Recently I was fortunate enough to be chosen to take part in a competition run by Abarth in Italy called the Mystery Racer. I will admit that I didn’t really know what this involved until I arrived, but had an idea that it might involve driving inside a London warehouse against the clock, and that the winners would get tickets to the British Superbike race at Silverstone.
I was very wrong, as it turned out, and the competition was based on precision driving. The event was being held on different weekends across Europe and the ‘Mystery Racer’ was there to demonstrate how the different challenges should be done. She wasnt the Stig of course, but she was his distant Italian cousin.
Now I drive with all the finesse of a donkey on ice and have a very ‘heavy’ right foot; this meant that I was at a particular disadvantage. There were to be four challenges, with points for each one, and then a multiple choice quiz about Abarth and the Superbike team which they sponsor. The challenges were about driving a slalom between cones, then the same but in reverse, then a fast accelerate and brake, but stopping as close to some marker cones as possible, and then the 180 degree handbrake turn and stop on the spot. So how did I do? The first one with the cones I surprised myself, the second reversing one got a bit messy, the third one I managed to stop at too ‘safe’ a distance, and the final one turned in to a drift rather than doing the 180 on the spot. The quiz however, I knew more than I thought.
There was a very broad range of people there and it was a very entertaining event. So how did I do? Well there is some adding up of scores to do apparently and so I have not heard as yet, but I think that my driving style was more entertaining than competitive. So well done to those who were a bit more (a lot more) precise than me and well done to Abarth Italy for a great event for Abarth owners.