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September is the traditional time of the Italian Grand Prix at the the Autodromo Monza. This race has seen many great battles as well as tragedies. The legend began in February 1922 when racing stars Vincenzo Lancia and Felice Nazzaro laid the first stone. Two days later local conservationists stopped the work and it was not until May that the 3500 workmen were able to go back into action. The 6.25-mile track was finished by the end of July. It was an amazing feat. At the time it was only the third permanent racing circuit in the world, after Brooklands and Indianapolis. The first race was in September with Pietro Bordino winning in a Fiat. A week later Monza held its first Italian Grand Prix and 150,000 turned out to see it. Bordino won again. Ever since then the second weekend in September has been the Monza weekend.

4 September 1960

Phil HillThe Italian Grand Prix was run on the 4th of September but by that time the championship had already been decided for Jack Brabham and Ferrari had gone the entire season without a victory. Sensing an opportunity, the Italian organizers decided to maximize Ferrari's one advantage which was straight line speed—incorporating the banked oval circuit. Citing the fragility of their cars and the dangers of the banking, the major British factory teams of the day—Lotus, BRM, and Cooper—all boycotted the event, leading to a cobbled together field of private entrants and Formula 2 cars. Naturally Ferrari had an easy time of it with first Ginther and then Phil Hill leading the race to the checker. It was to be the first victory by an American in a Grand Prix since Jimmy Murphy's victory in the 1921 French Grand Prix., a no less controversial victory. It would also be the last Formula One victory by a front-engined car.

6 September 1970 Clay Regazzoni wins his first Grand Prix for Ferrari but the race is marred by the death of Jochen Rindt during one of the practice sessions.The Austrian would be awarded the World Championship posthumously.

5 September 1971 Peter GethinThe Italian Grand Prix at Monza witnessed the closest race in history. Its hard to imagine these days but the Monza circuit used to play host to tremendous slipstreaming duels of which 1971 was the greatest. Clay Regazzoni's Ferrari blasted into the lead from the fourth row but on the fourth lap he was passed in turn by Peterson, Stewart and Jo Siffert. Stewart and Peterson would trade the lead for the next couple of laps. Resembling not so much a Grand Prix race but an American stock car race, all that was missing was the fender bending. The lead group consisted of no less then 12 cars racing flat out nose to tail but soon this murderous pace began to take its toll. Both Ferraris and Stewart's Tyrrell were out while Mike Hailwood, the motorcycle champion, was now in the lead from his 17th position at the start of the race. Chris Amon decided to make his move and went from fourth to first in one lap with eighteen to go. With seven laps to go he accidentally tore the visor on his helmet and had to drop back. The lead group now consisted of four cars, Peterson, Cevert, Hailwood and Gethin. Entering the last lap Peterson was in the lead but was passed by Cevert entering Lesmo. Peterson took this in stride as he was planning to resume the lead at Parabolica where he had a definite advantage over the Frenchmen who he felt to be his biggest challenger. Just as he was lined up to make his move he saw out of the side of one eye a blur streak by. That blur turned out to be Peter Gethin passing on the grass and seemingly out of control. Fearing the worse both Peterson and Cevert hesitated as Gethin with all four wheels locked up and smoking furiously was able to regain control and cross the finish line 0.01 sec in from of Peterson. In the end 0,61 seconds covered the first five cars.

10 September 1978 A confusing start led to a massive pile-up that involved Ronnie Peterson amongst others. His Lotus burst into flames but his fellow drivers led by the always courageous James Hunt managed to pull him from his wreckage. Sadly he was to die from complications the next day and SuperSwede would no longer be seen on the worlds circuits.
11 September 1988

Alan Fearnley

The Grand Prix circus arrived in Monza only a few weeks after Enzo Ferrari's death. The Italian team had seen it's better days and the McLaren had won every race that year but this all changed when Ayrton Senna misjudged a passing maneuver in lapping the Williams of Jean-Louis Schlesser with only a few laps to go. With the McLaren ending up in the sand trap, allowing Gerhard Berger and Michele Alboreto to score an amazing 1-2. To theTifosi it was as if the hand of the "Sacred Monster of Motorsports" as Froilan Gonzalesz had called Enzo Ferrari back in 1951 had reached down from the heavens and plucked victory from defeat.