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Coppa Acerbo


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#1 Michael M

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Posted 23 October 2000 - 16:27

The first „Coppa Acerbo“ was held at the Pescara triangle road track in 1924. Does anybody know the background of this first race, who was the organizing body, after whom was it named (Tito Acerbo?)? And what was so special at Pescara that even the works teams of Mercedes and Auto Union participated, although they restricted their entries only to major events?

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#2 John Cross

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Posted 23 October 2000 - 17:47

Here is a web site about the Coppa Acerbo - not much on the background, though:

http://www.abol.it/coppaacerbo/

Maybe Hans can help with this one?

#3 Michael M

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Posted 23 October 2000 - 18:20

John, I know this, but exactly my question are not answered ...

#4 alessandro silva

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Posted 24 October 2000 - 08:51

Tito Acerbo was a Medaglia d'Oro (the highest war honor) for his heroic death in WWI. His brother was a big shot of the Fascist Party in Pescara and the race was invented to honor his brother's memory, car racing being very appealing to the "virile" side of Fascism. Acerbo later became a Minister in Mussolini's Governement (early 30s). Many things were "special" about Pescara. From the organizing point of view the extremely good political connections with the direct involvement of Minister Acerbo led to sizeable starting and prize money (though not in the measure of Tripoli) and the entering of the German teams. From the technical point of view it was a beautiful track, difficult, varied (with long mountain or high speed sectors) and good drivers loved it as the list of winners shows. After WWII the name Acerbo was dropped (though Tito died before Fascism). Political connections must have been still very good even after the change of regime since in 1957 when all road racing was banned in Italy after de Portago's accident at the Mille Miglia the Pescara GP was not only kept in the calender but gained World Championship status. By now the facilities were in deplorable state, but FIA gave Constructor Championship status to the sportscar race in 1961. It was terrible from the organising point of view and it was the end of all.

#5 Michael M

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Posted 24 October 2000 - 11:49

Thanks Alessandro, you answered already my next question, why did it come to an end in 1961.
Another thing which comes up to my mind, although the very first race was held on 13 July, end of the 20s / early 30s the event was always held on August 15, which seems to be a holiday in Italy. Do you know which one?

#6 alessandro silva

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Posted 24 October 2000 - 12:29

August 15th is the biggest Summer holiday in Italy (and in France too after July 14th). It is called Ferragosto in common language but it is a catholic holiday in honor of some Madonna.
As for the demise of the Pescara racing: a 1961 chronicle says:"Mess in reigning everywhere in the pits. At every refuelling stop gasoline is flowing around in torrential spills".
But the main reason I think is that the track had become too dangerous by any standards. Moss' average speed in 1957 was about 155kmh and Dennis Hulme, winner of the 1960 FJ event, had a lap at about 150kmh.

#7 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 October 2000 - 12:55

Of interest is the fact that the Sports Car GP of 1961 was a 4-hour event.

#8 jarama

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Posted 24 October 2000 - 13:08

The winners for this 4-hour race were L.Bandini-G.Scarlatti at the wheel of a Centro Sud's Ferrari 250TR61 at 143'22 kmh., while Orthuber-Barth were the runner-ups driving a Porsche. There were 38 starters and 28 finishers.

#9 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 October 2000 - 13:14

Don't forget Boffa's Maserati was in third...