Archive for July, 2009

Successful weekend of racing for Abarth in the UK

Wednesday, July 22nd, 2009

Thousands of motorsport fans were treated to a spectacular weekend of racing as the Abarth 500 European series came to the UK.

British driver Adam Jones took full home advantage to post two wins out of two over the action-packed weekend (18/19 July) at Brands Hatch circuit in Kent. He was one of 11 drivers competing in the fourth round of the Abarth 500 Selenia-European Trophy – one of the main attractions at the race meeting.

Abarth 500 European Trophy at Brands Hatch

Abarth 500 European Trophy at Brands Hatch

The Abarth 500 Assetto Corse’s speed, driveability and balanced power/weight ratio made it ideal for the Kent track and the cars were completing the lap distance at an average of 130 km/h (80 mph), creating an exciting spectacle for the crowds.

“It was good to see the Abarth 500 race cars here in the UK and what better place to showcase them than Brands Hatch?” says Ivan Gibson, head of Abarth in the UK. “Both days’ races were full of drama, great driving and wonderful excitement – which is what the magic of Abarth is all about.”

The fight for overall victory will resume at the next meeting of the Abarth 500 Selenia-European Trophy, which is scheduled for 5-6 September in Germany.

Abarth 500 European Trophy at Brands Hatch

Abarth 500 European Trophy at Brands Hatch

Meanwhile, two more Abarth cars were competing in Britain over the weekend – this time Grande Punto versions, which were entered into the BARC Hillclimb Championship at Gurston Down, near Salisbury.

The event was part of Abarth UK’s media motorsport programme, and allowed four of Britain’s top motoring journalists behind the wheel for an experience of the sport. It was a close thing with less than two seconds separating the drivers – Owen Mildenhall and James Disdale (Auto Express), freelance writer Jesse Crosse and Performance Car’s Chris Knapman.

Grande Punto Abarth at BARC Hillclimb Championship, Gurston Down

Grande Punto Abarth at BARC Hillclimb Championship, Gurston Down


Abarth 500C Convertible?

Tuesday, July 21st, 2009

Autocar claims to have received insider knowledge to indicate that Abarth are likely to introduce a hot version of the recently launched Fiat 500C convertible.

Abarth 500C © NetCarShow.com

Abarth 500C © NetCarShow.com

Body rigidity should remain high, as the 500C isn’t a true convertible, instead retaining its roof rails and pillars.

Engine choices are, of course, likely to remain as the 1.4-litre turbo in 135 bhp guise with the option of the ‘esseesse’ kit to bring that to just shy of 160 bhp.

The Fiat 500C is roughly £3,000 more than an equivalent Fiat 500, and that would seem to indicate a £16,500 starting price for an Abarth 500C, rising to £19,250 for the esseesse version.

Link to Autocar story: Fiat 500C Abarth planned.


Limited-edition Abarth 500 Competizione for Holland

Tuesday, July 14th, 2009

Abarth has created a limited edition Abarth 500 to celebrate the first year of the company’s return to the Dutch market.

Abarth 500 Competizione

Abarth 500 Competizione

Dubbed the Abarth 500 Competizione, and based on the 155bhp Abarth 500 esseesse, only 10 examples will be produced.  They will be sold at the only franchise in Holland, Nieuwkoop.

Abarth 500 Competizione

Abarth 500 Competizione

The car’s standard features include climate control, Blue&Me Nav satellite navigation, Interscope hi-fi system, Sports leather interior with Competizione logos and Italian stripe, black 17″ Competizione wheels, black roof, and black Abarth door stripes.

Abarth 500 Competizione

Abarth 500 Competizione

Priced at €24,995, the Competizione represents a saving of around €3-4,000 over the standard car once the price of the options are included.

Source: Autocar, Abarthisti


Abarth 500 European Trophy comes to Brands Hatch

Wednesday, July 8th, 2009

The Abarth 500 European Trophy comes to Brands Hatch in Kent on the weekend of 18-19 July 2009, alongside the WTCC (World Touring Car Championship).

Abarth 500 European Trophy comes to Brands Hatch

Abarth 500 European Trophy comes to Brands Hatch

Star of the show is the Abarth 500 Assetto Corse, based on the Abarth 500 road car, but with extensive modifications to its 1.4-litre turbocharged engine to produce nearly 200 bhp, as well as a reinforced roll cage, race brakes and suspension, and aerodynamic improvements.

Also competing over the weekend are the FIA Formula Two, Lotus Elise Trophy, Formula Master, and SEAT Eurocup.

Race 1 takes place on Saturday at roughly 5:00pm, while Race 2 gets underway on Sunday at around 4:20pm.

As we head into the fourth round at Brands, Italian Manuel Villa remains in command in the Abarth 500 Selenia-European Trophy standings with a 33 point lead over Frenchman Benoît Perret.

Race Calendar

Saturday 18th July

09.00 – 09.30 FIA World Touring Car Championship Free Practice 1
09.45 – 10.15 FIA Formula Two Qualifying 2
10.35 – 10.55 Lotus Elise Trophy Race 1
11.15 – 11.45 FIA World Touring Car Championship Free Practice 2
12.20 – 13.00 Formula Master Race 1
14.00 – 14.45 FIA Formula Two Race 1
15.00 – 15.20 FIA World Touring Car Championship Qualifying 1
15.25 – 15.35 FIA World Touring Car Championship Qualifying 2
16.05 – 16.35 SEAT Eurocup Race 1
17.05 – 17.30 Abarth 500 Trophy Europe Race 1

Sunday 19th July

10.40 – 11.10 SEAT Eurocup Race 2
11.50 – 12.15 FIA World Touring Car Championship Race 1
12.45 – 13.20 FIA Formula Two Race 2
14.05 – 14.30 FIA World Touring Car Championship Race 2
15.20 – 15.55 Formula Master Race 2
16.20 – 16.45 Abarth 500 Trophy Europe Race 2
17.25 – 17.55 Lotus Elise Trophy Race 2

Timetable is provisional and subject to change.