The new-fledged “Abarth 124 rally Selenia International Challenge”, which opened last weekend with the Belgian championship, has got off to a flying start. Organised by Abarth Customer Racing, the challenge is intended to assist the teams and drivers competing in the various European national championships.
Last weekend, Cédric De Cecco recorded an excellent second place in the Rallye de Spa, where the Abarth 124 rally was only bettered by the prowess of highly respected champion Patrick Snijers. This result augurs well for the championship, in which the Belgian driver will soon be back in action in the Rallye de Wallonie. “Recording the best time in first special test stage at Francorchamps,” De Cecco told us, “helped to raise our overall standing, and this second place is very encouraging for the championship.”
The car was competing in the colours of the French Milano Racing team, which this weekend will also be involved in the opening event of its own national championship, the Rallye du Touquet, with young driver Nicolas Ciamin, (second in the 2017 JWRC world championship) on board the Abarth 124 in GT+ version. In France, the technical regulations for the GT+ category are slightly less restrictive than for the GT-R. Ciamin has already driven the Abarth 124 rally in the “Cévennes” and the “du Var” in 2017 and in this year’s “Montecarlo”.
In Spain, the Abarth 124 rally is defending the Spanish R-GT Tarmac Rally Champion title won by the SMC Junior Motorsport team. After the amazing success of its first year in competition, the Abarth Rally Team faces the 2018 season with the aim of regaining the Spanish Championship title in the R-GT category.
With the experience acquired in 2017, with regard to both the car and its technical and racing organisation, this year the Madrid team has entrusted its car to Alberto Monarri and Rodrigo Sanjuán. There are eleven races in the Spanish championship, with the first, the Rally do Cocido, getting under way this weekend from Pontevedra.
The other championships in which Abarth 124 rally cars are competing start on the weekend of 23-25 March: in Italy the Rally Il Ciocco, in the Czech Republic the Valasska Rally with the Agrotec Team, and in Romania the Rally Brasov with Bernini Rally.