This weekend will packed with excitement in rallies and on the racing track with the Abarth drivers playing leading roles.
Four private teams will be taking part in the Italian, Spanish and Swiss championship events.
In Italy this is the weekend of the Rally di Sanremo, the second in the national series, with two Bernini Rally team crews participating in the context of the Abarth 124 rally Selenia International Challenge: up-and-coming Tuscan driver Cristopher Lucchesi with Massimiliano Bosi, and Alberto Mussa accompanied by Titty Lucchesi. Young driver Lucchesi achieved victory in the R-GT category in the Rally Il Ciocco, the opening event of the Italian Championship, while for Mussa this is his first outing in the Italian series, after testing the Abarth 124 rally in the 2017 Rally di Alba.
Cristopher Lucchesi is very excited: “The Rally di Sanremo is one of the races I’ve always dreamt of; the roads are demanding and winding; I hope to build on my achievements in the Rally Il Ciocco”.
Alberto Mussa is also enthusiastic about taking part in such a famous race. “The image of the Fiat 124 Spider Abarth cars powering up the Baiardo ascent has always stuck with me, and racing with the current interpretation of that same model today gives me a special thrill.”
The Rally di Sanremo starts from the seaside town at 3.30 pm on Friday 13 April and comprises two stages, finishing at 7 pm on Saturday 14 after covering a course of 491 km, 152 km of this time-trials, spread over 10 special stages.
In the Rally Sierra Morena 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 taking back 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 the Spanish crew of Alberto Monarri and Rodrigo Sanjuán.
“We are thrilled to belong to a brand as prestigious as Abarth,” Alberto Monarri tells us. “We have a big challenge ahead: to repeat last year’s victory in the Spanish Tarmac Championship (CERA). I started my rallying career in the Fiat Punto Cup in 2002, so I am very attached to the brand.”
The Rally Sierra Morena starts from Cordoba at 4.15 pm on Friday 13 April and concludes at 6.40 pm on Saturday 15: the course is 428 km long, with 12 time-trial special stages totalling 164 km.
In Switzerland, this weekend sees the debut of the Zeughaus Garage team,, which fields an Abarth 124 rally driven by Beat and Janine Wissen (CH) in the Criterium Jurassien, the opening race in the Swiss season.
Beat Wyssen is an aficionado of the Scorpion brand. “I’ve been racing Abarth 500 R3T cars for years, and this season I decided to move up a grade with this lovely 124 rally”.
The Criterium Jurassien gets under way in Saignelégier at 6 pm on Friday 13 April and ends at 7 pm on Saturday 14 after 481 km, with 11 special stages comprising a total of 174 km of time trials.
Abarth returns to the track in Germany on the Oschersleben circuit, which sees the start of the ADAC F4 Championship Powered by Abarth. The single-seater racers powered by Abarth 160 HP T-jet engines will star in a championship intended to foster the growth of future champions who have been outstanding amongst the very young kart driver cohort.
This is the fourth season of the German series, involving thirty or so cars in the hands of drivers from 12 countries: the talented youngsters also include David Schumacher, son of Ralf, who is following in the footsteps of his cousin Mick (son of Michael), who dominated the category in Italy and Germany in 2016, finishing first in both championships. Also taking part is Brazilian Enzo Fittipaldi, grandson of two-times F1 World Champion Emerson.
The weekend schedule comprises three races: 11.05 am and 4.30 pm on Saturday 14 April and 3.45 pm on Sunday.