Alfa Romeo in motorsport

During its history, Alfa Romeo has competed successfully in many different categories of motorsport, including Grand Prix motor racing, Formula One, sportscar racing, touring car racing and rallies. They have competed both as a constructor and an engine supplier, via works entries (usually under the name Alfa Corse or Autodelta) and private entries. The first racing car was made in 1913, three years after the foundation of A.L.F.A., the 40-60HP had 6 liter straight-4 engine. Alfa Romeo quickly gained a good name in motorsport and gave a sporty image to the whole marque.

Alfa Romeo 8C-35 Scuderia Ferrari (1935)


Alfa Romeo RL Targa Florio
1923 Alfa Romeo RL (Targa Florio racing version).
Louis Chiron after winning the 1934 French Grand Prix
Louis Chiron after winning the 1934 French Grand Prix with Alfa Romeo P3.

Early history

Alfa Romeo started motor racing almost immediately after it was founded. A.L.F.A. ventured into motor racing in 1911, with drivers Franchini and Ronzoni competing in the Targa Florio with two 24 HP models.[1] The marque's first success came in 1913 when Nino Franchini finished second in Parma-Poggio Berceto race with a 40-60HP. Giuseppe Merosi built a very advanced racing car in 1914, which was named "Grand Prix".[2] In 1920 Giuseppe Campari won the race at Mugello with a 40-60HP, whilst Enzo Ferrari was second in Targa Florio in the same year. A year later Giuseppe Campari won at Mugello again. Ugo Sivocci won the 1923 Targa Florio with an RL and Antonio Ascari took second. Sivocci's car was painted with the green cloverleaf on a white background that was to become Alfa's good luck token.

Grand Prix racing

Piloti Alfa Romeo 4
Alfa Romeo team: Giuseppe Campari, Prospero Gianferrari (Managing Director of Alfa Romeo), Achille Varzi, Luigi Arcangeli and Tazio Nuvolari.

In 1923 Vittorio Jano was lured to Alfa from Fiat, designing the motors that gave Alfa racing success into the late 1930s. (When Alfa began to lose in the late 1930s Jano was promptly sacked.) In 1925 Alfa Romeo won the first Automobile World Championship in the history of automobile racing. Over 4 rounds the Alfa Romeo P2 won the European Grand Prix at Spa and the Italian Grand Prix at Monza, and hence incorporated the laurel wreath in their logo.

Alfa P3 B
Engine of Jano's Alfa P3 Type B - Note the twin gear driven superchargers.

For 1932 Jano produced the sensational P3 which won its first race driven by Tazio Nuvolari at the Italian Grand Prix, 5 more Grands Prix that year were shared by Nuvolari and Rudolf Caracciola. Alfa Corse closed for 1933 and locked the cars in the factory, but they eventually transferred them to Enzo Ferrari's now privatised 'factory' team Scuderia Ferrari. P3s then won six of the final 11 events of the season including the final 2 major Grands Prix in Italy and Spain.

In 1934 Louis Chiron won the French Grand Prix in the P3 whilst the German Silver Arrows dominated the other 4 championship events. However the P3s won 18 of the 35 Grands Prix held throughout Europe. 1935 was even tougher, the P3 was simply outclassed by the remorseless Silver Arrows, but Tazio Nuvolari gave the P3 one of the most legendary victories of all time by winning the 1935 German Grand Prix at the Nürburgring. The P3 managed 16 victories in 1935.

Sportscar racing

In the 1930s Tazio Nuvolari won the Mille Miglia in a 6C 1750, crossing the finishing line after having incredibly overtaken Achille Varzi without lights (at nighttime). Alfa Romeos won the Targa Florio six times in row in the 1930s. and the Mille Miglia every year from 1928 to 1938 except for 1931.

