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Alfa Romeo and Pirelli:
A Hundred and Ten Years of Records

How many times have the paths of the Quadrifoglio and the Long P crossed in the hundred and ten years of Alfa Romeo’s history? On 7 March 1924 the engineer Nicola Romeo, who for some years had been the owner of the Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili, founded in 1910, wrote to the Spettabile Agenzia Italiana Gomme Pirelli: “We are extremely satisfied with the performance of your new Superflex Cord tyres on the chassis of our four-cylinder R.M.” This was the 2-litre phaeton that Alfa entered for its first motorcar races, the ancestor of the legendary 8-cylinder P2 driven by the champions Antonio Ascari and Giuseppe Campari. The conquest of the World Grand Prix Championship with Gastone Brilli-Peri in 1925 was the crowning glory of an Alfa Romeo-Pirelli partnership that was destined to make history on circuits across all Europe, when the triumphs of the Quadrifoglio were linked to the name of the designer Vittorio Jano.

This close feeling with Pirelli continued with Enzo Ferrari, who started putting his own name to Alfa racing cars in 1929, riding to victory in the Targa Florio and in the Mille Miglia, with drivers of the calibre of Tazio Nuvolari. Not even the Second World War managed to loosen the bond between the two companies: when competitions started up again in 1950, the Alfetta 158, driven by Nino Farina and fitted with Pirelli Stella Bianca tyres, won the first Formula 1 World Championship, and it did so again the following year, in 1951, with Juan Manuel Fangio in a 159. Alfa + Pirelli was a combination that became legendary in the collective imagination, and indeed it became the true protagonist of the film Last Meeting, which was shot on the Monza circuit with Juan Manuel Fangio and Amedeo Nazzari. The two companies pulled out of circuit racing – almost at the same time – but this did not prevent their shared passion for motorcar racing from finding new stories and new adventures. Like that of rallying, where Pirelli began leading the way in the late 1960s and where Alfa took part in races with the Giulia GTA. And then there was Gran Turismo, in which the cars of the Quadrifoglio rode to victory thanks to the efficiency of their Pirelli P7 radials. A hundred and ten years out on the circuits: Alfa Romeo together with Pirelli. A hundred and ten years on the roads, and the two great brands, protagonists of motorsport and of the Made in Italy label, still have a great future ahead.

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