The Abarth Rally Cup 2020 will be starting on Friday 24 July from Castel Sant'Angelo for the Rally di Roma Capitale, the first race of the FIA 2020 European Rally Championship.
The Abarth Rally Cup 2020 – the one-make championship reserved for the teams competing in an Abarth 124 rally – counts three crews on the starting line this year. The Polish team formed by Dariusz Poloński and Łukasz Sitek (Team Rallytechnology) that took part in the 2019 edition will be joined by the Italians Roberto Gobbin and Alessandro Cervi of the Winners Rally Team and the young driver Andrea Mabellini in tandem with Nicola Arena of the Napoca Rally Team.
For the second year running, the Abarth Rally Cup will be held as part of the prestigious European ERC Championship, with a considerable prize fund, including race prizes, with a total value of €30,000 for each of the five races and a grand prize of the same amount for the winner of the championship. The final standings for the Abarth Rally Cup will be drawn up based on the top four results. The rules are available here.
Dariusz Poloński (Driver) –Łukasz Sitek (Co-driver) -–Team Rallytechnology
The Polish driver is in his second season at the wheel of the Rallytechnology team's Abarth 124 rally. Last year he competed with the Italian Andrea Nucita for the Abarth Rally Cup until the bitter end, winning the Rally di Roma Capitale and earning a position in the ERC2 ranking.
"My first season in the spider with the Scorpion badge helped me learn how to make the most of the great power and handling of this car. This year I am feeling more confident, also because I ran four out of the five races last year and memorized the trickiest spots".
Roberto Gobbin (Driver) – Alessandro Cervi (Co-driver) – Winner Rally Team
Roberto Gobbin is a loyal Abarth devotee, having made his debut in 1980 at the wheel of an Autobianchi A112 Abarth 70Hp. He then went on to compete in several races in the Fiat Panda Rally and, just before setting off to Rome for the race, he met up with Luciano Trombotto, the Fiat 124 Spider champion of the '60s and '70s and fellow citizen (they are both from Pinerolo near Turin) who autographed the mudguard of his race car.
Gobbin is a Fiat and Abarth dealer by day and is very proud to represent the brand in this passion of his and to compete in such a prestigious championship in the Abarth 124 rally.
The crew is supported by the Winner Rally Team that won the FIA R-GT Cup last year with Enrico Brazzoli (ITA).
"It's my first time in such an important and tough championship and I'll try my hardest because as an Italian, racing in an Italian car at an international level is a dream come true after so many years".
Andrea Mabellini (Driver) – Nicola Arena (Co-driver) – Napoca Rally Team
Aged 20, Andrea Mabellini is the youngest Abarth Rally Cup driver.
Mabellini has experience both on the track and in rallies. In 2017 he made his track debut in the Abarth Trofeo at the wheel of the Abarth 695 Assetto Corse and, in 2018, he immediately came second overall behind the more expert Cosimo Barberini.
His rally experience began in 2017 at the wheel of an Abarth 124 rally, earning a prestigious second place in the R-GT ranking in the Monza Rally. In the next two seasons, he competed in a dozen or so races behind the wheel of R5-class cars.
"This is an important season for me and my objective is to grow and improve. With the Abarth 124 rally, I had a great time in the Monza Rally, and now that the tracks are definitely more difficult, I want all my talent to shine out".
The Abarth Rally Cup
In each race, a prize of €12,000 goes to the winner, €10,000 to the runner-up and € 8,000 to the driver placed third. The championship winner at the end of the season receives €30,000. Four results will be considered valid for the final ranking of the championship.
Abarth will be supporting the participants of the Abarth Rally Cup with a spare parts service, on-site technical consultancy and a hospitality area.
Five challenging, prestigious races
Rally di Roma Capitale
After the long break for lockdown, the races are back, and the Rally di Roma Capitale will be kicking off the season. The qualifying stage is scheduled for Friday, July 24 at 9.30 am in Fumone and the most awesome starting ceremony of the championship will take place in the unique setting of Castel Sant'Angelo, where the drivers will be on the starting line from 7.00 pm. A parade through the ancient center of Rome will follow.
On Saturday 25 and Sunday 26, the contestants will tackle the 813-kilometer course all on tarmac, 200 km of which will be time trials, spread over 15 special stages. The first stage will start on Saturday from Fiuggi at 7.40 a.m. and finish at 8.11 p.m. The second stage on Sunday will start at 7.20 a.m. and finish in Fiuggi at 6.00 p.m.
Rally Liepāja (August 14-16)
The second round of the Abarth Rally Cup will be held in Latvia, in the city of Liepaja on the Baltic. There are no shortage of pitfalls for this race on very fast, bumpy dirt tracks that make the course particularly challenging and generally favor Nordic drivers, who are more accustomed to this type of roads. The average speed is over 110 km/h.