The 8C 2300 won the Le Mans 24 Hours from 1931 to 1934, with Alfa Romeo withdrawing from racing in 1933 when the Italian government took over, and the racing of Alfas was then taken up by Scuderia Ferrari as Alfa's outsourced team. (Enzo Ferrari drove for Alfa before he went on to manage the team, and after that went on to manufacture his own cars.)

The Alfa Romeo 8C 2900B MM that won the 1938 Mille Miglia driven by Clemente Biondett. Simeone Foundation Automotive Museum, Philadelphia, PA, USA

In 1935 Alfa Romeo won the German Grand Prix with Nuvolari.

In 1938 Biondetti won the Mille Miglia in an 8C 2900B Corto Spider, thereafter referred to as the "Mille Miglia" model.

Formula One

Alfa Romeo Tipo 182
An Alfa Romeo 182 Formula One car (1982). In the Donington Grand Prix Collection museum, Leics., UK.

Alfa Romeo participated in Formula One, both as a constructor and engine supplier, from 1950 to 1987.

The works Alfa Romeo team dominated the first two years of the Formula One World Championship, using the pre-war Alfetta, but withdrew from Formula One at the end of 1951.

During the 1960s, several minor F1 teams used Alfa Romeo straight-4 engines and a V8 Alfa Romeo appeared in McLaren and March cars in the early 1970s.

The Brabham team used Alfa Romeo engines from 1976 to 1979, foreshadowing a return by Alfa Romeo as a constructor from 1979 to 1985.

For the 1987 season, Alfa Romeo made a deal to supply engines to Ligier, but the deal was cancelled when Fiat took control of Alfa Romeo.

Alfa Romeo also supplied engines to the tiny and unsuccessful Italian Osella team from 1983 to 1987.

On 29 November 2017, Sauber announced that they have signed a multi-year technical and commercial partnership contract with Alfa Romeo, therefore the team will be renamed to Alfa Romeo Sauber F1 Team for the 2018 season onwards.[3] In January 2019 the decision was made to rename the Alfa Romeo Sauber Team to Alfa Romeo Racing for the upcoming 2019 season.

Formula Three

1989 Reynard 893 Alfa Romeo (35264655075)
1989 Reynard 893 Alfa Romeo Formula 3 car of Jacques Villeneuve at the Haynes International Motor Museum.
Alfa Romeo Indycar engine

Alfa Romeo has also supplied engines to Formula Three cars. Piercarlo Ghinzani driving a Euroracing March 793 with 2 litre Alfa engine won straight away its first season in the Italian F3 series in 1979.[4] Michele Alboreto won the European title in 1980 with a March-Alfa Romeo.[5] Altogether Alfa Romeo engined cars took four consecutive Italian titles between 1980 and 1984. Alfa Romeo's new Twin Spark Formula Three engine arrived in 1987 and it continued the success. In all Alfa Romeo took five European titles, five European Cups and about twenty national championships in Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland and Scandinavia.[6]

Alfa Romeo delivers engines to new Formula 3 WSK F3 Regional EM series, F3 Asian Championship and W Series starting in 2019. Italian based Autotecnica Motori tuned Alfa Romeo 1.75 L 4-cyl turbocharged engine produces 270 metric horsepower (200 kW) and its used in Tatuus T-318 racing car.[7]

Formula Alfa Boxer

After great success of one-make championship Trofeo Alfasud, in 1987 Alfa Romeo launched the new Formula Alfa Boxer racing car which had engine derived from 33 and the Sprint.[8] Amato Ferrari won the debut championship in 1987, followed by Mirko Savoldi in 1988 and by Alessandro Zampedri in 1989.

In 1990 this engine was replaced by more powerful Quadrifoglio Verde engine. In 1992 was launched European Championship (Formula Boxer Europe) and the choice of chassis was liberalized. The last Formula Alfa Boxer series season was in 1995. At the wheel of an Ermolli, Andrea Boldrini was the first champion, followed by Danilo Tomassini, and by Tony Kanaan driving a Tatuus.


