Biagio Nazzaro

Biagio Nazzaro

3/7/1890 - 15/7/1922

Nephew of Felice Nazzaro. Biagio was killed driving a FIAT in the French Grand Prix of 1922.

Biagio Nazzaro was born in Turin, Italy, and was nephew of the more famous Felice Nazzaro.

He started out racing motorcycles, winning the Italian Moto GP in 1921 on an Indian. He also won the Raid Nord-Sud, a motorcycle race from Milano to Napol with an average speed of 48,6 km/h.

He switched to racing cars and in 1922 entered the Targa Florio. On the second lap he took a hairpin  too quickly and the right wheel dropped of the road, flipping the car over. Fortunately Nazaro and his mechanic were unhurt. However rumours can be faster than a racing car and soon after the crash the news was sent out around the world that the great Felice Nazzaro, winner of the 1907 French GP, the winner of the 1907 and 1913 Targa Florio, had had a fatal crash in his attempt to take his third win.

In 1922 the French Grand Prix was held on a circuit of 13 Km, just east of Strasbourg. It was laid out on a triangle made of roads between the small Alsacian villages of Entzheim, Innenheim and Dutlenheim, with the start at Duppigheim. The track consisted of 2 fast long straights, with one hairpin at Entzheim, and a winding section of small local roads between Innenheim and Dutlenheim.

The Grand Prix was run under the new 2 liter formula of 1922 and the cars had to have a two seater body, and a maximum dry weight of 650 kilograms. The Ballot and Bugatti cars had some interesting aerodynamic nose and Fiat entered four new 6 cylinder 804s. This car was dominant during the race with Pietro Bordino and Felice Nazzaro.

However after 5 hours, Biagio's car had a problem, loosing a wheel at full speed. The car left the road, hit a tree and barrel rolled. Biagio Nazzaro was killed. Two laps later, Bordino lost a rear wheel and also crashed but fortunately at a slower speed. Later, Fiat engineers discovered a rear axle problem. Apparently after he had finished the race, a mechanic tapped a rear wheel on his car with a hammer and it fell off.

Felice Nazzaro learned of Biagio’s death at the finish.

Only three cars were classified Felice, Pierre De Vizcaya who came second in his Bugatti type 30 and Pierre Marco also in a Bugatti Type 30.


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