The Abarth 124 Rally remains the one to beat in the R-GT class of the most important European rally championships. A row of 16 class successes with excellent positions.
In the Rallye de Ourense in Spain, the fourth round of the Spanish Tarmac Rally Championship, the Abarth 124 Rally of Alberto Monarri (SPA) and Rodrigo Sanjuan (SPA) just missed the podium, obtaining an excellent fourth place overall and first place in the R-GT and 2WD categories. Thanks to this success, the crew of the SMC Junior Motorsport team consolidates its leadership in the 2WD category of the Iberian Championship Trophy. They are also in fourth position overall in the Spanish Tarmac Rally Championship, just two lengths from being third.
A race that is growing: the wet and slippery road surface that characterised the first stage made the balance and performance of the Abarth 124 Rally stand out as it easily adapted to the changing characteristics of the Iberian track.
Alberto Monarri (SPA): “The Abarth 124 Rally has confirmed that it is among the most competitive and we have demonstrated, with a fantastic performance in weather conditions that, on paper, were not conducive to rear-wheel drive. However, it was just these conditions that showed off the strong points of our Abarth. Now we need to focus on the next races”.
In the Rallye des Vosges in France, the fourth round of the Transalpine Championship, Raphael Astier (FRA) and Frédéric Vauclaire (FRA) held the lead in the race from start to finish in their 124 Abarth Rally, clocking up the best time in all 12 special trials. Also in France, the rain showcased the character and performance of the 124 Rally, which won in the GT-R and 2WD class, breaking the record. The 11th overall position was also very promising.
Raphael Astier – who replaced Nicolas Tschamintal (FRA) on this occasion as he was taking part in the World Championship in Sardinia for the French Federation’s youth project – at the end of the competition, said: “I am very happy with this result! The Abarth 124 Rally is now the most competitive R-GT, especially on very slippery roads. As we have already seen in the Tour de Corse, when the first four positions were held by Abarth cars”.
In Sardinia, the Aci Rally Italia Talent crew, formed by Andrea Nori, 22 years old from Bassano del Grappa and Sofia Peruzzi, 22 years old from Montecchio Maggiore, won the RC3 class at the Rally Italia Sardegna, the only Italian race that is valid for the World Rally Championship. Nori and Peruzzi were rewarded for taking part in this race by being the best out of a selection of 7000 participants.
At the same time, in Austria around thirty very young drivers put on a great show in the fourth round of the ADAC F4 Championship powered by Abarth, which took place at the Red Bull Ring circuit. All three races were very hard-fought and there were three different winners on the podium. In Race 1, victory went to Enzo Fittipaldi (grandson of two-time F1 world champion, Emerson), in Race 2, it went to the German Lirim Zendeli, and in the third round, to the New Zealander Liam Lawson. These three drivers fought for first place in the overall championship classification, in which Zendeli (DEU) took first place with 199 points, followed by Lawson (175) and Fittipaldi (138). In the Rookies class, the young David Schumacher (son of Ralf) is second, preceded by fellow countryman Niklas Krutten.
The R-GT category wins of Abarth 124 rally in 2018:
25 March – Brasov Rally (Romania) Tincescu-Pop (ROM) (9th overall)
25 March – Rally Il Ciocco (Italy) Lucchesi-Pollicino (ITA) (24th overall)
25 March – Vallaska Rally (Czech Rep.) Rada-Jugas (TCH) (37th overall)
8 April – Tour de Corse (France-World Championship) Astier-Vauclaire (FRA) (17th overall)
15 April – Criterium Jurassien (Switzerland) Wiessen-Wiessen (CH) (37th overall)
15 April – Sierra Morena (Spain) Monarri-Sanjuàn (SPA) (5th overall)
15 April – Rally Sanremo (Italy) Lucchesi-Pollicino (ITA) (26th overall)
22 April – Rally Vipavska (Slovenia) Nucita-Vozzo (ITA) (3rd overall)
6 May – Transylvania Rally (Romania) Tincescu-Pop (ROM) (4th overall)
6 May – Rally Islas Canarias (Spain) Monarri-Sanjuàn (SPA) (11th overall)
6 May – Targa Florio (Italy) Lucchesi-Pollicino (ITA) (25th overall)
13 May – Rallye Villa de Adeje (Spain) Monarri-Sanjuàn (SPA) (6th overall)
27 May – Rally dell’Elba (Italy) Lucchesi-Pollicino (ITA) (17th overall)
27 May – Arad Rally (Romania) Tincescu-Pop (ROM) (11th overall)
10 June – Rallye des Vosges (France) Astier-Vauclaire (FRA) (11th overall)
10 June – Rallye de Ourense (Spain) Monarri- Sanjuàn (SPA) (4th overall)