The Coppa Arturo Mercanti and the ‘100 Years of the Italian Grand Prix – The First Shots’ exhibition

On Saturday 11 September the centenary of the first Italian Grand Prix was celebrated: the Coppa Arturo Mercanti, set up in honour of the organiser from Brescia of the first Italian Grand Prix, took place on the Brescia Circuit in Fascia d’Oro and was won by the Aliverti – Valente pair in a 1937 BMW 328. After having covered the original route of the Brescia Circuit of 1921, with the mayor of Montichiari, Marco Togni, kicking off from the Fascia d’Oro location, the elimination race, one against one, was held on the runways of the Sixth Wing Tornadoes, the “Red Devils”. In 1921, the Italian Aeronautical Grand Prix was held at the Ghedi airbase, at the same time as the car race. The event, in which the Ballot 3/8 LC also took part, ended with a parade of cars around the Monza circuit. On the straight stretch, the historic cars were greeted by the President of the Automobile Club of Italy, Angelo Sticchi Damiani, and by Geronimo La Russa and Giuseppe Redaelli. To these two gentlemen, respectively the President of the Automobile Club of Milan and the President of SIAS, the company that manages the Monza circuit, the President of ACI Brescia, Aldo Bonomi, presented a flag to commemorate the baton that, in 1922, was passed from Brescia to Monza for the organization of the Grand Prix.

The weekend also saw the opening of the exhibition ‘100 Years of the Italian Grand Prix – The First Shots’ curated by Maria Bussolati, Mauro Negri and Paolo Mazzetti. Set up at the Mille Miglia Museum and open to the public until 27 November, the exhibition features 40 large-format images from the Negri Archive that tell the story of the first Italian Grand Prix held on the Brescia circuit in 1921.