Abarth 124 rally, a memorable season, with victory in the FIA R-GT Cup, the R-GT class ERC Championship and over 40 races in 12 national championships.
In its second racing season, the Abarth 124 rally has established itself as the king of the R-GT class, recording more than 40 class victories in 12 national championships, the last two last weekend – with the Spanish crew of Alberto Monarri and Rodrigo Sanjuàn in the Madrid Rally and the French pair Nicolas Ciamin and Antony Vilanova in the Rallye di Var -and triumphs in the European R-GT championship and the FIA R-GT World Cup.
The French pair Raphael Astier and Frédéric Vauclare in the 124 rally of Team Milano Racing secured the FIA R-GT Cup by winning an incredible 4 races out of 5, perfectly demonstrating the performances and confirming the reliability and maturity the Abarth car has achieved.
The Abarth 124 rally also monopolised the ranking in this championship – in practice the GT “world crown” – with an amazing 6 drivers in the top 6 places in the table. Behind the French champion, in 2nd and 3rd places respectively, were Italian drivers Andrea Nucita and Andrea Modanesi, with the first non-Abarth car in a low 7th place.
Luca Napolitano, Head of Fiat and Abarth brand EMEA, commented on the results of the season which has just come to an end: “Abarth boasts a long, glorious tradition in racing and rallying, and competition is a fundamental feature of its history, present and future. I am proud of the results achieved this year and would like to extend my personal congratulations to all our drivers and teams who have competed and won with our fantastic Abarth 124 rally cars, winning major trophies. Thanks to continual development work, the Abarth 124 rally has matured fast, and in just two seasons it has become the car to beat in the R-GT class, with exceptional performance, competitiveness and reliability,” Mr Napolitano continued. “Abarth views racing as essential for nourishing the brand’s values, as well as providing the toughest test bed for trying out technical solutions in the most severe, heavy-duty conditions before adopting them in standard production, to offer our customers a car that is fun, high-performing and reliable.”
The Abarth 124 rally has recorded impressive results in Europe’s most competitive and demanding national rally championships. Thanks to its excellent balancing, the brilliance of its engine and its perfect set-up, it has enabled even young drivers to be extremely fast and very competitive right from the start. One example is the very young French driver Nicolas Ciamin, the revelation of his country’s Championship, who succeeded in winning several special stages at the wheel of the rear-wheel drive Abarth 124 in a championship where, on average, thirty or so R5 category four-wheel drive cars took part in each race. What’s more, in the Rallye Rouguergue he finished in an impressive 5th place overall.
The other very young driver, the Italian Christopher Lucchesi, won the Italian R-GT Championship with victory in 4 races. On the other hand, Simone Tempestini, Italian but with a Romanian licence, won the European Championship of the Abarth 124 rally Selenia International Challenge by driving the Scorpion roadster to victory in the Rally of Poland, and in the Rally Liepaja in Latvia.
The Abarth 124 rally was just as invincible in Spain, where Spanish drivers Alberto Monarri and Rodrigo Sanjuán won the 2-Wheel Drive Trophy in the Spanish Tarmac Rally Championship. There were also excellent performances in Slovenia, where Italian driver Andrea Nucita, in the Abarth 124 rally, finished third overall in the Vipavska and Zelezniki events.
In Romania, the Abarth 124 rally achieved third place overall in the Rally Harghitei with the Romanian team of Florin Tincescu and Alina Pop, who also produced spectacular performances to win the R-GT class in other Romanian Championship races, in the rally Brasov, in Transylvania, with an excellent overall 4th place, and at Aradului and Sibiului.
There were more category wins in Switzerland, with Beat and Jeanine Wyssen, victorious in the Criterium Jurassien and the Lugano Rally, in Germany in the Lower Saxony and Stadt Rallies with the Belgian team of Jean Luc Caprasse and Jean Luc Prignon, and in Austria with Italian driver Andrea Maselli, winner in the Weiz and Wechsellang rallies. Italian ladies Masha Mularo and Paola Valmassoi drove to victory in the Rally Nova Gorica, in Slovenia. In the Czech Republic, Team Agrotec-Abarth drivers Martin Rada and Jugas Jaroslav won their category in the Vallaska and Krumlov rallies, while in Bulgaria, Rally Sliven brought victory for the Romanian pair of Vlad Cosma and Florin Dorca.