleife coming second at about 23 km.

Pre-war races

A sculpture, placed between the villages of Cappelle sul Tavo and Spoltore at the highest point on the Pescara Circuit, commemorating the pre-war Coppa Acerbo racers.

The first Coppa Acerbo was staged in 1924 and was won by a then-unknown junior driver by the name of Enzo Ferrari, later to find fame as the creator of Ferrari and head of the Formula One team Scuderia Ferrari. The race was run for the top class of international competition, the only real limiting factor on vehicle specifications being the cars' ability to transmit power through the inadequate tyres of the day. Although never itself a Grande Epreuve, or later a constituent of the European Championship, the Coppa Acerbo was considered one of the most prestigious races of its day. These early races were dominated by home-grown cars and drivers, and Alfa Romeo in particular was almost unbeatable. The Milanese manufacturer won seven of the first nine races; only in 1926 were they beaten by the legendary Bugatti T35, and again in 1930 by Italian star-driver Achille Varzi driving a Maserati.

Alfa's domination of the race came to an end with the introduction of the 750 kg Grand Prix regulations in 1934, a race that was also marked by tragedy when voiturette formula in 1939 that any other manufacturer could stand a realistic chance of winning. Perhaps fittingly it was Alfa Romeo, with their new 158 Alfetta car, that took the honours in this last competition before the outbreak of World War II. In 1939 a "Coppa Acerbo Song" (with music by maestro Ignazio Civera and lyrics by Franzi) was published.[1]

Post-war races

After WWII the race remained suspended for a year during post-war rebuilding. When it was finally run again in 1947 the name of the race was changed, because of its fascist connections, and it became known as the Circuito di Pescara. For the first three years the race was run for two-seater sports cars and was a fairly minor constituent in the European racing calendar. However, in common with many race orgaisers around the continent, with the introduction of the Talbot-Lago works teams did attend, along with many privateer and amateur racers. The 1950 race was won by future World Champion Juan Manuel Fangio driving for Alfa Romeo. The following year Ferrari did attend, and the race was won by Fangio's Argentinian compatriot José Froilán González driving one of their 375 cars.

When the World Championship switched to the slower Maserati 250F, driven by Luigi Musso. This was to be the last race for two years, as in 1955, as a result of the disaster at the 24 hours of Le Mans, the race was cancelled.

Sportscars returned once more in 1956. The 1957 Pescara Grand Prix was a Formula One motor race, held on 18 August 1957, at the Pescara Circuit. The race was the seventh, and penultimate round of the 1957 World Drivers' Championship. The race, which was the only Formula One World Championship race at the track, is best remembered for being held at the longest ever circuit to stage a Formula One World Championship Grand Prix. It was also the first of the two consecutive Italian races, and after the subsequent race at Monza was complete, it became the first time that two Formula One races had been held in the same country in the same year. In a field dominated by numerous Maserati 250F cars, reigning World Champion Fangio used his example to set a pole position time of 9 minutes 44.6 seconds, at an average speed of over 157 km/h (98 mph). In the race, however, it was second-placed starter Stirling Moss in his Vanwall who took the initiative and victory. He led all but one of the race's 18 laps and finished over three minutes clear of Fangio in second place.

By the early 1960s, safety issues had become a major concern and the Pescara racecourse was seen as too dangerous for major international events. After a two-year break the race was downgraded to Formula Two status for 1960, a race won by future World Champion Scuderia Centro Sud; an Italian team, with an Italian car and two Italian drivers, won the final iteration of this famous Italian event. With ever-increasing speeds and the fragile build-quality of most cars of the time, the race was discontinued after the 1961 event.

Race winners

Bernd Rosemeyer, Luigi Fagioli, and Achille Varzi all won the race twice but Giuseppe Campari is the only driver to win it on three occasions.

Year Driver/s Class Vehicle Race title
1961 Lorenzo Bandini
Giorgio Scarlatti
Sports car Ferrari 250TRI 1961 4h Testa Rosa
1960 Denny Hulme Formula Two Cooper T52 - BMC XXVI Gran Premio di Pescara

Not held.
1957 Stirling Moss Formula One Vanwall VW5 XXV Circuito di Pescara
1956 Robert Manzon Sports car Gordini T15S XXIV Gran Premio di Pescara
1955 Not held.
1954 Luigi Musso Formula One/Two Maserati 250F XXIII Gran Premio di Pescara
1953 Umberto Maglioli
Mike Hawthorn
Sports car Ferrari 375MM 2° 12 Ore di Pescara
1952 Giovanni Bracco
Paolo Marzotto
Sports car Ferrari 250S 1° 12 Ore di Pescara
1951 José Froilán González Formula One Ferrari 375 XX Circuito di Pescara
1950 Juan Manuel Fangio Formula One Alfa Romeo 158 XIX Circuito di Pescara
1949 Franco Rol Sports car Alfa Romeo 6C 2500 SS XVIII Circuito di Pescara
1948 Giovanni Bracco
Alberto Ascari
Sports car Maserati A6GCS XVII Circuito di Pescara
1947 Vincenzo Auricchio Sports car Stanguellini-Fiat 1100 XVI Circuito di Pescara

Not held.
1939 Clemente Biondetti Voiturette Alfa Romeo 158 XV Coppa Acerbo
1938 Rudolf Caracciola Grand Prix Mercedes-Benz W154 XIV Coppa Acerbo
1937 Bernd Rosemeyer Grand Prix Auto Union C Typ. XIII Coppa Acerbo
1936 Bernd Rosemeyer Grand Prix Auto Union C Typ. XII Coppa Acerbo
1935 Achille Varzi Grand Prix Auto Union B Typ. XI Coppa Acerbo
1934 Luigi Fagioli Grand Prix Mercedes-Benz W25 X Coppa Acerbo
1933 Luigi Fagioli Grand Prix Alfa Romeo Tipo-B 'P3' IX Coppa Acerbo
1932 Tazio Nuvolari Grand Prix Alfa Romeo Tipo-B 'P3' VIII Coppa Acerbo
1931 Giuseppe Campari Grand Prix Alfa Romeo Tipo A VII Coppa Acerbo
1930 Achille Varzi Grand Prix Maserati 26M VI Coppa Acerbo
1929 Giuseppe Campari Grand Prix Alfa Romeo P2 V Coppa Acerbo
1928 Not held.
1927 Giuseppe Campari Grand Prix Alfa Romeo P2 IV Coppa Acerbo
1926 Luigi Spinozzi Grand Prix Bugatti T35 III Coppa Acerbo
1925 Guido Ginaldi Grand Prix Alfa Romeo RL II Coppa Acerbo
1924 Enzo Ferrari Grand Prix Alfa Romeo RL I Coppa Acerbo

See also


  1. ^ La Canzone della Coppa Acerbo", song lyrics about a classic road race""". 
  • "Grand Prix event results.". The Golden Era of Grand Prix Racing. Retrieved 2007-09-12. 
  • "Sports car event results.". World Sports Racing Prototypes. Retrieved 2007-09-12. 
  • "Formula One event results". The GEL Motorsport Information Page. Retrieved 2007-09-12. 
  • "XXVI Gran Premio di Pescara 1960". F2 Register. Retrieved 2007-09-12. 

External links

  • The Pescara Circuit at ETracksonline.
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