Autodromo di Modena

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Autodromo di Modena
Aerautodromo di Modena.png
LocationModena, Italy
CoordinatesCoordinates: 44°39′1″N 10°54′21″E / 44.65028°N 10.90583°E / 44.65028; 10.90583
Broke ground1949
Opened7 May 1950
Closed1975
Major eventsFormula One, Formula Two, Formula Libre
Length3.800 km
Websiteautodromodimodena.it

Autodromo di Modena (or Aerautodromo di Modena) was a race track on the edge of Modena in Italy. The track had a length of 2.4 km (1.5 mi).[1] It was opened in 1950 and the circuit was crossed by an airstrip of about 1.6 km (0.99 mi) in length[1] which was used by the local flying club.

Aerautodromo di Modena between 1948-1950
1950 Modena Grand Prix: Daniele Bonetti (Osca) leading Sergio Ghinolfi (Stanguellini)

The track hosted nine editions of the Modena Grand Prix for Formula One and Formula Two racing cars, the last one in 1961. The circuit continued to host other racing events (sportcars, grand touring, Formula Junior, motorcycles) until 1975.

In the 1960s and 1970s the track also served as a test track for Ferrari and Maserati during the morning or afternoon (but not both) on week days.[1] At other times of day it was used by residents of the adjacent military camp for driver training[1] while maintaining its original function of airport for private flights. Ferrari driver Mike Parkes, an accomplished pilot, used to fly in regularly from England on his own craft. Despite the expansion of nearby Modena, which involved a proliferation of apartment blocks and electricity pylons, the airstrip continued to be a favoured venue for a number of local aerobatics enthusiasts until 1974.[1]

In the early 1970s, Enzo Ferrari, aided and abetted by Maserati and Automobili Stanguellini, demanded an upgrade from the Modena Town Council and Automobile Club d'Italia, the reasoning being that the race track lacked basic safety requirements and was inadequate to test modern racing cars. The proposal was initially discussed with interest, but eventually stalled due to lack of political will. Frustrated by the lack of progress in the negotiations, Ferrari then proceeded to buy the land adjacent to his factory and build the Fiorano Circuit, a 3000 metres long track still in use these days to test Ferrari racing and road cars.[2] In 1972 Automobile Club d'Italia decided to invest in the nearby semi-permanent Imola circuit, effectively ending Modena's perspectives of holding a modern Formula One race.

The circuit was subsequently demolished, and the site redeveloped as a public park to honour Enzo Ferrari in 1991.

In 2011 the new Modena Autodrome re-opened in the Marzaglia area close to Via Aemilia. The track is 2.007 m long and is mostly used for local competitions.

Modena Grand Prix[edit]

The first two editions of the Modena Grand prix took place on a 12km-long road track around the area where the autodrome would be eventually built. Enzo Ferrari won on both occasions.[3] The race was then discontinued until 1938, when it took place on a shorter permutation of the circuit known as Circuito del Parco or Anello dei Viali. Tazio Nuvolari won three times. In 1947, following a serious accident that resulted in the death of five spectators, the race track was the subject of a significant number of upgrades, and the Modena Grand Prix was re-introduced in 1950. The last race was held on 3 September 1961 and was won by Stirling Moss in a Lotus 18/21.

Winners of the Modena Grand Prix[edit]

Year Title Driver Car Class Report
1927 I Circuito di Modena Italy Enzo Ferrari / Giulio Ramponi Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 SS Formula Libre Report
1928 II Circuito di Modena Italy Enzo Ferrari / Eugenio Siena Alfa Romeo 6C 1500 SS Compressor Formula Libre Report
1934 III Circuito di Modena Italy Tazio Nuvolari Maserati 6C 34 Grand Prix Report
III Circuito di Modena Junior Italy Raffaele Cecchini MG K3 Voiturette (1100 cc) Report
1935 IV Circuito di Modena Italy Tazio Nuvolari Alfa Romeo 8C Grand Prix Report
IV Circuito di Modena Junior Italy Ippolito Berrone Maserati 4CM-1500 Voiturette Report
1936 V Circuito di Modena Italy Tazio Nuvolari Alfa Romeo 12C-36 Grand Prix Report
V Circuito di Modena Junior Italy Carlo Felice Trossi Maserati 6CM Voiturette Report
1938 VI Circuito di Modena Italy Franco Cortese Maserati 6CM Voiturette Report
1946 VII Circuito di Modena Italy Franco Cortese Lancia Astura Spider Sport Report
1947 VIII Circuito di Modena Italy Alberto Ascari Maserati A6 Sport Report
1950 I Gran Premio di Modena Italy Alberto Ascari Ferrari 166 F2/50 Formula 2 Report
1951 II Gran Premio di Modena Italy Alberto Ascari Ferrari 500 F2 Formula 2 Report
1952 III Gran Premio di Modena Italy Luigi Villoresi Ferrari 500 F2 Formula 2 Report
1953 IV Gran Premio di Modena Argentina Juan Manuel Fangio Maserati A6 GCM/53 Formula 2 Report
1957 V Gran Premio di Modena France Jean Behra Maserati 250F Formula 1 Report
1960 VI Gran Premio di Modena Sweden Joakim Bonnier Porsche 718/2 Formula 2 Report
1961 VII Gran Premio di Modena United Kingdom Stirling Moss Lotus 18/21-Climax Formula 1 Report

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e "The Italian Dream". Motor. 10 July 1971. pp. 18–20.
  2. ^ Nunzia Manicardi, Quel Diabolico Ferrari, Koinè Nuove Edizioni, Modena, 2000
  3. ^ http://www.acimodena.it