There is no let-up in the packed Abarth 124 rally Selenia International Challenge season, as this weekend two private crews race in events in France and the Czech Republic. At the same time, the Lausitzring circuit in Germany hosts the third meeting in the ADAC F4 Championship Powered by Abarth.
Young French driver Nicolas Ciamin, with his navigator Thilbaut De la Haye, will drive the Abarth 124 rally of the Milano Racing team in the Rallye d’Antibes, the third event in the French Championships, which starts from the holiday resort on the Côte d’Azur at 8.15 on the morning of Saturday 19 May.
Fresh from their spectacular, emphatic victory in the R-GT category in the Rallye Lyon-Charbonnières, Ciamin and the Abarth 124 rally are ranked as favourites on a particularly beautiful course which is partly the same as that of the Rallye de Montecarlo, with the Col de Turini and Col de Braus special stages. Beautiful but also very tough, since there are no fewer than 204 km of time trials, subdivided into 12 special stages, out of a course totalling 660 km. There are two legs: the first on Saturday 9 and the second on Sunday 20 May, with the finish at 4.25 on the second day.
Before the off, Ciamin is enthusiastic: “I can’t wait to tackle these twisty roads in the Abarth 124 rally, which has proved very competitive in the early races of the season, even in overall terms. The Col de Turini is something of a university of rallying, and its long climb and dizzying descent should showcase all the Abarth 124 rally’s outstanding balance and agility.”
Ciamin kept in training last weekend by taking part in the third race in the Abarth Selenia Trophy on the Le Castellet circuit, where he won a fantastic 3rd place, even more impressive considering that it was the first time he had driven the Abarth 695 Assetto Corse Evoluzione in a race and he was up against the experts in this spectacular championship.
At the same time, the Rally Krumlov will be held in the Czech Republic, with the participation of the Abarth 124 rally of the Agrotec Czech Abarth team, driven by Martin Rada (CZE) and Jaroslav Jugas (CZE). The race is in two legs with 15 special test stages (158 km of time trials) within a course totalling 532 km.
As Rada explains, competition in the Czech Republic championship is fierce. “In our championship there are more than 100 entries for every race, with twenty or so cars in the R5 and WRC categories as well as 6 in the Gran Turismo class, all driven by very fast drivers: this makes every event highly competitive.”
In Germany, the third ADAC F4 Championship Powered by Abarth event takes place on the Lausitzring circuit, involving thirty or so very young drivers in the Tatuus single-seaters with Abarth engines. After the first two events, German driver Lirim Zendeli heads the overall rankings, with 4 wins from 6 races. He is followed by Frederic Vesti from Denmark and the Brazilian Enzo Fittipaldi, grandson of two-times world champion Emerson. David Schumacher, son of former Formula 1 driver Ralf, is also taking part in the German series. There are three races scheduled on the spectacular German circuit: the first at 10.10 am on Saturday 19 May, the second at 4.40 pm on the same day and the third at 9.50 pm on Sunday 20 May. The races will be streamed live on adac-motorsport.de.