Achille Varzi

This article is on the Italian racecar driver. For the Columbia University philosopher see Achille Varzi (philosopher).
Achille Varzi
Achille Varzi 1931
Achille Varzi in 1931
Born8 August 1904
Died1 July 1948 (aged 43)
OccupationRacing driver
Piloti Alfa Romeo 4
Alfa Romeo team drivers, Achille Varzi (3rd sitting from left)

Achille Varzi (8 August 1904 – 1 July 1948) was an Italian Grand Prix driver.

Career

Born in Galliate, province of Novara (Piedmont), Achille Varzi was the son of a textile manufacturer. As a young man, he was a successful motorcycle racer of Garelli, DOT, Moto Guzzi and Sunbeam, and rode seven times in the Isle of Man TT from 1924 before switching to auto racing in 1928 where, for the next ten years, he would rival Tazio Nuvolari, Rudolf Caracciola and Bernd Rosemeyer.

Varzi's first race car was a Type 35 Bugatti but he shortly changed to driving an Alfa Romeo, a brand with which he would score many victories during the 1929 Italian racing season. In 1930 Varzi acquired a vehicle from the relatively new Maserati company. He drove it as well as an Alfa Romeo earning his country's racing championship, a feat he would repeat in 1934. One of his big victories came at the prestigious Targa Florio where he upset the favored Louis Chiron. Following his win at the 1933 Tripoli Grand Prix, a race at the time associated with a lottery, Varzi was at the forefront of allegations that the race had been fixed.

Varzi won 6 Grand Prix in 1934 driving the Alfa Romeo P3, at Alessandria, Tripoli, Targa Florio, Penya Rhin at Barcelona, Coppa Ciano and Nice. He also became the first driver in history to hold both the Targa Florio and Mille Miglia title in one season[1]

Although the Alfa Romeo team had proved to be competitive under the management of Enzo Ferrari, Varzi decided to join the Auto Union team, racing for them between 1935 and 1937. This move coincided with Varzi having serious personal problems, including an addiction to morphine and a difficult affair with Ilse Pietsch (Engel/Hubitsch[2]/Feininger), the wife of a fellow driver Paul Pietsch. Quickly overshadowed by teammate Bernd Rosemeyer, his trips to the winners circle dropped to only four, but he did win his third Tripoli Grand Prix in his third different vehicle. By 1938 he had dropped out of sight and the advent of World War II ended racing in Europe. During the war, Varzi overcame his drug addiction and settled down with his new wife, Norma Colombo. At the end of the War, Varzi made a remarkable comeback at the age of 42. In 1946 he attempted to race a Maserati for the Indianapolis 500 but failed to qualify.[3] In 1947, he won three minor Grand Prix races and traveled to Argentina to race in the Buenos Aires Grand Prix.

Death

During practise runs for the 1948 Swiss Grand Prix a light rain fell on the Bremgarten track. Varzi's Alfa Romeo 158 skidded on the wet surface, flipping over and crushing him to death. He was buried in his hometown.

Achievements

In 1991, motorsport journalist Giorgio Terruzzi recounted Varzi's story in a book titled Una curva cieca – Vita di Achille Varzi. During his career, Achille Varzi competed in 139 races, winning 33. Some of his major victories include:

Legacy

Varzi's death resulted in the FIA mandating the wearing of crash helmets for racing, which had been optional previously.[4] A Formula One team entered some races in 1950 as Scuderia Achille Varzi. The team was equipped with Maseratis 4CL and 4CLT and featured drivers José Froilán González, Antonio Branca, Alfredo Pián and Nello Pagani.[5]

On 5 June 2004 Poste Italiane issued a stamp commemorating Achille Varzi.[6]

His relative and namesake, Achille C. Varzi, is Professor of Philosophy at Columbia University.

Complete European Championship results

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

Year Entrant Make 1 2 3 4 5 6 EDC Points
1931 Usines Bugatti Bugatti ITA
Ret
FRA
1
BEL
Ret
4= 12
1932 Ettore Bugatti Bugatti ITA
Ret
FRA
Ret
GER
16= 21
1935 Auto Union Auto Union MON
FRA
5
BEL
GER
8
SUI
4
ITA
Ret
ESP
Ret
7= 39
1936 Auto Union Auto Union MON
2
GER
SUI
2
ITA
Ret
4 19
1937 Auto Union Auto Union BEL
GER
MON
SUI
ITA
6
20= 36

Other Grandes Epreuves won

(key) (Races in bold indicate pole position)

