TROFEO ABARTH 124 RALLY 2018

04.07.2018 STRONG WEEKEND FOR THE ABARTH 124 RALLY ACROSS EUROPE

ABARTH 124 RALLY

Andrea Nucita and Marco Vozzo won the two-wheel-drive class on the Rally Zelezniki in Slovenia last weekend after finishing in an impressive third place overall, all achieved in a rally where the line-up also included many four-wheel drive cars.

 
ABARTH 124 RALLY

On Italy's Rally San Remo, young driver Andrea Modanesi, who was partnered by Roberto Mometti, was tackling a dirt course for the first time in his rally career and managed to finish the very testing event in twenty fourth overall.

The Abarth 124 Rally made its mark on three important national rallies around Europe last weekend, Slovenia’s Rally Zelezniki – where it scored an impressive third place overall – as well as in Italy’s Rally San Remo and the Czech Republic’s Rally Bohemia.

Andrea Nucita and Marco Vozzo also won the two-wheel-drive class in Slovenia further emphasising that their third place outright was achieved in a rally where the line-up also included many of the latest four-wheel drive cars.

The route of the 5th Rally Zelezniki traversed typical Alpine roads, with climbs and descents and hairpin after hairpin alternating with faster sections, all of which highlighted the 124 Rally's handling and speed, enabling the Italian driver to record the best time overall on one of the rally's longest special stages.

Immediately setting the fourth fastest time on the first special stage Nucita moved up to P3 overall on SS5, the halfway point of the 10-stage rally and held the position to the finish, coming home behind only the winning Peugeot 208 R5 T16 and the second placed Hyundai i20 NG R5. Nucita also won R-GT by dint of finishing as there were no other entries in the category.

The rally saw 38 finishers from the 54 starters and there was a real blast from the past too, with the two Lancia Integrale 8Vs of Miran Fabjan/Marija Kogej and Miha Music/Crtomir Bergant finishing in P17 and P33 respectively.

In the Slovenian Rally 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, and afterwards he said: "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 useful practice in the run-up to the forthcoming Rally di Roma Capitale, to be held from 20-22 July, which is also valid for the FIA R-GT Cup. After the first two rallies (the Rally Monte Carlo and the Tour de Corse) Abarth-mounted drivers occupy the top four positions in the championship standings, with Frenchman Raphael Astier leading, ahead of Nucita.

From the fast tarmac roads of the Slovenian Alps to the much more winding dirt roads of the 46th Rally San Marino, the 124 Rally this time enabled a younger driver to gain experience and win his class.

Counting as the fifth round of the Italian Rally Championship 2018 (CIR), young driver Andrea Modanesi, who was partnered by Roberto Mometti, was tackling a dirt course for the first time in his rally career and he managed to finish the very testing event in twenty fourth overall.

The Italian pair also won the R-GT class on the 13-stage/2-leg event, but again the 124 Rally was the only entry in the category. The rally of attrition saw twenty-nine cars reaching the finishline.

"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,” said Modanesi.

The 124 Rally's rear-wheel drive offered a spectacular display over the humps and around the hairpins bends of the Rally San Marino.

Finally, last weekend the Scorpion was in action on the Rally Bohemia, which counts towards the Czech Republic Rally Championship, where Martin Rada and Jaroslav Jugas were back in action in the 124 Rally run by the Agrotec Abarth Czech Team.

Up against a quartet of Porsches in the R-GT category they drove superbly to move up the R-GT classification and take the lead on SS3, holding it until being forced to retire with a technical issue on the sixth of the rally’s fifteen stages.

The Czech crew will be able to make up for this disappointment at the Barum Czech Rally Zlin, on 24-26 August. This rally is also counts towards the FIA R-GT Cup and they will be taking on other Abarth drivers contesting the international series.

Those two R-GT victories last weekend brings to seventeen the total number of wins in this category achieved this season by Abarth 124 rally drivers in eight different national championships; however, in almost all those events they were unopposed in R-GT, but more importantly proved the reliability of the Abarth machine in bringing it home on each occasion.

Photos: Abarth 124 Rally (season 2018)

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Photos: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles / 2018 Interfuture Media/Italiaspeed