Posts Tagged ‘500 Abarth’

2011 Trofeo Abarth 500 GB Calendar announced

Monday, January 17th, 2011

Abarth is presenting its sporting activities for the 2011 season at the Autosport International Racing Car Show in Birmingham this week (13-16 January). The coming season will be marked by the continued involvement of the Abarth 500 Assetto Corse in the Abarth 500 GB Trophy.

This championship, starring the 190 bhp Abarth 500 Assetto Corse, is in its second year and will take place over six events, one of which is abroad − the Belgian circuit of Spa-Francorchamps − which also counts towards the Abarth 500 European Trophy.

The formula for the UK Trophy includes two races at each event. Abarth is pleased to announce that the championship is set to start at Oulton Park (23 and 25 April), moving on to the new Snetterton 300 Circuit (25-26 June), Brands Hatch GP (22-24 July), Spa (7 August), Brands Hatch Indy (3-5 September) and finishing at Donington on 29 October.

The promotion of the Abarth 500 GB Trophy will again be managed by Paolo Callea.

The Abarth 500 European Trophy is also continuing this year, featuring six events held at Valencia, Misano, Hockenheim, Mugello, Monza and Spa-Francorchamps, the latter also counting towards the GB Trophy – a great opportunity for British drivers, who have a chance to grab the limelight in an international series.

The 190 bhp Abarth 500 Assetto Corse is assembled in the Abarth racing department. It is equipped with a sturdy roll cage, an anatomic racing driver’s seat, and a six-point safety harness, along with all the other equipment demanded by the regulations. In terms of mechanical features, the chassis has a specific set-up with racing springs and adjustable shock absorbers, teamed with 17” alloy wheels, an exhaust suited for racing, and oversized, more powerful brakes.

These are all components which make the Abarth 500 Assetto Corse a racing car capable of providing the utmost satisfaction for both expert and novice drivers.

Abarth activities outside the UK concentrate on the championships reserved for the Abarth 500 and Formula Abarth, an experience-building single-seater car powered by a 1400 cc turbocharged Abarth engine which was extremely successful during its first season, in 2010, tempting young foreign drivers to the Italian Championship.

This year, the Formula Abarth Championships and the Abarth 500 Trophies will be organised in Italy and across Europe, with the same calendar for both series.

Koni FSD damper kits for Abarth 500

Friday, October 15th, 2010

The Koni FSD (“Frequency Selective Damping”) dampers announced as part of the esseesse kits for both Abarth 500C and Abarth Punto Evo, are now available to buy separately.

Abarthisti have managed to secure a number of kits at the special price of £549 inc. VAT – a saving of more than £120 over the usual retail price.

The Koni FSD technology uses a revolutionary new technique to combine the benefits of firm and comfortable suspension in a single perfect shock absorber: firm for sporty driving on even road surfaces, comfortable for a smooth ride on uneven road surfaces.

This new feature is an integrated part of the hydraulic valving system inside the damper. Consequently, there are no additional cables, sensors, or any other electronic devices needed to operate this system.

Koni FSD damper kits for Abarth 500

Koni FSD damper kits

The kits are available to buy now from the Abarthisti Shop.

Kits for the Abarth Punto Evo and Abarth Grande Punto are expected to follow soon.

Abarth at the 2010 Paris International Motor Show

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Carlo Abarth loved to call himself a “creator of cars that are tuned, not prepared”. It was not by chance that his first commercial success came with a tuning kit for the Fiat Topolino launched at the beginning of the 1950s. Since then, the Abarth brand philosophy has remained the same: to convert special items into extraordinary products.

Bolstered by the success of the recent conversion kits (one Abarth 500 in three is converted using the official kit), Abarth has expanded its range by launching the world premiere of the esseesse kits for the new Abarth 500C and Abarth Punto Evo models in Paris. These are designed to improve performance, handling and safety without having to sacrifice the car’s low emissions and fuel consumption.

The stand will host two esseesse cars that perfectly illustrate the spirit of Abarth tuning, encapsulating substance and unassuming good looks: in accordance with brand tradition and market requirements, Abarth cars are a mix of sporty yet elegant looks and safe driving experience, yet always with sporty performance levels.

Abarth Punto Evo esseesse

The Abarth Punto Evo esseesse is in fact capable of 180 HP with truly thrilling performance levels: maximum torque of 270 Nm at 3000 rpm, top speed of 216 km/h and acceleration from 0-100 km/h in just 7.5 seconds. The esseesse kit for the 500C turns the scorpion-branded convertible into a genuine open-topped sports car: 160 HP, maximum torque of 230 Nm, top speed of 209 km/h and acceleration from 0-100 km/h in just 7.6 seconds.

