Gastone Brilli-Peri was the son of Count Alessandro Brilli-Peri and Marquise Elisa Alli Maccarani, who lived in Florence.
He ran his first race in early 1907 when he was only 14 years old, a bicycle race. Race after race, in 1911, he won the Tuscan championship and placed in the Italian championship. In cycling terms Brilli Peri was a sprinter: weak on the climbs but deadly in the sprints.
However, his passion for cycling soon passed when, in 1912, he bought his first bike, a Della Ferrera. In 1914, he won the first Giro d'Italia.
After a disastrous crash he decided to continue racing even harder, switching from motorbikes to cars.
His debut as a driver was in 1920 in a classic race of the time, the Parma-Poggio Berceto, where, at the wheel of an Aquila Italiana, he came third.
In 1925, after the French Grand Prix, where Antonio Ascari died after crashing his Alfa Romeo P2, the team decided to hire Brilli Peri as Ascari's replacement. A fatality that earned him glory.
On 6 September 1925, at the 5th Italian Grand Prix, after 80 laps of the track for 800 km, Brilli Peri sped down the finishing straight and was the first to pass under the chequered flag with a time of 5 hours, 14 minutes and 33 seconds. And thanks to this victory Alfa Romeo becomes world champion.
1928 was the year of his greatest successes. On 10th June he came second in the Rome Grand Prix behind Louis Chiron in a Bugatti; but then he won at Montenero, Perugia, Brescia, Collina Pistoiese and Consuma, and again at Cremona, Mugello and Tunis.
In 1929 he scored another victory on African soil, winning the Tripoli Grand Prix. In short, it seemed that his upward parabola would never stop until March 22, 1930, when during practice in Tripoli he lost control of his powerful car and crashed into a garden wall.
The car was travelling at a speed of 180 km per hour. The impact was tremendous. Thrown from his seat, the brave Tuscan driver was killed instantly.
In this book, his truest profile and his exciting life of speed.
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