1933 Ettore Bugatti Bugatti MON
1
FRA
BEL
2
ITA
Ret
ESP
4
1934 Scuderia Ferrari Alfa Romeo MON
6
FRA
2
BEL
Ret
BEL
Ret
ITA
Ret
ESP
5

post WWII Grandes Épreuves results

(key)

Year Entrant Chassis 1 2 3 4 5
1947 Alfa Corse Alfa Romeo 158 SUI
2
BEL
2
ITA
4
FRA
1948 Alfa Corse Alfa Romeo 158 MON SUI
DNS †
FRA ITA GBR

References

  1. ^ Martini, Sandro. Tracks: Racing the Sun. London: Aurora Metro Publications. ISBN 1906582432.
  2. ^ Martini, Sandro. Tracks: Racing the Sun. London: Aurora Metro Publications. p. 339. ISBN 1906582432.
  3. ^ Acchille Varzi, Champ Car Stats, retrieved 24 December 2010
  4. ^ Plumb, Philip W. The Clipper Book of Motor Racing Facts. London: Clipper Press. p. 42. ISBN 0-85108-008-1.
  5. ^ "Scuderia Achille Varzi - ChicaneF1.com". Chicanef1.dyndns.org. Retrieved 20 March 2011.
  6. ^ "Archivio emissioni, Achille Varzi". Archived from the original on 15 June 2007. Retrieved 9 May 2009.

External links

1929 Grand Prix season

The 1929 Grand Prix season was dominated by Italian constructors. Both Alfa Romeo and Bugatti won races, with "W Williams" and Louis Chiron being the dominant drivers.

The World Manufacturers' Championship was planned on seven races. Three of them (Belgium, Germany and Spain) were converted to sport-cars races while British and European Grands Prix were not held. Since the last one was required, the championship was cancelled.

1930 Grand Prix season

The 1930 Grand Prix season was dominated by the Italian constructors Bugatti and Maserati. All six finishers at the Monaco Grand Prix were driving Bugattis. Achille Varzi won two races driving a Maserati.

The World Manufacturers' Championship was planned on seven races, with European Grand Prix and other two mandatory; four races (Germany, Spain, Great Britain and Italy) were cancelled, another (France) was raced with sport-cars regulation. Moreover European Grand Prix was shorter than the mininum of 600 kilometres. For these reasons, the championship was cancelled.

In the late summer AIACR started to work on the new European championship which would begin in 1931.

1931 French Grand Prix

The 1931 French Grand Prix (formally the XXV Grand Prix de l'A.C.F.) was a Grand Prix motor race held at Autodrome de Linas-Montlhéry on 21 June 1931. As with the other two races in the 1931 AIACR European Championship, this race was held over 10 hours, not over a fixed distance. As a result, most cars had two drivers.The race was won by Louis Chiron and Achille Varzi driving a factory entered Bugatti T51, who after early race battles lead more than eight hours of the race

1931 Monaco Grand Prix

The 1931 Monaco Grand Prix was a Grand Prix motor race held at the Circuit de Monaco on 19 April 1931.

With 16 Bugattis in a field of 23 cars, the event was close to being a single-make race. Among the 16 were four factory-team Type 51s driven by the Monegasque Louis Chiron, the Italian Achille Varzi and the French Albert Divo and Guy Bouriat. The real challenge came from the Maserati 8C 2500's driven by René Dreyfus, the Italian Luigi Fagioli and Clemente Bondietti. Rudolf Caracciola with his huge Mercedes SSKL (Super Sport Short Light-Weight) was uncompetitive as his larger car performed poorly around the tight Monaco track.

The race was between the blue cars from Molsheim and the red ones from Modena. When the start flag dropped it was Rene Dreyfus in his red Maserati who led into St. Devote, only to be passed by 'Williams' on the hill to the Casino, but his lead was short lived as the Brit was sidelined by a broken valve spring, and his race was over. Achille Varzi and Caracciola started closing on Dreyfus and Varzi managed to overtake the Frenchman on the 7th lap. Caracciola struggled with a slipping clutch that gave in on lap 53.

Starting slowly, Louis Chiron eventually displayed his talents; gaining back ground with a new lap record time. He caught up with all his opponents and left them behind. Chiron, a native of Monaco, finished the race some 5 minutes ahead of Luigi Fagioli.

Jean Bugatti could not control his joy and jumped over the parapet of the bleachers and fell into Louis Chiron's arms. For the Monegasque, this Monaco Grand Prix victory really confirmed his reputation.

