24 July 2017

The Formula SAE's Italian stage at Varano ends, with Abarth playing a key role


The Italian stage of the Formula SAE, the competition open to teams of engineering students who design, build and race their own cars in tests designed to assess design, engineering efficiency and economic sustainability, came to an end yesterday on the Riccardo Paletti circuit at Varano de' Melegari. The Italian event was organised by Automotive Industry Association ANFIA with Dallara Automobili and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, participating with the Abarth brand, as main sponsors. Held for the thirteenth time this year, the Formula SAE Italy began with the opening ceremony on Wednesday 19 July and ended yesterday evening with the presentation of the prizes to the winning teams on the track and the final Party & DJ Set in the top paddock.
More than 2,600 students from 23 countries worldwide (those from India and Mexico had travelled furthest) and more than 70 different universities took part. Overall there were 81 teams in the competition, 60 of them European with 18 from Italy, representing 16 universities.
All the teams entered completely into the spirit of the event, racing their creations against each other on the circuit named after the Formula One driver who died during the 1982 Canadian GP.
A large number of tests were run, creating a tough challenge not only for the prototypes designed by the future engineers but also for the students themselves. They all had to submit a business plan and the design of their cars complete with a breakdown of the costs involved. After that, only the cars which passed the technical inspections were admitted to the tests on the circuit: acceleration, skid-pad and autocross, through to perhaps the most exciting of all, the endurance event.
As in previous years, the competition was subdivided into two categories, with a large number of prizes on offer: Class 1C on the one hand (cars with internal combustion engines) and Class 1E (electric cars) on the other. The overall winners were the Universities of Wroclaw (Breslau) for Class 1C and Stuttgart for Class 1E.Italian pride was satisfied by the Milan Politecnico's second place in the internal combustion engine category and third for the Turin Politecnico in the electric car class.
Another Italian team, from Padua University, won a third category, Class 3 (presentation of the car's design only).
Fiat Chrysler Automobiles again played a particularly important role in the Formula SAE this year, confirming the company's commitment to reinforcing its traditionally strong bond to the academic world. During the event, FCA established a large number of contacts with the young participants, the talents of tomorrow, students eager to get their careers off to a flying start: FCA gathered almost 300 CVs, with students showing great enthusiasm as they discussed potential prospects with the company.
FCA took part as main sponsor through the Abarth brand, which has always had a special link with young people, expressed in both its models and its other projects, on and off the circuit. More than half of the almost 100 thousand members of The Scorpionship community are young people, and this year they have "gathered" on seven Abarth Days, each held at a different European circuit, including Varano de' Melegari itself. It is no coincidence that Abarth is one of the very few brands in automotive history to have been constantly involved in racing ever since its birth. For Abarth, racing is the test-bed for technical solutions intended for its on-road products. In 2016 it took part in 64 competitions, during which its cars completed 23 thousand circuit laps and 100 thousand racing kilometres. And in 2017 the brand made its official entry into the rallying world with a private crew programme based on the new 124 Rally model.
Honouring these characteristics, the prizes awarded to the winners of the Endurance race in both Class 1C and Class 1E bore the name of the Abarth brand. They were won by Milan Politecnico and Stuttgart University respectively, and both prizes were presented by Abarth's Chief Designer, Ruben Wainberg. As well as receiving a cup and a symbolic oversized cheque, the two winning teams will be able to take part in the final stage of the Trofeo Abarth Selenia at the Mugello circuit on the weekend of 8 October. This will enable the young teams to experience a genuine race, with all the excitement of preparing the car's technical setup, assisting the teams in the technical tent, lunching with them and enjoying Abarth hospitality as the brand's guests.
The chance to put a number of Abarth models through their paces on the roads around the circuit was also very popular: during the four days at Varano, attendees undertook more than 300 test drives in the 124 Spider and Spider Scorpione, 595 Competizione and 695 Biposto.



Turin, 24 July 2016



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