Tazio Nuvolari

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Tazio Giorgio Nuvolari (16 November 1892 – 11 August 1953) was an Italian motorcycle and racecar driver, known as Il Mantovano Volante (The Flying Mantuan) or Nivola. He was the 1932 European Champion in Grand Prix motor racing. Dr Ferdinand Porsche called Nuvolari "The greatest driver of the past, the present, and the future.".[1]

Tazio Nuvolari started out in motorcycle racing in 1920 at the age of 27. In 1925 he captured the 350cc European Championship. From then until the end of 1930, he competed both in motorcycle racing and in automobile racing. For 1931, he decided to concentrate fully on racing cars and agreed to race for Alfa Romeo's factory team, Alfa Corse. In 1932 he took two wins and a second place in the three European Championship Grands Prix, winning him the title. He won four other Grands Prix including a second Targa Florio and the Monaco Grand Prix.

After Alfa Romeo officially left Grand Prix racing, Nuvolari stayed on with Scuderia Ferrari who ran the Alfa Romeo cars semi-officially. During 1933, Nuvolari left the team for Maserati after becoming frustrated with the Alfa Romeo's performance. At the end of 1934, Maserati pulled out of Grand Prix racing and Nuvolari returned to Ferrari, who were reluctant to take him back, but were persuaded by Mussolini, the Italian prime minister.

The relationship with Ferrari turned sour during 1937, and Nuvolari raced an Auto Union as a one-off in the Swiss Grand Prix that year before agreeing to race for them for the 1938 season. Nuvolari remained at Auto Union until Grand Prix racing was put on hiatus by World War II. The only major European Grand Prix he never won was the Czechoslovakian Grand Prix. Upon his return to racing after the war, he was 54 and suffering from ill health. His final race, in 1950, saw him finish first in class and fifth overall. He died in 1953 from a stroke.


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