The Abarth Punto Evo esseesse

The Abarth Punto Evo esseesse

The Abarth Punto Evo esseesse is exhibited with a Campovolo Grey body, named after the airfield, still operational today, that is located opposite the company’s historic headquarters in Corso Marche, Turin. This was where the young Karl Abarth used to buy paint for his cars, the very same Campovolo grey shade used for aircraft. In detail, the Abarth Punto Evo on show combines this particular colour with an Abarth band in the body shade and 18’’ alloys in a special titanium-coloured esseesse design. Inside, the car features Abarth Corse by Sabelt seats in black leather with a distinctly sporty design and an Abarth Blue&MeTM MAP satellite navigation system complete with telemetrics developed with Magneti Marelli.

More detail about the Abarth Punto Evo esseesse kit is available here: Abarth Punto Evo esseesse.

Abarth 500C esseesse

The Abarth 500C esseesse on the other hand, comes with an elegant Campovolo grey and Pista grey two-tone livery with a white chromatic liner, an element that divides and at the same time combines the two ‘souls’ of the car: the elegance of a cabriolet above and the out-and-out sporty performance of the esseesse kit below. The 500C esseesse is exhibited with an original Record Monza exhaust silencer (dual mode with variable counterpressure) that enhances the engine sound above 4000 rpm and, as on the Punto Evo, with an Abarth Blue&MeTM MAP satellite navigation system with telemetrics.

The Abarth 500C esseesse

The Abarth 500C esseesse

More detail about the Abarth 500C esseesse is available here: Abarth 500C esseesse.

These two models may be very different but they share a single spirit, the sporting spirit of the Abarth scorpion logo, which has proved itself capable of igniting the passion of thousands of motorists with a taste for challenge, performance and Italian style. In the words of the advertising slogan “More power to your senses”, on an Abarth car all your senses are stimulated to the maximum. The perception is further amplified by the two kits that guarantee even more driving performance and adrenaline: all in all, the Abarth conversion kits represent empowerment taken to its highest levels.

The Parisian stage also offers an opportunity to admire some new products created for the Abarth 500 saloon: the stand will exhibit a model in the new Record Grey shade, with tobacco coloured leather interiors and super-sporty 17’’ alloys with 5 diamond shaped spokes against an anthracite background. This mixture of sportiness and good looks is inspired by the heritage of a brand that will once again satisfy customers who seek a high-performance car that is also elegant.

Abarth 500 in Record Grey

Abarth 500 in Record Grey

The Paris Motor Show is also an opportunity to take a look at the two pillars of the Abarth business model: roadgoing cars and the world of racing. To date, approximately 1600 Abarth 500C and nearly 1300 Abarth Punto Evo cars have been sold: these numbers bear witness to the warm welcome extended to these two cars and will certainly contribute to the already excellent results recorded since the brand was relaunched. Suffice to say that since 2007 the brand has enjoyed continual growth, as evidenced by sales of nearly 28,000 for the Abarth Grande Punto and Abarth 500 models in addition to approximately 6000 performance kits designed for the two models.

The Abarth 695 Tributo Ferrari has also met with great success. This is the fastest and highest performing road-going 500 ever, arising out of a joint venture between Abarth and Ferrari, based on shared values that include a passion for performance, a racing soul, attention to detail and Italian style. This numbered and limited special series has been marketed from July and has already notched up more than 600 orders; more than half of which are from countries such as United Kingdom, France and Germany.

The Abarth 695 "Tributo Ferrari"

These sales successes have been partly made possible by the extraordinary network of dealers and official tuning shops, an organisation that is unique in its field and is extending to other international markets such as Israel, Rumania, Cyprus, Lebanon, Finland and Australia.

The growth in Abarth’s sporting activities was also constant in 2010, consolidating the brand’s presence both in rallies and on the track, in Italy and throughout Europe. As far as rallies are concerned, two official teams are competing with success in the Italian Championship with Abarth Grande Punto S2000 cars, while the RALLY version of the Abarth 500 has led to the advent of the Abarth 500 Rally Selenia Trophy. Track activities have also met with great success. The tried and tested single-make Abarth 500 Selenia Italia and Abarth 500 Selenia Europe trophies have been joined this year by a championship reserved for single-seater Formula Aci-Csai-Abarth cars with the intention of allowing young drivers to show their mettle at the wheel of an experience-building single-seater car at an accessible price. In 2011, great expectations surround the debut of the single-seater car in Europe, with the Formula Abarth European Championship.

