The 11th Grand Prix Italy was noted for the heated battle between Nuvolari in his 3-liter Maserati Monoposto on the one hand and Fagioli and Chiron in Alfa Romeo P3 Monoposti on the other hand. A total of 16 lead changes among those three plus Taruffi held the crowds on their toes continually. Driving an Alfa Romeo P3 with start number #12, Fagioli won the race eventually.
The Italian Grand Prix, originally scheduled for July 25, was postponed to September 10 due to the ongoing renovations of the Monza circuit, pits and grandstands. It was the same day for which the Grand Prix of Monza was scheduled. So for the first time in the history of international motorsport, two major races were held on the same day at the same circuit. The Italian Grand Prix was to take place at 9:30 am on the Autodromo di Monza 10-km circuit. The required racing distance of 500 km was to be met with 50 laps. The Monza Grand Prix was scheduled to begin at 2:00 in the afternoon. For the last time, racecars without weight or engine capacity restriction participated in both races at Monza.
The confirmed entry list for the Italian Grand Prix consisted of 26 drivers without any Bugatti works pilots being included. It turned out that the new Bugatti 2.8-liter model was not ready yet. Scuderia Ferrari entered Alfa Romeo P3 Monoposti for Fagioli and Chiron while Eugenio Siena and Tonino Brivio were to drive Alfa Romeo Monzas. The Maserati works entered Monoposti for Nuvolari, Zehender and Taruffi on top of a two-seater for Ernesto Maserati. Apart from these major contenders, there were quite a few independent entrants, as well.
On the morning of September 10, there was a brief rain shower, but the track was drying at the time of the start. Surrounded by their mechanics, drivers paraded their racecars past the grandstands to the lively cheers of ecstatic spectators, and then the machines were steered to their assigned places on the starting grid. There were 19 of them.
At the start, Siena’s Alfa Monza took an early lead, but it was Nuvolari’s Maserati that completed lap one first, followed by Fagioli in an Alfa P3 and Taruffi in a Maserati Monoposto. On the next lap, Fagioli caught up with Nuvolari in front of the grandstands. After five laps, the field stretched out considerably with a leading group distancing the rest of the field. Within the leading group, Fagioli and Nuvolari were fighting closely ahead of Taruffi, Chiron, and Zehender. The two leading drivers led alternately until Fagioli had to stop for a refuel on the ninth lap.
Back from the pit, Fagioli fell to fifth place. As he was trying hard to catch up with the cars ahead, the battle for first place unfolded among Nuvolari, Taruffi, and Chiron. For the most part, Nuvolari remained the leader. On lap 17, however, Nuvolari screeched into his pit with a flat tire, and this dropped him to fourth position. Earlier, Fagioli had made it past Zehender into third place, with Taruffi leading and Chiron in second place. But Taruffi was soon compelled to make a pit stop with wheel trouble.
What ensued was a series of frequent lead changes among Chiron, Fagioli, and Nuvolari, as they each had to pit for assistance time and again. Slowly the race seemed to settle into a monotonous pattern after lap 35, during which Chiron built up a two-minute advantage to Nuvolari, who was followed by Fagioli and Zehender. This remained unchanged until lap 41, when Chiron’s Alfa engine started to be malfunctioning with a broken valve and that his chance was effectively over.
Now it was a duel between Nuvolari and Fagioli for the final victory. The advantage Nuvolari had over Fagioli at this moment was about 30 seconds. He continued to complete one lap after the other at the highest speed, and spectators cheered in expectation of another great Nuvolari victory.
Nevertheless, when he was 20 km away from the end of lap 48, Nuvolari got a blown rear tire. The race was virtually lost for Nuvolari when Fagioli’s red Alfa P3 thundered past the now static Maserati. No matter how hard Nuvolari tried to make up for the lost ground during the last two laps, it ended in vain. After 50 laps, Fagioli was the victor, and Nuvolari came second with a gap of 40 seconds. Once again the Alfa Romeo P3 monoposto was crowned with a great victory – this time, against the Maserati 3-liter Monoposto with a formidable Nuvolari at its wheel.