Archive for October, 2009

The 2010 Trofeo Abarth 500 GB

Wednesday, October 28th, 2009

The Trofeo Abarth 500 GB race series was officially launched last week at Silverstone, with selected guests, drivers and race teams invited to inspect, admire and test the Abarth 500 Assetto Corse race cars, while learning more about the proposed 2010 series. Among the guests were comedian Patrick Kielty and supermodel Jodie Kidd.

Comedian Patrick Kielty and supermodel Jodie Kidd were at the launch

Comedian Patrick Kielty and supermodel Jodie Kidd were at the launch

Since the Trofeo Abarth 500 Europe came to Brands Hatch earlier this year, the rumoured British version of the series has been the talk of the paddock. Following feedback from drivers, teams and sponsors, the series is now in its final stages of preparation. It launches with the stated aim of creating a package of racing that benefits all stakeholders – from competitors and sponsors, to owners and fans.

Abarth 500 Trophy at Brands Hatch

Abarth 500 Trophy at Brands Hatch

The provisional race calendar is as follows:-

Provisional 2010 Trofeo Abarth 500 GB Race Calendar

3/5 April Oulton Park (supporting F3/GT)
17/18 April Silverstone GP (supporting FIA Formula Two)
TBC Snetterton (supporting BSB)
17/18 July Brands Hatch GP (supporting FIA Formula Two and WTCC)
24/25 July Silverstone GP (supporting Silverstone Classic, HSSC)
4/5 September Brands Hatch Indy (event TBC)
TBC Spa

The Abarth dealer network has been encouraged to support the series, and so far five dealers – Platts (Stoke on Trent), Thames (Slough), S. G. Petch (York), Lipscomb (Aylesford) and Vospers (Plymouth) – have confirmed their involvement, with more due to come on stream shortly.

Three race teams have so far committed to the series: Coastal Racing, with Carl Bradley as team manager and driver, will run a multi-car team in 2010 where they will be looking to build upon their success in the Mini Challenge and Clio Cup. Meanwhile Rees Sport, run by former BTCC, Tuscan and MGF driver Matt Kelly, will capitalise on their experience gained in the Porsche Carrera Cup by entering their own Abarth 500 Assetto Corse next year.

Pulce Racing, backed by the engineering expertise of a Le Mans series race team, will be running the Vospers car, and their Assetto Corse will be sporting the Abarthisti logo.

Abarth 500 Assetto Corse race cars awaiting delivery

Abarth 500 Assetto Corse race cars awaiting delivery

The series features identical Abarth 500 Assetto Corse race cars, based on the road-going Abarth 500. Powered by the same 1.4-litre turbocharged engine, but with extensive internal modifications and a larger Garrett turbocharger, the race cars develop 190 bhp at 6,500 rpm. With a reinforced roll cage welded to the bodyshell, as well as further modifications to the chassis and brakes, the Assetto Corse cars are built in Turin before being shipped to the UK in batches of four. The first batch has already been delivered to their owners, following shakedown tests at Fiat Group’s proving ground at Balocco.

The inaugural race will take place over the weekend of 3/5 April 2010 at Oulton Park, and Abarthisti will be following the series throughout the year.

More information about the Trofeo Abarth 500 GB can be found on the official website.

Abarth 500 Assetto Corse race cars during testing at Silverstone

Abarth 500 Assetto Corse race cars during testing at Silverstone

Source: Abarthisti – The 2010 Trofeo Abarth 500 GB


Salvatore Tavano crowned Abarth 500-Selenia Trophy Champion

Sunday, October 11th, 2009

By winning the two races held at the Vallelunga circuit, near Rome, Sicily’s Salvatore Tavano has clinched the Abarth 500-Selenia Trophy, a promotional formula featuring the Abarth 500 Assetto Corse. He won Race 1 ahead of Lombardy’s Francesco Iorio, who takes third in the Championship, and Race 2 ahead of Veneto’s Nicola Baldan, who finishes runner-up in the Trophy standings.

In this first season of the Abarth single-make series, Tavano won nine of the 12 races, while Baldan took two victories and Villa grabbed one.

Salvatore Tavano crowned Abarth 500-Selenia Trophy Champion

Salvatore Tavano crowned Abarth 500-Selenia Trophy Champion

The first edition of the Abarth 500-Selenia Trophy went to a driver who, despite being only 29 years old (he was born in Syracuse on 13 March 1980), has a broad experience. He won in single-seaters (Federal F3 and Formula 3000, in which he finished fourth in the 2001 European series, winning at Zolder) and in Touring cars. He was a works driver for Alfa Romeo, with whom he won the 2003 Italian title in an Alfa 156 GTA, before competing in the World Touring Car Championship, in which he won at Mexico in 2006. Last year, he was entered in the GT Championship, in which he took his Ferrari F430 to victory at Valencia.

Abarth 500-Selenia Trophy, Vallelunga

Abarth 500-Selenia Trophy, Vallelunga

In Race 1, Tavano made a good start from pole position and kept first place until the finish line, followed by Iorio. Behind them, Baldan had a poor start and was passed by Rizzoli. Ivan Capelli finished at a good fifth place.