From 1989 to 1991, Alfa Romeo supplied engines to the IndyCar World Series. The 2648 cc, turbocharged V8 engine produced 720 bhp,[9] and was partly developed from the unraced Ferrari 637 Indy car. The engine was mated to a chassis specially built by March and prepared by Alex Morales Motorsports in 1989, with Roberto Guerrero at the wheel. Guerrero only managed a best of 8th place at Detroit, before both driver and engine moved onto Patrick Racing for 1990, again with a March chassis. That season proved to be an improvement, as Guerrero finished 16th place in the points standings, with a best finish of 5th place. The next year would be Alfa's last. The team switched to a Lola chassis, and Danny Sullivan took over the drive, finishing 11th in the points, with a best finish of 4th. In the end, Alfa Romeo would finish its Champ Car project without scoring a single podium, pole position or race win.


Amilcare Ballestrieri - Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT (1975 Rallye Sanremo)
Amilcare Ballestrieri and co-driver Mauro Mannini on an Alfa Romeo Alfetta GT (Group 2) at the 1975 Rallye Sanremo.

Alfa Romeo cars have also been used in rallying, mostly by private teams. In 1958 the Alfa Romeo Giulietta won the 1000 Lakes Rally. Racing versions of the Alfetta GT and GTV were built by Autodelta in the 1970s, initially with the normally aspirated engine from the earlier GTAm racer, for homologation under FIA Group 2. In this form they were rallied with moderate success in 1975, winning the Elba and Costa Brava rallies overall, as well as winning the Group 2 category in the World Rally Championship's Tour de Corse. In 1980 the Alfetta GTV Turbodelta was already homologated in FIA Group 4, since the required number of production cars had been built. A racing version was campaigned in rallies, but once more the effort was abandoned after a single season, despite scoring a win at the Danube Rally. In 1986 Alfa Romeo GTV6 was one of the fastest Group A rally cars.[10] However FIA reclassified it as a Group B car at the end of 1986, changing it from a winning car to a car which was much less competitive. The GTV6 placed 3rd in 1986 Tour de Corse.


On March 6, 1963, Alfa Romeo's racing department, Autodelta, was established, to run Alfa Romeo's sportscar programme, directed by ex-Alfa Romeo and Ferrari engineer, Carlo Chiti. Competing with the Alfa Romeo TZ, the team began to collect class wins, but faced strong competition from the Porsche 904 and realised they would need a new design if they were to achieve outright victories. Carlo Chiti and the Audodelta team, designed a new 90 degree V8 engine for their Alfa Romeo Tipo 33 sportscar and ultimately a flat-12 engine for the Alfa Romeo 33 TT 12. These cars were raced in the World Sportscar Championship from 1967 to 1977, with the 3-litre TT 12, winning title in 1975 and SC 12 in 1977. The company developed a Group C prototype in the early 1990s, codenamed the SE 048SP, but this never raced.

Alfa Romeo Tipo 33-2 1967 1000km Nurburgring
Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/2 during training on the 1000-km race at the Nürburgring 1967.
Nanni Galli, Alfa Romeo 33.3, 1971-05-29
Nanni Galli training with 33/3 at the Nürburgring 1971.

Touring cars

Starting in the 1960s Alfa Romeo won many touring car titles. The Alfa Romeo GTA won the European Touring Car Championship (ETCC) in 1966, 1967 and 1968. The later Alfa Romeo GTAm won further ETCC titles in 1970 and 1971. Among other victories, the GTA won the inaugural Sports Car Club of America's Trans-Am championship in 1966 with Horst Kwech and Gaston Andrey at the wheel. The GTA won the Trans-Am championship again in the 1970 season. The Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV6 won four consecutive European Touring Car Championship titles between 1982 and 1985. The British Touring Car Championship was won in 1983 by Andy Rouse driving an Alfetta GTV6 and again in 1994 by Gabriele Tarquini with an Alfa Romeo 155. In 1993, the Deutsche Tourenwagen Meisterschaft (DTM) series was won by Nicola Larini with an Alfa Romeo 155 V6 Ti. The successor of the 155, the Alfa Romeo 156 won the European Touring Car Championship four times in row from 2000 to 2003, with Fabrizio Giovanardi and Gabriele Tarquini.

