Racer Giulio Masetti (30) was killed when his Delage crashed in Madonie, Italy during the Targa Florio, Together with his brother Carlo, who was also passionate about motors and competitions, he began competing as a boy


Sunday 25th April 1926

Racer Giulio Masetti (30) was killed when his Delage crashed in Madonie, Italy during the Targa Florio, Together with his brother Carlo, who was also passionate about motors and competitions, he began competing as a boy. After buying an obsolete but still efficient Fiat S57 / 14B of 1914 he began to race as early as 1920. With this car, in the same 1920, he took part in the Parma-Poggio di Berceto, finishing second behind Giuseppe Campari, who raced on Alfa Romeo and, in the same year, he still placed second in the Coppa della Consuma .

The following year his first victory arrived, always on the same Fiat, at the Targa Florio . His victory was a true masterpiece in that he managed to defeat, with a much less powerful means, the Alfa Romeo and Mercedes squadrons that had arrived in Sicily with the intent of winning the race at all costs. After the victory, contacts with Mercedes began, but the German team finally did not hire him, considering his victory as a stroke of luck.

The refusal of the Mercedes caused a sense of anger and frustration in Masetti and, to redeem himself, he decided to buy a Mercedes personally and, after having repainted it in the Rosso Italia color, in 1922 he presented himself at the start of the Targa Florio. The Florentine rider proved that he had not been lucky and repeated the success of the previous year, preceding the two official Ballot and Alfa Romeo cars. With his red Mercedes, in the same year, he also won the Circuit of Brescia and, again in Brescia , he placed third in the speed race on the kilometer launched.

The double success in the Sicilian race made him a favorite of the public and earned him the nickname of ” Leone delle Madonie “.

In 1923 the Alfa Romeo hired him as an official driver and, with the new car, won the Consuma Cup and placed second, behind Gastone Brilli Peri , in the Mugello Circuit , fourth at the Targa Florio and third, behind his brother Carlo , in the Circuit of Brescia. In 1924 he was still an official Alfa Romeo driver and at the wheel of an Alfa RL TF he came second to the Targa Florio. In 1925 he competed for the Sunbeam – Talbot – Darracq team, finishing first in the Klausen Race inSwitzerland where, for the first time, he wore a hard helmet covered in brown leather, second to Booklands 200 miles and third at the French Grand Prix.

But his passion was the Targa Florio that he had not run that year. The Sicilian public loved it and he loved Sicily.

In 1926 he went down again to Sicily to run the 17th edition of the race. He decided to compete on a Darracq owned by him but, due to a delay in the preparation of the car, he was forced to fall back on a Delage two liters, twelve cylinders. The car carried the number 13 and was conducting a good race when, on a bridge to Sclafani Bagni , Masetti lost control of the car, crashing into an embankment which was followed by the takeoff and the subsequent overturning, which crushed the body of the pilot, who lost his life instantly when he was only 31 years old.

When the first rescuers arrived to extract it they found him dressed as usual: white suit and brown leather belt with silver buckle.

A memorial stone rises at the site of the accident.


Leave a Reply

365 Days Of Motoring

Recent Posts

Categories

Disclaimer

I We have no wish to abuse copyright regulations and we apologise unreservedly if this occurs. If you own any of the material published please get in touch.