The Abarth 124 Selenia International Challenge comes to a top international event, as next weekend four teams race Abarth 124 rally cars in the Rally Tour de Corse, valid for the World Rally Championship and FIA R-GT Cup.
The brand is making an impressive showing at the international championship, with Abarth 124 rally cars amongst the protagonists in their class, with two Italian and two French drivers. The Bernini Rally team’s cars will be in the hands of Sicilian Andrea Nucita, with Marco Vozzo – a top performer at the Rallye de Montecarlo, when he obtained an outstanding 4th time overall in the race’s toughest stage – the very young Andrea Modanesi, with Marco Menchini – winner of the Under 23 section of the 2017 Abarth 124 rally Selenia Trophy – and Frenchman Philippe Gache, with Nicolas Riviére, while the Milano Racing Team car will be driven by talented young Frenchman Raphael Astier, with Frederic Vauclaire, in his first outing in the Abarth spider.
Andrea Nucita is very excited about his prospects “The route is fantastic. It’s very demanding but well suited to the Abarth 124 rally: we’ve done some specific trials and we’re confident we can do well.”
Andrea Modanesi is more cautious. “It will be an important race for me, above all as a chance to gain experience. I’m counting on the 124 rally’s reliability.”
Everything is new for Raphael Astier, one of France’s most hotly tipped young drivers. “It’s a completely new experience for me in a rear-wheel drive car in a very difficult race.”
Philippe Gache sees this as a prestige opportunity. “I know the car well, having driven it in last year’s Rallye di Sanremo, and I’ve prepared well for the event, which has always had a special appeal for me.”
The Rallye Tour de Corse is one of the toughest, most demanding in the World Rally Championship, on a winding, difficult course made even more challenging by the particularly long special stages. The race starts from Bastia at 8 am on Friday 6 April and consists of three main stages over a total of 1120 km, 333 of them time trials spread across 12 special stages. The longest of these is Vero-Sarrola-Carcopino, scheduled for Sunday 8 April, which is more than 55 km long; the race ends in Ajaccio at 3 pm on the same day.
In the first two races of the 2018 season, the Abarth 124 rally has already recorded two wins in the R-GT class in the Rally Brasov, in Romania, with the Bernini Rally team Abarth 124 rally driven by Tincescu, and the Rally Il Ciocco in Italy with Cristopher Lucchesi at the wheel, and second places in Belgium in the Rallye Spa-Francorchamps with Cédric De Cecco, in France in the Rallye du Touquet with Nicolas Ciamin, and in the Czech Republic in the Valasska Rally with Martin Rada.