The Alfa Romeo 159 has also won the Bathurst 12 Hour race on three consecutive occasions at the diesel fuel category from 2007.

In recent years, several different teams in different competitions used the Alfa Romeo Giulietta for competing:

In addition, Tecnodom Sport used the Alfa Romeo MiTo in the 2016 season of the Italian Touring Car Championship.

Kwech gta vir 66
Alfa Romeo GTA during the 1966 Trans-Am Championship, driven by Horst Kwech and Gaston Andrey.
Michael Kopf driving Alfa Romeo Alfetta GTV6 at Hockenheimring, during the 1984 DTM series.
Alfa 155 v6 ti
Alfa Romeo 155 V6 Ti, the 1993 DTM season winner with Nicola Larini, at the 2010 Goodwood Festival of Speed.
Alfa Romeo 156 N Technology James Thompson WTCC 2007 Curitiba
Alfa Romeo 156, driven by James Thompson, during the 2007 WTCC round at Curitiba.

Major victories and championships

Alfa Romeo has won the following major victories and championships:[6]


  1. ^ Alfa Romeo (in italian).
  2. ^ "Alfa Designers". Archived from the original on 28 September 2007. Retrieved 2007-08-24.
  3. ^ "Alfa Romeo to return to F1 with Sauber". Retrieved 15 March 2018.
  4. ^ "Ghinzani career summary". Archived from the original on 2 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-26.
  5. ^ "Michele Alboreto". Archived from the original on 13 June 2007. Retrieved 2007-05-26.
  6. ^ a b "T H E R A C I N G". Retrieved 2007-05-26.
  7. ^ Autosport: FIA to decide on two bids for Regional Formula 3 in Europe for 2019 - F3 - Autosport, accessdate: 15. January 2019
  8. ^ Alfa Corse. Act II.: Alfa Corse. Act II., accessdate: 11. May 2019
  9. ^ "ALFA ROMEO IN Formula Indy (1989-1990-1991)". (in Italian). Archived from the original on 22 April 2007. Retrieved 2007-04-26.
  10. ^ "Alfa Romeo GTV6 Specifications & History". Retrieved 2007-05-28.


Owen, David (1985). Great Marques Alfa Romeo. Octopus Books. ISBN 0-7064-2219-8.

External links

Alfa Corse

Alfa Corse is Alfa Romeo's factory racing team. Throughout the years, Alfa Corse has competed in various forms of motorsport, from Grand Prix motor racing to touring car racing.

Alfa Corse was officially formed in the beginning of 1938, after the racing department was moved back from unofficial factory team Scuderia Ferrari to "il Portello". Enzo Ferrari was still in charge of department, but left one year later to build his own cars under the name Auto-Avio Costruzioni. From 1961 Alfa Romeo factory racing team was run by Autodelta.Alfa Romeo was purchased by the Fiat Group in 1986, and in 1987, Giorgio Pianta was moved from the management of Abarth to restart Alfa Corse. After aborted attempts at producing the 164 Procar with Brabham and moving into the World Sports Prototype Championship, Alfa Corse settled on a return to touring car racing, starting with the Italian CIVT series, in 1992, with the 155 GTA. In 1993, Alfa Corse entered the DTM with the AWD V6-powered 155 TI, and created a Supertouring model, that would on got win the Italian Superturismo, the BTCC and the Spanish Touring Car Championship.

Alfa Romeo withdrew from the DTM (now named "International Touring Car Challenge") at the end of 1996, and Pianta was replaced by Francesco Galletto. When the 156 replaced the 155, it was developed for Supertouring and Superproduction classes, racing in the European Touring Car Championship. In 2001, Alfa Corse merged with Mauro Sipsz's independent firm, Nordauto Engineering, to form N.Technology.

