Abarth will be increasing its presence in the racing world in 2017 renewing over forty years of one-make championship tradition. The first Autobianchi A112 Abarth Championship was held in 1977 and was the opportunity for many drivers to showcase their skills. Forty years later, the brand with the Scorpion badge will be organising a very innovative promotional trophy with a car that is very new in itself. The Abarth 124 rally breaks the mould by combining excitement and technology: rear-wheel drive guarantees the spectacle, while the very high level performance is the result of painstaking development.
It is a Group R-GT model and therefore can compete in national and international races. The Abarth 124 rally Trophy organised by Abarth will count seven rallies - six of which on road and one on dirt - all the scope of the Italian Rally Championship. In this way, Trophy contenders may also compete for the new Group R-GT Italian championship title.
The jackpot is very rich, with prizes for the absolute ranking, Under 23 drivers and teams. All prizes - € 5000 for the winner, € 4000 for the team and € 2000 for the Under 23 drivers - are cumulative. According to regulations, prizes will be given to the first three rankings in each race and final in each category. The real innovation of the jackpot is a final prize for the best ranking team of € 30,000. The winner of the Under 23 ranking will be given the opportunity to compete in the 2017 Rally di Monza with an official 124rally Abarth. Other prizes include an ACI Sport Federal Super Course and a "rally master" organised directly by the Abarth Racing Team. The winner of the overall ranking will receive a street-legal Abarth 124 spider.
By organising the Trophy directly, Abarth will offer an array of services to facilitate team work to those who sign up: a spare parts service with technicians to provide assistance during the race will be present on the race circuits. A hospitality area with catering and entertainment dedicated to crews and teams will also be organised. Media visibility will be high, with a dedicated press and TV office in addition to activities on the most popular social media.
Given the remarkable interest expressed by foreign drivers and teams, an international European challenge is under consideration. It will be based on five races with various degrees of difficulty and a final jackpot.
The Abarth 124 rally is the true strength of the championship. It is a real sports car, set up and tuned directly by Abarth and sold race-ready for 140.000 Euro.
The original product briefing describes the character and the uniqueness of the car:
It fits a 1800 cm3 twin cam turbo direct injection engine. By exploiting a range of selectable mappings, it can output up to 300 HP at 6500 rpm with optimum torque curve, a key element to ensure balanced steering and acceleration when oversteering. Performance is breath-taking, acceleration is scorching and enhanced by a full, satisfying sound. To enhance performance even further, the engine is coupled to a snappy six-speed sequential gearbox with shift paddles, while traction is assured by the mechanical self-locking differential.
Rallies subject the cars to extreme stresses and that is why the excellent mechanical layout of the standard production car has been developed further. The suspension system - front high double wishbone and rear multilink - provides optimised kinematics and is now installed on special subframes that ensure superior mechanical strength and considerable weight reduction, while metal joints guarantee top driving accuracy.
To ensure top grip in all road conditions and adapt to the various special stages, Racing Team mechanics have extremely carefully defined the suspension set-ups allowing broad adjustment of the characteristic angles, a greater bump position for tricky surfaces and, above all, four-way hydraulic shock absorbers to be able to configure compression and rebound behaviour as well as response to the high or low frequencies extremely accurately to indulge the driver's feeling.
The first-class mechanics has called for a new generation electronic system both to ensure top performance on the road and to optimise weight and overall dimensions.
With a high level of integration, all the main controls are ergonomically grouped on the steering wheel. In this way the driver can, for example, choose the different calibrations of the engine and of the antilag system , or select the traction control mode, from the one designed for fast, grippy special stages to that designed to support driving in low grip conditions.
The secondary controls are instead concentrated in the console area to be enabled also by the co-driver in critical conditions or during transfers.
Perfectly interpreting Carlo Abarth's legacy, Racing Team mechanics also focused on serviceability and containing the cost per kilometre to foster the promotion of new talents and allow gentlemen drivers to access the world of rallies. A modern rally car must be designed to secure top performance, but also to make sure that drivers, co-drivers and mechanics can rely on a machine that meets their expectations and adapts to multiple uses and situations. This is the reason why the new Abarth 124 Rally will offer the possibility to choose different configurations and set-ups, spanning from the profoundly mechanical, such as ground clearance, to exterior liveries, to be reminiscent of the unforgettable triumphs of the Abarth brand in rallies the world over.
The car has been conceived with an early focus on services on the field and to reduce the running cost. For example, the suspension subframes are already designed with a double fixing position for both gravel and tarmac setup, as the former doesn't require the calipers substitution but just a specific assembling
Finally, the SE139 code of the project is rooted in the pulsing heart of the history of the brand, referring directly to Carlo Abarth himself. The abbreviation SE means "Sports" and "Experimental", a direct connection with Abarth's values of craftsmanship and technical progress. The sequential number 139, on the other hand, reminds us that in its 67-year history, Abarth has developed an average of two racing projects per year: an outstanding achievement that few other automotive manufacturers can boast.
The new Abarth 124 rally can be ordered from the website racing.abarth.com and by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Abarth Racing Team and Abarth Racing dealers are available to all customers to answer questions and discuss all technical and commercial requirements.
The formula is the tried and tested one of the track race Abarth Trophy that in 2017 will be in its ninth season. With the Abarth 695 Assetto Corse Evoluzione and the Abarth 595 OT.
With this initiative, Abarth confirms its philosophy of creating racing opportunities for the standard versions of the brand's high performance cars, which are capable of firing enthusiasm of drivers, on the road and on the race track alike.
Calendar of Abarth 124 rally Trophy Events:
19 March 40th Rally del Ciocco
2 April 64th Rallye Sanremo
23 April 101st TargaFlorio
14 May 24th Rally Adriatico
4 June 50th Rally del Salento
17 September Rally di Roma Capitale
15 October 35th Rally Due Valli
Turin, 16 December 2016