The Abarth 124 Rally has enjoyed another highly successful weekend after being the best placed two wheel drive car on both the Rallye de Ourense in Spain, where it finished an amazing fourth overall, and in France, on the Rallye Vosges Grand Est.
The 51st Rallye de Ourense, the fourth round of the Campeonato de España de Rallyes de Asfalto 2018 (Spanish Asphalt Rally Championship) saw the Abarth 124 Rally of Alberto Monarri and Rodrigo Sanjuan only just miss the overall podium while winning the 2WD category.
Thanks to this success, the crew, driving for SMC Junior Motorsport, consolidates its leadership in the 2WD category of the Iberian Championship Trophy. The Spanish pair are also now hold fourth position overall in the Spanish Asphalt Rally Championship. They also won the R-GT class, albeit they were the only entry in the category on the rally.
The slippery road surfaces that characterised the first leg allowed the balance and performance of the Abarth 124 Rally to shine through as it adapted to the changing characteristics of the Iberian tracks.
“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,” said Monarri afterwards. “However, it was just these conditions that showed off the strong points of our Abarth. Now we need to focus on the next races.”
Meanwhile, on the 33th Rallye Vosges Grand Est in France, the fourth round of the Transalpine Championship, Raphael Astier and Frédéric Vauclaire led the GT+ class from the start to the finish of the 12-stage/2-leg rally and easily fended off the challenge from the Porsche of Maxime Perrin and Mélodie Artzner.
Again, in France, the rain and wet conditions demonstrated the character and performance of the 124 Rally, which also won 2WD class and came home eleventh overall out of eighty-seven finishers.
Astier was deputising for fellow Frenchman Nicolas Tschamintal on this occasion as the latter was taking part in the clashing FIA World Rally Championship round, the Rally Italia Sardegna, as a member of the French Federation's youth project
"I am very happy with this result,” Astier said at the end of the rally. “The Abarth 124 Rally is now the most competitive R-GT [car], 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 of Andrea Nori from Bassano del Grappa and Sofia Peruzzi from Montecchio Maggiore, both 22-years-old, won the RC3 class of the Rally Italia Sardegna. Nori and Peruzzi were rewarded with the drive after coming out on top of a selection process that comprised of more than 7,000 participants.
At the same time, in Austria around thirty young drivers were in action during the fourth round of the ADAC F4 Championship powered by Abarth, which took place at the Red Bull Ring. All three races were 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, while in the third round the win was clinched by New Zealander Liam Lawson.
These three drivers were also fighting for the top spot in the overall championship classification in which Zendeli now has the advantage with 199 points, followed by Lawson (175 points) and Fittipaldi (138 points). In the ‘rookie’ class, young David Schumacher (son of Ralf) is in second place behind fellow countryman Niklas Krutten.
Photos: Abarth 124 Rally (season 2018)