Alfa GTV Cup

Alfa Romeo offered the opportunity for a limited number of enthusiasts to participate in a race on the track with the GTV 3.0. After a sports-car driving course by Andrea de Adamich participants were ready to manage 230 horsepower.

Alfa Romeo 110A

Alfa Romeo 110A is model of autobus produced from Alfa Romeo between 1934 and 1950.

The bus is produced for the needs of the public transport in Milan, Italy.

Alfa Romeo 140AF

Alfa Romeo 140AF is an Italian trolleybus produced from 1949 to 1960.

Alfa Romeo 500A

The Alfa Romeo 500A was a bus produced by Alfa Romeo from 1945 to 1948.

Alfa Romeo 800AF

Alfa Romeo 800AF is an Italian trolleybus which was produced from 1940 to 1954.

Alfa Romeo 80A

Alfa Romeo 80A was a bus produced by Italian manufacturer Alfa Romeo in the late 1920s. Succeeding the Alfa Romeo 40A, it was primarily used in Italy and was less successful in the rest of Europe.

Alfa Romeo 900A

Alfa Romeo 900A is a bus produced by Alfa Romeo from 1952 to 1956.

Alfa Romeo 902A

Alfa Romeo 902A is a bus produced by Alfa Romeo between 1957 and 1959.

Alfa Romeo Caimano

The Alfa Romeo Caimano is a concept car designed by Giorgetto Giugiaro of Italdesign and presented at the Turin Motor Show in 1971. The car is exhibited at the Museo Storico Alfa Romeo.

Alfa Romeo Delfino

The Delfino is a concept car built by Alfa Romeo in 1983.

The car was a 2-door coupé designed by Bertone, and was based on the Alfa Romeo Alfa 6 platform. It was presented at the Geneva Motor Show in 1983.

The Delfino had a Busso V6 engine that displaced 2,492 cc (152.1 cu in), and developed 158 hp (117.8 kW) of power at 5600 rpm.

Alfa Romeo Gloria

The Alfa Romeo Gloria is a concept compact executive car made by the Italian car manufacturer Alfa Romeo. It was first shown to the public at the Geneva Motor Show in March 2013. Unusually, the concept was designed by 20 students of transportation design at the European Design Institute of Turin.

Alfa Romeo Grand Prix results

The table below details the European Championship results of Alfa Romeo. The other tables show the results of Alfa Romeo in Formula One.

Alfa Romeo Issima

The Alfa Romeo Issima is a concept design car by the Swiss engineering company Sbarro. The Issima was introduced at the 1996 Geneva Motor Show, it is equipped with two 3 litre V6, creating a V12 with 500 bhp (373 kW; 507 PS).Its name derives from the Italian suffix "-issima" ("very very" for feminine names), used on adjectives.

Alfa Romeo Quadrifoglio

The Quadrifoglio is the brand used by the Italian auto manufacturer Alfa Romeo to indicate a high performance model, similar to BMW's M badge, or Mercedes AMG. Quadrifoglio is Italian for four-leaf clover.

The quadrifoglio is usually placed on the side panels of the car, above or behind the front wheels—on the front wings in the case of modern vehicles. The logo consists of a green cloverleaf with four leaves contained in a white triangle.

Alfa Romeo in Formula One

Italian motor manufacturer Alfa Romeo has participated many times in Formula One. It currently participates as Alfa Romeo Racing while being operated by Sauber Motorsport AG. The brand has competed in motor racing as both a constructor and engine supplier sporadically between 1950 and 1987, and later as a commercial partner since 2015. The company's works drivers won the first two World Drivers' Championships in the pre-war Alfetta: Nino Farina in 1950; and Juan Manuel Fangio in 1951. Following these successes Alfa Romeo withdrew from Formula One.

