Monday, March 30, 2009

Abarth 500 Trophy: 27 drivers entered for Monza

For its debut race scheduled on Sunday 29 March at the Monza track, the Abarth 500 Trophy has attracted 27 drivers. This one-make championship stars the specially prepared Abarth 500 Assetto Corse, fitted with a 190 bhp engine which allows a top speed of over 220 kph.

Tomorrow (Saturday 28), the programme features a free practice session (from 9:00am to 09:25am) and a qualifying session from 1:45pm to 2:10pm. There will be two races on Sunday: the first one will get underway at 1:45pm while the second will start at 2:10pm.

Among the participants is young official Abarth driver Umberto Scandola, who has shown a lot of commitment in fine-tuning the Abarth 500 Assetto Corse during a number of test sessions last winter. “Driving the Abarth 500 Assetto Corse is a lot of fun”, said Scandola. “It's quick and it suits all kinds of driving styles”.

On this occasion, the young Abarth driver - who also takes part in the Italian Rally Championship this year - will make his circuit racing debut.

A lot of drivers entered in the Abarth 500 Trophy come from other one-make championships. In addition, there are some noteworthy beginners such as showmen Jimmy Ghione and Luca Cassol from the TV show “Striscia la Notizia”. The latter is better known as “Capitan Ventosa” (“Captain Suction Pad”).

This success in attracting such a field of competitors is also owed to the professionalism shown by the highly specialized “Abarth Racing” network which is renowned for its vast experience in the car racing world. They provide their racing customers with a car which is assembled and prepared directly in the Abarth workshops and with on-the-spot assistance.

There are nine “Abarth Racing” tuning workshops: Uboldi Corse with Autoalberta by Uboldi Corse (Lomazzo, Como), Carrozzeria Campana (Modena), Forza Service (Turin), Romeo Ferraris (Opera, Milan), Rosso Corsa (San Zeno Naviglio, Brescia), Trico Motor Sport (Alessandria), Officina Foresi (Civitanova Marche, Macerata), Procar (Casalguidi, Pistoia) and Zatti Sport (Parma).

When skimming through the entry list, it appears that drivers come from heterogeneous circles, reviving the “democratization of racing” concept so dear to Karl Abarth. The idea is to allow car racing drivers to participate while keeping the costs low.

In the Sixties and the Seventies, a lot of gentlemen-drivers were pitting themselves against young up-and-coming drivers all over Europe at the wheel of the 2-cylinder 500 Abarths. Today, the story repeats itself with the Abarth 500 Trophy, featuring a modern high-performance car capable of granting a great show.

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