After their clean sweep in the Tour de Corse, the Abarth 124 rally cars are back in competition to defend their leadership in the FIA R-GT Cup in the third event of the season: the Rally di Roma Capitale, to be held from Friday 20 to Sunday 22 July. A race in which Abarth achieved a one-two-three in the 2017 edition, with three of its spider cars taking the top three places in their category.
The Milano Racing team will be lining up the French pair of Raphael Astier and Frédéric Vauclare, who head the FIA R-GT Cup table thanks to their victory in the Tour de Corse. The French crew also scored a victory in this year’s Rallye des Vosges, valid for the French Championship.
Astier: “The Rallye des Vosges was great practice for this event, where I’m competing for the first time. Of course it won’t be easy to hold off Andrea Nucita, who was very quick in Corsica and has the advantage of home ground here.”
Bernini Rally is fielding two Italian crews: Andrea Nucita with Marco Vozzo, and the very young Andrea Modanesi, with Roberto Mometti. So far, Nucita has been one of the most effective drivers of the Abarth spider, achieving exciting results even at the overall level. He currently stands second in the FIA R-GT Cup. Nucita is supported in this prestigious international championship by ACI Sport, which has great faith in this young Sicilian driver’s talent.
Nucita: “I took part in this race last year and the course is very demanding, with continuous changes in the level of road surface grip. This favours the Abarth 124 rally, which allows rapid adjustments to the engine’s power output and traction control during the special test stages.”
Modanesi has also already competed in the Rally di Roma, finishing an excellent third in the GT category last year. He achieved fourth place in Corsica.
Modanesi: “For me, this is a season in which I’m trying to build up experience, and thanks to the Abarth 124 rally’s excellent reliability I’ve managed to complete tough, difficult races such as the Rally San Marino, which had a dirt road course.”
The Rally di Roma Capitale sets off from the Eternal City at 4.45 pm on Friday 20 July, and the same evening will see a spectacular special stage in the EUR quarter, at the Colosseo Quadrato building, starting at 6.30 pm. It was on this very course, in 2016, that the Abarth 124 rally made its first official appearance, receiving an enthusiastic response from the large crowd in the stands.
For the next two days, the rally’s logistics base moves to Fiuggi. On Saturday 21 July the first stage starts at 8 am and the day ends at 9 pm, after 7 special stages; Sunday involves the second part of the race, with the start at 9 am and the finish in Ostia, with the “Super-special” stage along the seafront at 7.30 pm. The course is a total of 967 km long, with 15 timed special speed stages totalling 205 km.
In Germany, this weekend the very young drivers of the ADAC F4 Championship Powered by Abarth will experience the thrill of racing at the German Formula 1 Grand Prix meeting. On the same weekend and on the same circuit, they will be able to show off their skills in front of a large, knowledgeable crowds, and attract the interest of the team managers at the highest level. After the first four events in the series, which features Tatuus single-seater cars powered by the 160 HP Abarth T-Jet engine, German Lirim Zendeli leads the overall standings with 199 points, ahead of New Zealander Liam Lawson (175 points) and Brazilian Enzo Fittipaldi (133 points), grandson of two-times Formula 1 world champion, Emerson.