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In Tazio 4: racing’s greatest rivalry

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For 15 years they were standing in each other’s way on their road to victory. Tazio Nuvolari and Achille Varzi were two of racing’s purest talents, who competed against each other on two and on four wheels. In Tazio 4, we delve into their story.

In our series on Tazio Nuvolari, our historian-in-residence Chánh Lê Huy has already analysed what was one of the greatest races in history: the 1933 Monaco Grand Prix. That race opposed Tazio Nuvolari in a Scuderia Ferrari-run Alfa Romeo to Achille Varzi in a Bugatti. You can read that story in issue 2.

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Scuderia Nuvolari

However, the rivalry between Nuvolari and Varzi stretches back much further. The first time ‘Nivola’ and Varzi ran into each other, was most likely the 1923 Rapallo motorbike race, where Tazio an a 500 cc bike. Varzi appeared in the 350 cc class, instantly finishing third. Extraordinarily, both would at times find themselves in the same time. Varzi’s commitment to Scuderia Nuvolari in 1928, where both competed in Bugattis, is unique, even if it was not a happy time for Varzi.

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Different styles

Both had the utmost respect for each other, even if their styles could not have been more different. The flamboyant, extrovert Nuvolari, inventor of the four-wheel drift. Varzi was very introvert and mr. smooth in his driving. Yet, both found themselves vying for victory.

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After the Mille Miglia in 1930, where Nuvolari had chased down his Alfa Romeo teammate Varzi, it was clear they would never be able to drive for the same team anymore. Their paths would keep crossing on multiple occasions at the forefront of racing, all through the thirties.

We take an in-depth look at this unseen rivalry in detail in issue 4 of Tazio Magazine, now available.

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