Having posted the fastest lap time in the first race, Tavano started Race 2 from pole position again, with youngster Alex Campani beside him. At the first braking into the Cimini curve, Andrea Rizzoli and Manuel Lasagni went off track causing the safety car to be deployed. Once the race resumed, Tavano was still leading, ahead of Campani and Baldan. Those three were all close together and, in the last lap, Baldan overtook Campani. The third step of the podium was not enough for the latter to be crowned in the Under-23 category, in which Tobias Tauber scored more points than anyone else, finishing all the 12 races held to date.

Former Ferrari driver Ivan Capelli also took part in this last round, finishing fifth in Race 1 and seventh in Race 2.

Abarth 500-Selenia Trophy, Vallelunga

Abarth 500-Selenia Trophy, Vallelunga

Race 1 classification:
1. Salvatore Tavano 11 laps in 21min09.811s – average speed 127.393kph;
2. Francesco Iorio + 1.279s;
3. Andrea Rizzoli + 6.018s;
4. Nicola Baldan + 6.766s;
5. Ivan Capelli + 8.850s;
6. Simone Di Luca + 13.471s;
7. Matteo Milani + 14.656s;
8. Manuel Lasagni + 14.893s;
9. Alex Campani + 24.648s;
10. Alessandro Frigerio + 29.465s.

Fastest lap by Salvatore Tavano, 1min54.430s – average speed 128.515kph.

Race 2 classification:
1. Salvatore Tavano 11 laps in 23min03.409s – average speed 116.932kph;
2. Nicola Baldan + 0.518s;
3. Alex Campani + 0.889s;
4. Simone Di Luca + 3.133s;
5. Matteo Milani + 9.072s;
6. Francesco Iorio + 9.587s;
7. Ivan Capelli + 17.869s;
8. Alessandro Frigerio + 19.101s;
9. Franco Cimarelli + 22.574s;
10. Severino Nardozi + 24.220s.

Fastest lap by Nicola Baldan, 1min54.487s – average speed 128.451kph.

Abarth 500-Selenia Trophy final standings:
1. Salvatore Tavano 245 points;
2 Nicola Baldan 202;
3. Francesco Iorio 114;
4. Andrea Rizzoli 96;
5. Manuel Villa 79.

Under-23 standings:
1. Tobias Tauber 208 points;
2. Alex Campani 193;
3. Simone Monforte 173;
4. Gabriele Larini 112;
5. Patrik Gobbo 100.


Abarth unveils Abarth 500 R3T rally car

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

Abarth is continuing its tradition of building accessible competition machinery with the unveiling of its new Abarth 500 R3T rally car.

Revealed for the first time at this month’s 51st San Remo Rally, the Abarth 500 R3T will feature in a one-make rallying trophy in 2010. The European and Italian Trophies for the Abarth 500 Assetto Corse circuit racer will continue.

Abarth 500 R3T rally car

Abarth 500 R3T rally car

For Abarth, the new car marks a return to a discipline in which it has been present for more than 30 years. Starting in 1977 with the first edition of the Autobianchi A112 Abarth Championship, Abarth continued with the Fiat Uno, Uno Turbo, Cinquecento, Seicento, Punto Kit and Super 1600, Stilo and Panda Kit Trophies.

The Abarth 500 rally car will be homologated in group R3T, a category reserved for supercharged cars with a maximum cylinder capacity of 1600cc. This class represents good value through its cost/performance ratio and is ideal for privateers and young drivers wishing to showcase their talent at the wheel of a high-performance car.

The Abarth 500 R3T’s 1368cc engine is fitted with a Garrett GT 1446 fixed geometry turbocharger, delivering 180bhp (132kW) at 5500rpm. It is equipped with a 6-speed sequential gearbox, a self-locking blade differential, twin disc clutch and special half-shafts.

Attention has been paid to the possibility of adjusting the suspension to adapt the set-up to suit different surfaces and drivers’ styles. Four Brembo disc brakes – ventilated at the front, solid at the rear – with an adjustable split system, provide the stopping power. The car also features a hydraulic hand brake.

Abarth 500 R3T rally car

Abarth 500 R3T rally car

The 1080kg Abarth 500 is fitted with a specific welded-in roll-cage integrated to the body shell, FIA homologated seats with 6-point harnesses and other necessary safety devices.

“Abarth’s ability to produce high quality racing and rallying machinery has never been in question,” says Ivan Gibson, manager, Abarth brand UK. “We have already seen how good the Abarth 500 race car is, and I am looking forward to watching this new rally car perform.”

The calendar for the Abarth rally trophy will be published later this year.

Meanwhile, the Abarth UK Hill Climb programme has ended for this season with the team’s two Abarth Grande Punto esseesse cars once again posting impressive times in the hands of UK journalists.

At last weekend’s Prescott Autumn Classic Hill Climb, Cheltenham – the seventh event this year for the Abarth UK team – writer and columnist John Simister managed a time of 54.81 seconds followed by fellow journalists Tim Dickson (55.20 secs) and John Swift (55.23 secs).

The Abarth UK team in action at Prescott

The Abarth UK team in action at Prescott

The times proved that the 180bhp Abarth Grande Puntos are not only high performing road cars, but are more than capable of delivering results in competition. Neither vehicle has used any spare parts throughout the season, and both have run with 100 per cent reliability while being driven to and from all the events contested.

“These are remarkable times considering we have been using standard road cars, without modification for hill climbs,” says Howard Paterson, Abarth team manager. “The cars have been so quick and so good this year, and we have hardly had to do any work on them. They haven’t even had new brakes.”