Last but not least, Abarth returns to the Paris International Motor Show with a stunning stand where major world débuts mingle with tried and tested models to underscore – yet again – the brand’s unique position on the international motoring stage. The design idea that inspired the space is simplification: the architecture does not use a language to interpret the brand but acts as a foundation to enhance its values. Abarth and its world take centre stage and the brand exhibits itself to the public in all its pureness and simplicity, in its maximum essence. This approach focuses the attention on the three new Abarth cars, positioned in an extensive space with three areas of light; a huge LED display representing the central element of the scenery forms an ideal backdrop for the cars. Technical drawings of Abarth engineering are ideally exhibited under a glass floor, visible to all, as used to happen with cars when their rear bonnet lids were partially raised.

Star drivers line-up for Abarth 500 Celebrity Challenge at Silverstone Classic

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

Stars from TV, radio, sport and music will line up on the grid this week (23 July) to race Abarth 500 cars for charity at the world-famous Silverstone Circuit.

A special event, the BSM Centenary Abarth 500 Celebrity Challenge, will feature race-prepared versions of the potent Abarth 500 esseesse road car. It’s set to raise funds for the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK, and is one of the highlights of the prestigious ‘Silverstone Classic’ motorsport extravaganza planned for the famous circuit from 23-25 July 2010.

Star drivers line-up for Abarth 500 Celebrity Challenge at Silverstone Classic

Star drivers line-up for Abarth 500 Celebrity Challenge at Silverstone Classic

Celebrities who have been preparing for the tough race include TV chefs Heston Blumenthal and James Martin, Strictly Come Dancing’s Brendan Cole, actor Tom Chambers who won ‘Strictly’ in 2008, former Watford and England footballer Luther Blissett, TV presenter Lord Charles Brocket, rocker Rick Parfitt Junior and drummer Neil Primrose from the band Travis.

BBC Radio 2 DJs Johnnie Walker and Richard Allinson, and BBC Sport journalist Jonny Saunders, are also competing in the race, while legendary DJ ‘Whispering’ Bob Harris is Team Manager.

The road-going versions of the Abarth 500 have been modified to meet race safety specification. All the cars are finished in the historic Campovolo Grey racing colours of Karl Abarth, together with branding from Britain’s largest and most popular driving school, BSM.

“The Abarth 500 esseesse provides our celebrity drivers with the ideal introduction to motorsport,” says Ivan Gibson, head of Abarth in the UK. “And it demonstrates that, just as it was back in the 1960s, Abarth’s saying: ‘Small but wicked’ is still very much in keeping with the brand.”

After the race, the limited edition event cars will be autographed by the drivers and made available for sale. The celebrities will be raising funds for the Bobby Moore Fund for Cancer Research UK via sponsorship on their cars. Run in memory of one of Britain’s best-loved footballers, the fund supports research into bowel cancer.

The Silverstone Classic is the biggest classic racing festival in the world as well as one of Europe’s most entertaining car-themed events. It features some of the rarest and most valuable racing cars in the world.

Benny Simonsen confirmed as driver for Abarthisti-sponsored Trofeo entry

Saturday, February 13th, 2010

Benny Simonsen, younger brother of GT ace Allan Simonsen, has signed with Pulce Racing to drive the Vospers-Abarthisti Abarth 500 Assetto Corse in the 2010 Trofeo Abarth 500 GB championship.

Benny is making his race circuit debut after a very successful career in Scandinavian karting, winning numerous championships.

He joins the fledging Pulce Racing formed as a spin off from experienced Le Mans Series protagonists JWA Racing. Pulce Racing are one of the few teams to acquire a dealer car – in this case, provided by Vospers, the largest car dealer in the south west of England.

Testing continues on a weekly basis in the UK and will include some warm weather running in southern Spain later this month.

Abarthisti-sponsored Vospers/Pulce Racing Abarth 500 Assetto Corse

Abarthisti-sponsored Vospers/Pulce Racing Abarth 500 Assetto Corse

Denise Watt, Managing Director, Pulce Racing said: “Pulce Racing are really excited to be on the Trofeo Abarth grid with a driver of the calibre and speed of Benny. We are going to be championship contenders from race one.”

Race driver Benny Simonsen commented: “I can’t wait for that first race to start, and I’m really pleased to have signed with such a professional team as Pulce Racing. I’m sure we’re going to be up the front fighting for race wins and the championship.”

