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Storie Alfa Romeo
Alfa Romeo

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  1950 - Borniggia winner on
2500 Competizione
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  1923 - Sivocci with A. Ascari
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  1971 - Vaccarella winner on
Cerda's tribune finish line
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  1971 - Vaccarella on 33-3

Alfa Romeo achieved ten victories in the Targa Florio between 1923 and 1975, with racetracks and regulations which changed very much through the years.
Even just a brief reference to these victories means thinking back to the history of the Targa Florio and of the automobile at the same time.
A fascinating journey into the past which leads us to the roaring days of motorsports, when taking part in the Targa Florio was a challenge not just for anyone.
Running for several hours, without other assistance than the one of one's own mechanic, in a still wild landscape, going up to an altitude of one thousand metres after having raced by the sea at Buonfornello.
This was the Targa in the good old days, something special, which went beyond the usual performance of the drivers.
Let's start then with Alfa Romeo's first win in 1923 (the idea of the Targa race came to don Vincenzo Florio, the scion of an aristocratic Sicilian family) by Sivocci-Guatta on a RL.
Second ranked Antonio Ascari, the father of world champion Alberto, whose car spun right round a few metres from the finishing line when he was in the lead. Since that race the Alfa Romeos boast the green cloverleaf on white triangle, the badge of all the car maker's sports cars.
In 1930 the first of six victories in a row, achieved by Varzi and Tabacchi on the legendary P2, after a long duel with the Bugatti. The end of the race was dramatic, with Alfa's driver and co-driver who had to put out a fire during the last lap.
Campari's fourth place and Nuvolari's fifth, both on the Alfa 6C 1750 with compressor which dominated in that year's Mille Miglia, completed Alfa Romeo's triumph.
In 1931 it was the turn of Nuvolari-Bignami on Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 Monza. Unlike the previous editions, the race was held on the Long circuit of Madonie, to be run in four laps.
The driver from Mantua had fenders fitted on his car and this proved to be heaven-sent as they protected him from water and mud.
With a brilliant comeback on the competitors Nuvolari arrived first, preceding Borzacchini (Alfa 6C 1750 with compressor) and his great rival Varzi (Bugatti 8C 2300).

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1923 - Sivocci with A. Ascari on RL - 1st Alfa Romeo's win

The winning combination did not change in 1932. Nuvolari and his 8C 2300 Monza dominated the race during all eight laps of the Small circuit, without being seriously threatened by Varzi's and Chiron's Bugattis. Two other Alfa Romeos ranked second and fourth while Varzi finished third.
In 1933 there was only one 8C 2300 Monza, once again first past the chequered flag. It was driven by Conte Brivio, who had taken the lead after Borzacchini had smashed the front axle of his car against a wall. That year there were five Alfa Romeos in the first five positions.
In the 1934 edition there was Achille Varzi's second victory, his first racing for Alfa Romeo, who that year managed the typical "double": Mille Miglia and Targa Florio. The race had been dominated by Piero Chersi (2634cc Alfa Romeo Tipo B)
In the lead for the first three laps. He was then delayed by an accident, thus arriving only sixth. Varzi won on his 2900cc Tipo B single-seater.
All seven cars finishing the race were Alfa Romeos. The supremacy of the Milan brand continued in 1935 with the same car. This time the winner was D (.?) Brivio who knew the Madonie circuit like no other. He attacked his team-mate Chiron (3160 cc Tipo B single-seater) and overtook him. That was another proof of Alfa Romeos reliability as well: seven cars out of the eleven finishing the race.
After the period of the Palermo racetrack (1938-40) and after World
War II, the Targa Florio lived again as a tour of Sicily. This formula lasted three years, last of which, in 1950 was won by the brothers Alfredo and Mario Bornigia on an Alfa 6C 2500 Competizione after over 1000 km around the island in bad weather conditions.
Another twenty years passed; Alfa Romeo had withdrawn from official competitions but its clients still won in many classes and categories.
In 1971, once again an official Alfa Romeo won the trophy, for the ninth time. Behind the wheel of the 33-3litre prototype there was a Sicilian-Dutch team: the "Flying headmaster" Nino Vaccarella and Toine Hezemans, an experienced driver of the legendary GTAs.
Second ranked another Dutchman, Gus Van Lennep together with Andrea de Adamich on another 33-3Litre.
The tenth Victory arrived four years later, in 1975.
On the powerful 33 TT 12 there was again Nino Vaccarella, this time together with Arturo "the Jockey" Merzario. An all-Italian success achieved at the average of over 115 Km/h, among the highest recorded on the racetrack
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