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When did Pietro Bordino die?


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#1 Prostfan

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Posted 16 April 2002 - 19:46

I have three different dates when Pietro Bordino died, who drowned in Tanaro River in Alessandria in practice for the Alessandria GP (22nd April 1928).

I have 15th April, 16th April and 21st April as his death day.

Can anyone confirm one of these dates?

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#2 Doug Nye

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Posted 16 April 2002 - 22:23

I can't confirm the date off the top of my head but mention of the River Tanaro in connection with Bordino's 1928 fatality is interesting. I drove round the Alessandria circuit some years ago with my old friend Cyril Posthumus's assertion in mind that Bordino had been drowned when he struck a stray dog which jammed his Bugatti's steering and sent the car tumbling down into the broad Tanaro river which runs through the town. The geography of the bridges carrying both outward and return legs of the circuit didn't seem to make sense of this story, and years later I found a Bordino biography - which I have since buried somewhere - which seems to explain that he didn't crash into the Tanaro at all, but into a deep, steep-sided tributary stream or drainage dyke which ran - or runs - alongside the back stretch of the circuit.

DCN

#3 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 17 April 2002 - 01:54

Doug,
Very intriguing story indeed. Could you please expand on this account once you locate your source? I would like to correct my records. Your statement means that all the old reports mentioning the River Tanaro are wrong. Wonder however, how that could have happened. Unfortunately, I have only one primary source for 1928 and they did not report about the 1928 event. Therefore data is a bit meager. The following about the 1930 race I had written some years back.

Before the 1930 race, a memorial ceremony was held at a newly erected stone pillar in memory of Pietro Bordino, one of the best racing drivers Italy had ever had. At the 1928 Alessandria race Bordino with his mechanic, Pietro Lasagni (however, Carli has him as Giovanni Lasagna) , had died here in practice. Trying to avoid a dog running in front of his Bugatti, he bumped into the large Alsatian. The canine jammed his steering. The car crashed and ended upside down in the Tanaro River, where Bordino and his mechanic drowned. In honor of this great Italian driver, the Alessandria race became known thereafter the Coppa Pietro Bordino on the Circuito Bordino.

I also checked some sources on the date issue:
* Emanuele Alberto Carli states in Settant'anni di.....(1967) that Pietro Bordino died on April 15, 1928. No details given.
* Erwin Tragatsch states in Das große Rennfahrerbuch (1970) that Bordino died April 15, during training. No details given.
* Peter Higham states in The Guinnes Guide to International Motor Racing (1995) that Bordino died April 16, during training.

-*Cyril Posthumus wrote in Georgano's The Encyclopaedia of Motor Sport (1971) that it was the River Tanaro, no date.
*Cyril Posthumus wrote in The Roaring Twenties (1980) that the Bugatti plunged over the parapet into the River Tanaro. No date.
*René Dreyfus with Berverly Rae Kimes wrote in My Two Lives (1983) that Pietro Bordino had been killed the week before when he crashed into a ravine. No date or name of river.
*Paul Sheldon mentions in A Record of Grand Prix and..... Volume 2 (1990) only that Bordino crashed and drowned during training in a river, but no name.

#4 dbw

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Posted 17 April 2002 - 02:55

according to raffaelli, piero bordino[the red devil] was killed in a crash during practice for the vth circuto di alessandria on april 22 1928. i can only assume the practice session was the same day as the race...perhaps not.the car hit a dog,jammed the steering,and the car plunged into an unnamed tributary of the tanaro river..the race was renamed coppa pietro bordino in his memory.the car was a t-35c chassis 4866,engine 175...rebuilt, it was raced many more times and wrecked again....the car still exists [last i heard] on the east coast of the us.hope this helps.

#5 alessandro silva

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Posted 17 April 2002 - 11:05

a) It was definitely a ditch (better: a canal to control the floods of the Tanaro).

b) All Italian sources that I could find agree on April 15th, in practice.

Hans might want to add to his list of sources the following (very detailed)


Giovanni Canestrini: Uomini e Motori, Monza, 1957, pages 68/69. It features:
April 15th/dog/practice/ditch.

In the already mentioned book of Raffaelli there is a stunning photograph of the car after the accident. I am willing to scan but cannot post.

#6 Felix Muelas

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Posted 17 April 2002 - 12:09

Originally posted by alessandro silva
I am willing to scan but cannot post.


Send me the picture via e-mail, alessandro. I'll post it for you.

Felix

#7 Felix Muelas

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Posted 17 April 2002 - 14:25

Here it is...

Posted Image

#8 Marcor

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Posted 17 April 2002 - 17:36

From Les Sports (Belgian newspaper, Tuesday 17 April 1928):

"Bordino was killed in an accident Sunday afternoon when he tried his Bugatti in the Alessandria Circuit. He had to take part in a GP race in this circuit next Sunday.

He drove at high speed in the straight line when he bumped a dog and left the road. He tried desperately to straighten up his car but the Bugatti came to crash in a ravine.

Bordino, thrown out the car, was killed outright. His rider-mechanic, Giovanni Lasagne, remained in the car, had a fractured skull and died from his injuries shortly afterwards.