John Hutchinson, Brand Manager for Vospers Abarth, said: “Vospers are proud to be a part of the Trofeo Abarth 500 GB. Abarth is already very appealing to those who remember the brand’s golden age during the ’50s and ’60s, and the race series will help attract a whole new generation of enthusiasts. Indeed, Vospers are thrilled to be supported by Abarthisti, the UK’s largest online community of Abarth owners and enthusiasts.”

Pulce Racing are also working in conjunction with Abarthisti on a range of tuning, styling and performance upgrades and accessories for all Abarth models. Details of these products will be announced as they become available.

New Abarth developments for 2010

Friday, December 4th, 2009

Here’s a quick run-down of what we understand will be the main developments for Abarth in the UK next year:

The Abarth 500C comes to the UK in June July 2010.  Expect it to feature Start&Stop technology as standard, plus Xenon headlights and rear parking sensors.  This will mean an uplift in prices, as these options by themselves would normally add £1,050 to the price of a standard 500C.  No word yet on exactly what the sticker price will be, though.

The Abarth 500 continues largely unchanged for 2010, having already had its options list extended a couple of months ago with Xenons, etc.  Contrary to rumours, it won’t be getting the new MultiAir engine until 2011 at the earliest, so fence-sitters might as well get their orders in now.

The new Abarth Grande Punto will arrive in July 2010.  It won’t be called Punto Evo – that will be reserved for its Fiat brother – but will instead retain the Grande Punto name.  Its design is said to widen the gap between the Fiat and Abarth versions, and we’re hoping that means no Armco barrier across the front bumper or ugly Chrysler badge.

It’ll come with a 1.4-litre turbocharged MultiAir engine developing 170bhp 165 bhp (for some reason!) as standard.  Start&Stop will be standard, too.  More exciting, though, is the option of an MTA (automated manual) transmission, possibly with steering wheel-mounted paddles (update: still no word on this).

An Assetto handling kit will be available from launch, but the esseesse kit will follow on later.  Details of the kit are still being worked on. (update: esseesse likely to be available first, although with a disappointing 15 bhp increase).

The last piece of news is that the Abarth hillclimb challenge, using the Abarth Grande Punto 500, will likely make a repeat appearance for 2010, with an anticipated eight events across the country.

(Various updates applied as news comes through).

2010 Trofeo Abarth 500 GB Provisional Calendar Announced

Friday, November 27th, 2009

The Trofeo Abarth 500 GB is excited to announce the highly anticipated 2010 calendar. The inaugural series will comprise 6 events in the UK and one European race weekend.

Interest in the new championship has been high since the official launch at Silverstone in October, and the announcement of the schedule will be followed soon by an attractive prize package.

2010 Trofeo Abarth 500 GB Provisional Calendar Announced

2010 Trofeo Abarth 500 GB Provisional Calendar Announced

Organisers have been working hard to create a calendar that delivers the best platform for all the stakeholders. To achieve this, the Trofeo Abarth 500 GB will align itself with MotorSport Vision Racing (MSVR) and visit well known tracks including Oulton Park, Snetterton and Brands Hatch.

Many events on the calendar will have historical significance. The opening round at Oulton Park is one of the most attended events of the season and by being on the calendar we will be part of the official start to the UK Motorsport season.

The following race at Silverstone will be on the opening rounds of the FIA Formula Two Championship. Snetterton will be unique in the fact that it will be supporting the British Superbike Championship.

In July the Championship will be featuring alongside the FIA World Touring Car and Formula Two Championships on the Brands Hatch GP circuit. The Trofeo Abarth 500 GB will join the Trofeo EU for a combined grid that will offer a great spectacle.

Paolo Callea, organiser of the Trofeo Abarth 500 GB said: “Running our races with MSVR offers us events that suit the championship ethos. With this agreement we get to race at iconic British race tracks alongside well established national and international race series including World Touring Cars (WTCC), British GT and Formula Two. This calendar and the support of MSVR provides a great platform on which build the Trofeo Abarth 500 GB in its first season.”

MSVR Chief Executive, Jonathan Palmer said: “I’m very pleased that MSVR has continued its rapid expansion by adding the Trofeo Abarth 500 GB to its list of registered championships. Paolo Callea has already done a great job getting the Abarth championship off the ground, and with backing from Abarth, a strong calendar and expertise and support from MSVR I’m sure we will see strong grids and great racing in 2010.”

The provisional 2010 calendar is:

• 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 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)

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.”