The Abarth 124 rally is becoming more and more competitive at all levels, and last weekend it recorded an excellent third place overall and victory in the R-GT class in the Rally Zelezniki, valid for the Slovenian Championship.
So there is no sign of a break in this car’s sequence of R-GT wins, as last weekend it also enabled up-and-coming young driver Andrea Modanesi (ITA), with Roberto Mometti (ITA), to win the class in the Rally San Marino, valid for the Italian Championship.
This brings to 17 the total number of R-GT victories achieved this season by Abarth 124 rally drivers in 8 different national championships.
Nucita-Vozzo’s win in Slovenia was emphasised by the thrilling third place overall, achieved in a race where the line-up also included ten or so latest-generation four-wheel drive cars. The route, on typical Alpine roads, with climbs and descents and hairpin after hairpin alternating with faster sections, highlighted the Abarth 124 rally’s superlative handling and speed, enabling the Italian driver to record the best time overall in one of the rally’s longest special stages.
In the Slovenian Championship Nucita, who drives for the Bernini Rally team, had already won the R-GT class and finished third overall in the season-opening Rally Vipavska, delighting the large crowds with his spectacular driving style, ably assisted by the Abarth 124 rally’s rear-wheel drive.
Andrea Nucita: “In my view, this second top-three finish confirms the Abarth 124 rally’s speed on difficult courses like this weekend’s: long climbs and treacherous descents did not create any problems for our car, and by achieving high top speeds we were able to perform very well in the time trials, actually coming out faster than four-wheel drive cars.”.
For Nucita, this race also provided practice in the run-up to the forthcoming Rally di Roma Capitale, to be held from 20 to 22 July, valid for the FIA R-GT Cup, the GT world championship. After the first two races (the Rallye de Montecarlo and the Tour de Corse), 4 Abarth 124 rally cars occupy the top 4 places in the championship standings, with Frenchman Raphael Astier leading, ahead of Nucita.
From the fast tarmac roads of the Slovenian Alps to the more winding dirt roads of the Rally San Marino, the Abarth 124 rally also enables younger drivers to gain experience and win the class. In the fifth race in the Italian Rally Championship, very young driver Andrea Modanesi (ITA), partnered by Marco Vozzo (ITA), tackled a dirt road course for the first time in his racing career, and managed to finish the very testing race at the top of the R-GT rankings.
Modanesi: “It was a very tough race, but the heat, the dust and the very uneven surfaces along the route did not present any problem for the reliability of the Abarth 124 rally, so I was able to gain experience on low-grip surfaces, which require a different driving style from the one used on tarmac”.
The Abarth 124 rally’s rear-wheel drive offered a spectacular display on the humps and hair-pins of the Rally San Marino.
There was also sporting excitement in the Rally Bohemia, valid for the Czech Republic Championship, where Martin Rada (CZE) and Jaroslav Jugas (CZE), in the Abarth 124 rally of the Agrotec Abarth Czech Team, gave a good account of themselves in the early stages of the race but were then forced to retire. They will be able to make up for this at the Barum Czech Rally Zlin, from 24 to 26 August, also valid for the FIA R-GT Cup, when they will be able to support the other Abarth drivers taking part in the international series.