Coppa Ciano

The Coppa Ciano was an automobile race held in Italy. Originally referred to as Coppa Montenero or Circuito Montenero, the Coppa Ciano name being used between 1927 and 1939.

Since the first competition, the sport of motor racing in Italy proved very popular. During the years immediately following World War I several road circuits were created. Notable among these was the Montenero Circuit at Livorno, which became home for the annual Coppa Montenero from its inauguration in 1921. In the beginning it was only a local affair and the organizers quickly found themselves in financial troubles. But in 1923, the event was taken over by the Automobile Club of Italy and the future was secured.

In 1927, the Livorno born naval hero and politician, Costanzo Ciano donated a victory trophy; the Coppa Ciano. At first, this was awarded to the victor in a separate sports car race, run within a week of the Coppa Montenero. But in 1929 the Coppa Ciano was merged into the main event and at the same time became the name most often used.

The driver Emilio Materassi won 4 years in a row 1925-1928 and earned the nickname "King of Montenero".

In the thirties, Italian Hall of Fame driver, Tazio Nuvolari won this race five times, more than any other driver. Especially impressive was his 1936 victory, were he made his way through the field, beating the otherwise superior German cars. This victory was one of the reasons why the Italian Grand Prix was held at the Montenero circuit in 1937, instead of the usual venue, Monza.

The 1939 race was run to Voiturette regulations and became the last before the Second World War stopped all racing for many years.

In 1947 the 20th and final edition of the Coppa Montenero was run, with 1500 cc unsupercharged cars. At that point, due to Costanzo Ciano's connections with the fascist regime, it was no longer called Coppa Ciano.

Read more about Coppa Ciano:  Race Winners

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