During the 1960s, although the company had no official presence in the top tier of motorsport a number of Formula One teams used independently developed Alfa Romeo engines to power their cars. In the early 1970s, Alfa provided Formula One support for their works driver Andrea de Adamich, supplying adapted versions of their 3-litre V8 engine from the Alfa Romeo Tipo 33/3 sports car to power Adamich's McLaren (1970) and March (1971) entries. None of these engine combinations scored championship points.

In the mid-1970s, Alfa engineer Carlo Chiti designed a flat-12 engine to replace the T33 V8, which achieved some success in taking the 1975 World Sportscar Championship. Bernie Ecclestone, then owner of the Brabham Formula One team, persuaded Alfa Romeo to supply this engine free for the 1976 Formula One season. Although the Brabham-Alfa Romeo's first season was relatively modest, during the 1977 and 1978 World Championships their cars took 14 podium finishes, including two race victories for Niki Lauda.

The company's sporting department, Autodelta, returned as the works team in 1979. This second period as a constructor was less successful than the first. Between the company's return and its withdrawal as a constructor at the end of 1985, Alfa works drivers did not win a race and the team never finished higher than sixth in the World Constructors' Championship. The team's engines were also supplied to Osella from 1983 to 1987, but they scored only two World Championship points during this period.

The Alfa Romeo logo returned to Formula One in 2015, appearing on the Scuderia Ferrari cars. In late 2017, Alfa Romeo announced that they were to become title sponsors for Sauber from 2018, and had entered into a technical and commercial partnership with the team. Alfa Romeo returned to the sport as their own team when Sauber was renamed at the beginning of 2019.


Autodelta SpA was the name of Alfa Romeo's competition department. Established in 1961 as Auto-Delta, the company was started by Carlo Chiti and Lodovico Chizzola, former Alfa Romeo and Ferrari engineers. The team was officially made a department of Alfa Romeo on March 5, 1963. The team was originally based in Feletto Umberto, Udine, before moving closer to Alfa Romeo's facilities in Settimo Milanese in 1964 and officially becoming Autodelta SpA. This allowed Autodelta to use the Balocco test track for new racing cars and prototypes.

The purpose of the company was bringing Alfa Romeo back to the top level of motor racing after Alfa Romeo's success in the 1950s. The first car developed together with Alfa Romeo and Autodelta was the Giulia TZ introduced in June 1962. The TZ was updated to TZ2 in 1965, with both cars taking many wins in various championships. Alfa Romeo and Autodelta would later introduce the GTA to even more success.

After success in grand tourer racing, Chiti persuaded Alfa Romeo develop sportscars for the World Sportscar Championship. Alfa Romeo built 2.0, 2.5 and 3.0 litre V8 engines, and later a flat-12 for what would become the Tipo 33 racing car. This racing program led to Alfa Romeo winning the constructors championships in 1975 and 1977.

After winning the sportscar championships, Alfa Romeo turned to supplying engines to the Brabham Formula One team and eventually returned to the sport with a factory team in 1979, run by Autodelta. The team also prepared Alfa Romeo rally cars such as the Alfetta GTVs.

Although the division was eventually phased out, Alfa Romeo used the Autodelta name again for their AutoDelta Squadra Corse team in the European Touring Car Championship run by N.Technology.

Jolly Club

Jolly Club was an Italian racing team, which competed in the World Rally Championship and Formula One, it was mainly connected to brands like Lancia and Alfa Romeo. It was created in 1957 in Milan by idea of Mario Angiolini,

the team won several championships. The team's main sponsor was Totip so the cars used orange and green colors on their livery until the World Rally Championship 1996.

Gianfranco Cunico won the Italian Rally Championship driving escort cosworths in 94,95,96,the 95&96 cars were built by Malcolm Wilson Motorsport to be run by Jolly Club and sponsored by Martini, one of the most famous teams in the world with one of the most famous sponsors ensured victory


N.Technology is an Italian auto racing team, founded by Mauro Sipsz and Monica Bregoli.

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