1933 Grand Prix season

The 1933 Grand Prix season was the first year of a two-year hiatus for the European Championship. Tazio Nuvolari proved to be the most successful driver, winning seven Grands Prix. Alfa Romeo's cars proved difficult to beat, winning 19 of the season's 36 Grands Prix.

1933 Monaco Grand Prix

The 1933 Monaco Grand Prix was a Grand Prix motor race held at the Circuit de Monaco on 23 April 1933.

This was the first Grand Prix where grid positions were decided by practice time rather than the established method of balloting. Achille Varzi and Tazio Nuvolari exchanged the lead many times during the race and the race was settled in Varzi's favour on the final lap when Nuvolari's car caught fire due to over-revving. Nuvolari was then disqualified due to outside assistance while attempting to push his car to the finish.

1934 Grand Prix season

The 1934 Grand Prix season was the final year of a two-year hiatus for the European Championship. Achille Varzi proved to be the most successful driver, winning six Grands Prix. Alfa Romeo's cars proved difficult to beat, winning 18 of the season's 35 Grands Prix.

1935 Grand Prix season

The 1935 Grand Prix season was the third AIACR European Championship season. There were 35 non-championship races and seven races that counted for the European Championship. The championship was won by Rudolf Caracciola, driving for the Mercedes-Benz team.

Note that the Nazi German flag, bearing the swastika, was adopted on 15 September 1935 – one week before the final championship race of the season.

1936 Monaco Grand Prix

The 1936 Monaco Grand Prix was a Grand Prix motor race held at Circuit de Monaco on 13 April 1936.

Heavy rain contributed to a series of accidents, while a broken oil line on the Alfa Romeo of Mario Tadini led to so many wrecks in the chicane out of the tunnel it was almost impassable. The Mercedes-Benzes of Louis Chiron, Luigi Fagioli, and Manfred von Brauchitsch, as well as Bernd Rosemeyer's Typ C of newcomer Auto Union, were all eliminated. Tazio Nuvolari in the Alfa Romeo 8C benefitted from the chaos, only to suffer brake fade, and Rudolf Caracciola, proving the truth of his nickname, Regenmeister (Rainmaster), went on to win for Mercedes. He was followed by Achille Varzi and Hans Stuck, both for Auto Union.

1936 Tripoli Grand Prix

The 1936 Tripoli Grand Prix was a Grand Prix motor race held on 10 May 1936. This race was part of the 1936 Grand Prix Season as a non-championship race. The race was won by Achille Varzi in an Auto Union Type C.

1937 San Remo Grand Prix

The first San Remo Grand Prix was a non-championship event, held on July 25, 1937, for 1500 cc Voiturette class Grand Prix cars and ran counter clockwise on a 1.862 km (1.157 m.) street circuit in the town of San Remo, known as the San Remo Circuit (Circuito di San Remo, official name: Circuita Stracittadino di San Remo)

The race was run in three 25 lap heats, the 2 best of each heat qualifying for the 30 lap (55.860 km.) final, which was won in 34'39" min. by Achille Varzi driving a Maserati 4CM, averaging 96.7 km/h.

1947 Grand Prix season

The 1947 Grand Prix season was the second post-war year for Grand Prix racing. It constituted the first full season of the FIA's Formula One motor racing, though some Grand Prix still used other formulas. There was no organised championship in 1947, although several of the more prestigious races were recognised as Grandes Épreuves (great trials) by the FIA. Luigi Villoresi proved to be the most successful driver, winning six Grands Prix. Alfa Romeo's cars proved difficult to beat, winning 13 of the season's 32 Grands Prix.

1948 Swiss Grand Prix

The 1948 Swiss Grand Prix was a Grand Prix motor race held at Circuit Bremgarten, near Bern, on 4 July 1948. Despite racing for nearly two hours, at the finishing line Frenchman Jean-Pierre Wimille was only 0.2 seconds behind the race winner, the Italian driver Carlo Felice Trossi. Trossi's compatriot Luigi Villoresi finished over two and a half minutes behind the pair, in third place. Pre-World War II star driver Achille Varzi was killed when he crashed during practice, and the wealthy Swiss privateer Christian Kautz died in an accident during the race.

Achille Varzi (philosopher)

Achille C. Varzi (born May 8, 1958, Galliate) is an Italian-born philosopher. He graduated at University of Trento and received a masters and doctoral degree at the University of Toronto. He teaches at Columbia University, where he has been a member of the philosophy faculty since 1995.Varzi has made notable contributions to the fields of philosophical logic (mainly vagueness, supervaluationism, paraconsistency, formal semantics) and metaphysics (mainly mereology and mereotopology, causation, events, and issues relating to identity and persistence through time). His first book, Holes and Other Superficialities (1994, with Roberto Casati), was an exploration of the realist ontology of common sense and naive physics. His more recent work is inspired by a nominalist-conventionalist stance.

