The Circuit of Posillipo-Naples: a brief history
Introduction to the Circuit of Posillipo "re-enactment" 1982/83
In October 1982, Gianalberto D'Ammassa and his lifelong friends organized the first re-enactment of the Circuit of Posillipo, the competition held in Naples in the 1950s (previuousely called "Coppa Principessa di Piemonte" and held in 1933/34/35). A "Carovana Romantica" that brought back over 100 prestigious cars to retrace the most significant stretches of the Posillipo hill in Naples. Then a 7 days tour of Campiania followed, fulfilled with unique gathering moments. The following year, June 26, 1983, the movement of a number (38 and not 83) was enough to be back in time again in Posillipo for the second, memorable edition of Carovana Romantica.
This is a brief history of the race:
The birth certificate bears the date of October 21, 1934: it was then called "Princess of Piedmont Cup".
On the «new» route of Posillipo, the st race ended with the victory of the great TAZIO NUVOLARI on Maserati; the average: 92 km per hour!
But it was up to ANTONIO BRIVIO, the Alfa Romeo bishop, to touch the lap record at an average of 98,765 Km per hour, the 100-hour wall that - always on Maserati - CARLO FELICE TROSSI passed for a few meters in 1937, to be at the his "past" once a few hours later, by GIUSEPPE FARINA, winner of the absolute category.
These were times of other enthusiasm, not only linked to sporting events, but also to the fascination of places and the environment, if we consider the opinion of one of the main "signatures" of the Italian car criticism of the time, CORRADO FILIPPINI: "If it there were no one, we should create a circuit like that, and not only for the incomparable natural beauty, which is harmoniously adorned but also for the countless technical qualities that make it a " prototype for all “mixed circuits".
It was not a circuit for "ultra-fast" cars, the Grand Prix of Napoli - another name with which it was "exported all over the world - but collected for its technical merit" and for its irresistible charm of places and crowds, the more popular champions from all over the world like NUVOLARI, VILLORESI, FLOUR, ASCARI, TARUFFI, BRIVIO, CORTESE, MUSSO, FANGIO, GONZALES, DE GRAFFENRIED and many others, including many Neapolitan ones.
In 1948 LUIGI "GIGI" VILLORESI on OSCA started the long series of Grand Prix that took place after the war on a circuit that was established in 60 laps, for a total of 246 km.
And this happened in the 50s always on May, years that marked the "passage" of the steering wheel from the Neapolitan LUIGI BELLUCCI to the Neapolitan MARIA TERESA DE FILIPPIS, an emerging young female driver.
Years in which, at each Grand Prix, the inevitable "hundred thousand" Neapolitans participated, years that saw the ternary of the powerful F1, the cars of the F2 and the slippery and manageable FS.
Then - when in the early '60s - after some recoveries in «cesarini area», the circuit seemed to be a cornerstone of the prestige of Neapolitan sport and of international motorsport ... «or of the Grand Prix Napoli - for the fame of Italian pilots and foreigners who enrich their golden books from year to year, due to the severity of the track that makes this circuit an excellent test field for cars and drivers, for the incomparable natural scenery in which it takes place between the pleasant hill of Posillipo and the Gulf of the Sirens is brought to international fame ... »- so wrote DOMENICO FARINA - now that ... just the time to see marked in '63 the word end to the thirtieth anniversary of the Circuit.
However, the one-year edition was always realized "miraculously" with a thousand difficulties and only on the other side, the organizers could be considered safe from the countless obstacles that, always new, have influenced their organization.
The "vitality" of the Circuit, beyond the effort and abnegation of so many beautiful names in Naples, was such that even a "non-pilot" par excellence as the beloved CARLO NAZZARO felt inspired to write: "This Park of Posillipo, with its slopes, with the curves drawn to perfection, with its intertwining: the road is the most beautiful and natural "Russian mountain" of motoring ».
To the many to whom these and other things written on "Posillipo" will appear rhetorical (and this will certainly be due to the fact that they have never been there), it will be ideal to transfer the "ingredients" of each circuit F.1 of our days in an imaginary rocky promontory from which pilots and spectators, protected by a natural green umbrella, can concentrate or distract from the things of the track, ranging with the gaze on the Gulf of Naples, on that of Pozzuoli or even "touching" Nisida, Capri, Miseno, Procida, Ischia !
We will forgive ..... Montecarlo!
Written by Gianalberto D'Ammassa
Oct.1982 © Mediterranean Escapes International