Nando Minoia

Ferdinando Minoia

Ferdinando "Nando" Minoia (June 2, 1884 – 28 June 1940) was an Italian racing driver with an exceptionally long, distinguished and varied career. In 1907, he won the Coppa Florio driving an Isotta-Fraschini. In 1923, he drove the world’s first mid-engine Grand Prix car, the Benz Tropfenwagen. In 1927, he won the inaugural Mille Miglia driving an OM. Finally, in 1931 he became the first ‘European Champion’, driving for Alfa Romeo, but without winning a single event. Thus he capped over 25 years of competitive racing.

Career notes and milestones

In 1907, he won the Coppa Florio and the 50,000 Lira prize at the Corse di Brescia driving an Isotta-Fraschini for in 4 hours 39 minutes.

In the 1925 24 Hours of Le Mans he finished 25th driving a 2 litre Officine Meccaniche (O.M.) Tipo 665 Superba with Vincenzo Coffani.

In the 1926 24 Hours of Le Mans he finished 4th driving a 2 litre Officine Meccaniche (O.M.) Tipo 665 Superba with Giulio Foresti.

In the 1926 German Grand Prix at the Avus he set the fastest lap of in his 1.5 litre O.M., but failed to finish.

In 1927, Minoia won the inaugural Mille Miglia with Giuseppe Morandi, leading an O.M. 123 at average of for 21 hours 4 minutes 48seconds.

At the 1923 Italian Grand Prix at Monza he finished fourth in the world’s first mid-engine Grand Prix car, the Benz Tropfenwagen, trailing behind the superior supercharged Fiats. Edmund Rumpler’s ground breaking design used a normally aspirated, 1991 cc, 6 cylinder, twin cam Benz engine delivering only which was mounted behind the driver in the ‘tear drop’ design. The car also featured swing axle independent rear suspension and inboard brakes.

In 1924, at the Targa Florio he drove 4.9 litre Steyr VI Kausen, but retired after 3 laps because the mechanic was exhausted. He also finished 4th in the Italian Grand Prix in the Alfa Romeo P2.

In 1926, he finished 5th in a Bugatti 39A at the Grand Prix of Europe at Circuito Lasarte

In 1927, he raced a Bugatti 35C at the Targa Florio and finished 4th at the Italian Grand Prix in an O.M. 865.

In 1931, the A.I.A.C.R. introduced a European Championship for drivers, that was nominally contested over the four 10 hour Grands Prix, the Italian Grand Prix, French Grand Prix, and Belgian Grand Prix. He accrued sufficient points to become champion without winning a race, narrowly beating his Alfa Romeo teammate Giuseppe Campari, who had jointly won the Italian Grand Prix with Tazio Nuvolari driving the Alfa Romeo Monza. Minoia shared second place in the Italian Grand Prix and shared 6th place in the French Grand Prix driving an Alfa-Romeo 8C-2300. He then finished joint 3rd in the Belgian Grand Prix having changed to the Alfa-Romeo 6C-1750.

In the 1932 24 Hours of Le Mans he failed to finish in a 2.3 litre supercharged Alfa Romeo 8C 2300 with Carlo Canavesi.

Complete European Championship results

(EC driver results legend) (Races in bold indicate pole position)
Year Entrant Make 1 2 3 EDC Points
1931 Alfa Corse Alfa Romeo ITA
2
FRA
6
BEL
3
1 9

References

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