Varzi is currently an editor of The Journal of Philosophy and an advisory editor of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Varzi is also a prolific writer for the general public and contributes regularly to several Italian newspapers.

Achille C. Varzi is a second cousin of the Italian racecar driver Achille Varzi.

Alfa Romeo P2

The Alfa Romeo P2 won the inaugural Automobile World Championship in 1925, taking victory in two of the four championship rounds when Antonio Ascari drove it in the European Grand Prix at Spa and Gastone Brilli-Peri won the Italian Grand Prix at Monza after Ascari died while leading the intervening race at Montlhery.

Although 1925 brought drastic changes of regulations, from 1924-1930 the P2 was victorious in 14 Grands Prix and major events including the Targa Florio. It was one of the iconic Grand Prix cars of the 1920s, along with the Bugatti Type 35, and enabled Alfa Romeo, as world champions, to incorporate the laurel wreath into their logo.

The P2 was introduced by Alfa Romeo for the Circuit of Cremona in northern Italy in 1924, where Antonio Ascari won at over 158 km/h (98 mph), and then went on to win the speed trial at 195 km/h (121 mph). The car was the first creation of Alfa’s new designer Vittorio Jano who had been recruited from Fiat by Enzo Ferrari when Nicola Romeo scrapped the P1 after its poor performance in the 1923 Monza Grand Prix against Fiat. The P2 was powered by Alfa’s first straight-8 cylinder supercharged engine with 2 carburettors placed after the compressor.

Only 2 of the 6 original models survive, and they can be seen in the Alfa Romeo Museum in Arese and the Turin Automobile Museum. The P2 had two body styles using either a cut off or long rear.

One of the P2s was featured on the main sculpture at the 2010 Goodwood Festival of Speed.

Alfa Romeo P3

The Alfa Romeo P3, P3 monoposto or Tipo B was a classic Grand Prix car designed by Vittorio Jano, one of the Alfa Romeo 8C models. The P3 was first genuine single-seat Grand Prix racing car and Alfa Romeo's second monoposto after Tipo A monoposto (1931). It was based on the earlier successful Alfa Romeo P2. Taking lessons learned from that car, Jano went back to the drawing board to design a car that could last longer race distances.

Alfredo Pián

Alfredo Pián (October 21, 1912 – July 25, 1990) was a racing driver from Argentina. He entered the 1950 Monaco Grand Prix with a Maserati 4CLT run by Scuderia Achille Varzi. During the Saturday practice sessions, Pián, who had the sixth fastest time at that point, spun on an oil patch and crashed against the guard-rail, being thrown out of the cockpit. He sustained leg injuries and was not able to start the race. He never again entered a World Championship Formula One event.

Circuit Bremgarten

The Circuit Bremgarten was a 7.28 km (4.524-mi) motorsport race track in Bern, Switzerland which formerly hosted the Swiss Grand Prix from 1933 to 1954 (Formula One, 1947 to 1954) and the Swiss motorcycle Grand Prix.

Bremgarten was built as a motorcycle racing track in 1931 in the Bremgartenwald (Bremgarten forest) in the north of Bern. The circuit itself had no true straight, instead being a collection of high-speed corners. It hosted its first automobile race in 1934, which claimed the life of driver Hugh Hamilton. In 1948 it claimed the life of Italian racer Achille Varzi. From the outset, Bremgarten's tree-lined roads, often poor light conditions and changes in road surface made for what was acknowledged to be a very dangerous circuit, especially in the wet.

Bremgarten has not hosted an official motorsport event since 1955, when spectator racing sports, with the exception of hillclimbing and rallying, were banned in Switzerland following the 1955 Le Mans disaster. Although there was a 1982 Swiss Grand Prix, it took place in Dijon, France. On June 6, 2007 an amendment to lift the ban was passed by the lower house of the Swiss parliament, 97 in favour and 77 opposed. The legislation failed to pass the upper house, and was withdrawn in 2009 after being rejected twice.

Tripoli Grand Prix

The Tripoli Grand Prix (Italian: Gran Premio di Tripoli) was a motor racing event first held in 1925 on a racing circuit outside Tripoli, the capital of what was then Italian Tripolitania, now Libya. It lasted until 1940.

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