Bordino was one of the best Italian driver..."

According this source, the day of the death was clearly April 15, 1928.

#9 Doug Nye

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Posted 19 April 2002 - 08:52

Originally posted by Hans Etzrodt
Doug,
Very intriguing story indeed. Could you please expand on this account once you locate your source?


Hans - it's a book by Pino Fondi, entitled 'Il Diavolo Rosso Corre Ancora' - published by the Edizioni Librarie Siciliane, 1983, and if I understand the Italian foreword note correctly it was published originally in 1941. A fold-out map at the back of the book indicates a point at the hamlet of San Michele on the back stretch as the site of Bordino's fatal accident. The course skirts the old fortress at Alessandria on the bank of the River Tanaro, crosses the railway line and then turns sharp right before opening out onto what was obviously a very fast straight with a little kink at San Michele on the way towards San Salvatore. The site of the incident is shown as being immediately adjacent to the houses at San Michele, immediately preceding that slight left-hand kink in the back straight.

Oh, and the date is cited as April 15 - as Marc's newspaper report has already confirmed.

DCN

#10 Hans Etzrodt

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Posted 19 April 2002 - 16:23

Doug,
Thank you very much for the details. It is a good thread for me because I learned something new again.

My thanks extends also to Alessandro, Felix and Marc. :)

#11 Nanni Dietrich

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 16:35

Giovanni Lasagna's death is erroneously reported by several sources, books and websites.
According to a letter written by Giovanni Lasagna's Mother one year after the Alessandria accident that claimed the life of Pietro Bordino, and edited by the magazine "Bollettino Salesiano", issue September 1929, Giovanni Lasagna eventually recovered.
http://www.sdb.org/bs/1929/192909.htm

In the accident Giovanni Lasagna (NOT Lasagni or Pietro Lasagna) sustained massive head and chest injuries, being transported to Alessandria hospital. Never regaining consciousness and after nearly twelve days in a coma he was given the Extreme Unction, but suddenly the state of his health improved progressively and seemed to be out of danger. Until he completely recovered.

#12 bigears

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 16:49

Was the circuit later named after Pietro Bordino?

EDIT>>

As many racing cars, much of T35 were finishing in this poor condition during their career... Some were used as source of parts, others were rebuilt by Works like this T35C (#4866): its pilot Pietro Bordino dies after having struck a dog and having finished his run in the river which borders the circuit of V° Circuito di Alessandria on April 22th, 1928


Scroll down a bit until you see a damaged Bugatti.

http://www.club-buga.../T35E/t35e.html


#13 Barry Boor

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Posted 28 March 2008 - 17:19

Studying the track as she now is, (using Microsoft Live Search - so much clearer than G****e E***h) one can see the exact line that the circuit took. Although in one or two places, new roads have superceeded old ones, the old roads are still there.

I was looking to see if I could discern any canal/drainage ditches in the vicinity of the area where the Bordino accident occurred; I couldn't. However, I would have thought it extremely unlikely that a crashing car could have reached the river.

The shortest distance between road and river at the point Doug describes the accident to have happened is around 80 metres.

#14 speedman13

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 10:45

It is accepted that Bordio died at Alessandria in 1928 but his grave is clearly marked as born in 1886 and died in 1926.
The Monumentale cemetery also gives 1926 as the year of his death,
Can anyone shed any light on this anomaly.

#15 Marticelli

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 12:15

The story of Type 35c 4866 is well told in Raffaelli's excellent book 'Archives d'une Passion' or the English edition ' Memoirs of a Bugatti Hunter'. The picture already posted of the car being retrieved from what looks like a ditch is there as are several others showing the car when rebuilt and sold by Bugatti to new owner, Paul Morand in 1929. The last picture shows the car upside down at the 1931 Dieppe Grand Prix, where it was piled on top of Wimille's already ditched Type 51... Bad day for Bugattis it would seem!

The interesting thing for me is consulting Conway's The Grand Prix Bugatti, it fails to record any of its lurid history, merely noting it as sold to Morand as first owner... In fact the car's third owner, Max Fourny seems to have been the one most involved with racing the car in period, as Morand only kept the car for little more than a year. One wonders if these owners knew of its first tragic outing.

This all reminds me of the locomotive which was hauling the ill-fated train across the first Tay Bridge when it collapsed in a storm. This was subsequently retrieved from the River Tay, rebuilt and renamed 'The Diver' and gave excellent service for another 75 years or so!!

#16 speedman13

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 12:58

It is accepted that Bordio died at Alessandria in 1928 but his grave is clearly marked as born in 1886 and died in 1926.
The Monumentale cemetery also gives 1926 as the year of his death,
Can anyone shed any light on this anomaly.



#17 D-Type

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 17:21

Are you sure you have the correct grave? You refer to Pietro Bordio while everyone else says Pietro Bordino.



#18 speedman13

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Posted 14 February 2010 - 17:38

Are you sure you have the correct grave? You refer to Pietro Bordio while everyone else says Pietro Bordino.


Yes I mean Bordino, it was just a typing error.