The Italian Andrea Nucita with co-driver Alina Pop (RU) finished ahead of Dariusz Poloński and Łukasz Sitek in the 2019 edition.
The racing course is 607 kilometers long, of which 180 km are time trials, spread over 10 special stages.
Azores Rallye (September 17-19)
The Portuguese archipelago is the setting for the third round of the Abarth Rally Cup season. This is a time-honored race (now in its 55th edition) and is most likely the most spectacular of the entire championship. The gravel track winds its way through the hills of São Miguel Island, with unique views and an exciting special stage that winds around a deep volcanic lake. This race did not form part of the one-make Abarth Rally Cup Championship in 2019.
The 652-kilometer course, of which 215 km are time trials, is spread over 14 special stages.
Rally Hungary (November 6-8).
The last race of the 2019 championship, it was decisive for the awarding of the title to the Italian Andrea Nucita. The tarmac route is very technical as it is extremely fast and treacherous, with alternating sections with different grip. It is fast on the flats and steep through the woods. Another element for drivers to look out for is the weather, which can be very variable and create additional difficulties. The race is held near Nyíregyháza.
The route has not been plotted in detail for the moment.
Rally Islas Canarias (November 26-28)
The Abarth Rally Cup ends in Spain on La Palma, one of the Canary Islands. Breathtaking views and meandering special stages on tarmac are the main features of this race, which engages the drivers in long descents on sometimes very narrow roads. It was the ideal terrain for the Abarth 124 rally in 2019, which saw the car asserting itself in the ERC 2 ranking with the Spanish Alberto Monarri and Alberto Chamorro, who would go on to win the Iberian 2-Wheel Drive Championship. The race was held in March.
The course is 585 kilometers long with 17 special stages with a total of 202 kilometers of time trials.
The Abarth 124 rally
The car made its debut in 2017 and became the leader of the R-GTs, having won around 100 races in its first three seasons, asserting its standing in the FIA R-GT Cup (basically the Grand Touring World Cup) in 2018 with the Frenchman Raphael Astier and in 2019 with the Italian Enrico Brazzoli.
The powerful engine, balance and traction qualities of the Abarth 124 rally allow the drivers to express themselves in difficult tarmac conditions with poor grip.
Body: High-alloy steel cage roll-bar, Aci Sport-approved; length 4054 mm; width 1740 mm; height 1230 mm (tarmac trim); minimum weight 1050 kg; wheelbase 2310 mm – carbon-Kevlar composite hard-top – aluminum sheet doors and lids – low cockpit and seat fasteners – trunk with housing for two spare wheels.
Engine: Longitudinal front turbocharged straight-four, 1750 cc; peak power 308 HP at 6500 rpm; peak torque 500 Nm at 3000 rpm; timing: double overhead camshaft with variable timing, 16 valves; fuel feed: direct injection; four driver-selected boost levels, with engageable Anti Lag System.
Weight-to-power ratio: >3.4 kg/HP
Forced wet sump lubrication
Oil sump with integrated engine mounts; lightweight monolithic flywheel; specific "Racing" engine wiring with mil-spec connections, oversized fuel injectors.
FIA air restrictor: Ø35.8 mm
Transmission: Rear-wheel drive, self-locking differential, Sadev sequential gearbox (6 speed + R), two alternative ratios, with shift paddles on the steering wheel operated by pneumatic actuators, Ø186 mm cerametallic clutch disc.
Traction Control System: electronic with four driver-selected calibrations (High/Medium/Low Grip, Wet) and with engine torque adjustment.
Steering: electronic assisted.
Suspension: Double wishbone front; multilink rear suspension, hydraulic dampers with four damping adjustments (compression/extension and high/low speed) and adjustable hydraulic bump-stop, height-adjustable coaxial coil springs.
Brakes: 355 mm self-ventilated floating front discs and 320 mm floating rear discs with Brembo aluminum radial-mounted four-master cylinder radial-mounted caliper; braking circuit with handbrake and hydraulic transmission disconnection.
Wheels: 8x18’ (tarmac) with Pirelli tires – 7"x15" tires (gravel) with Pirelli tires
Fuel tank: FIA Ft3-99 rubberized canvas safety tank – capacity 68 liters
The Abarth one-make championships, a tradition since 1977
The first A112 Abarth Autobianchi Championship was launched in 1977. It served as an opportunity for many young drivers to compete in rallies at a low cost and, for several of them, to go professional. In 1985 the Autobianchi A112 Abarth was replaced by the Fiat Uno 70S with Abarth kit and in 1987 the Fiat Uno Turbo was added.
The Fiat Cinquecento Trophy started in 1993 and expanded into the European Championship with the Sporting version from 1996 to 1998. The Trofeo Fiat Seicento was held for two years, followed by the Trofeo Fiat Punto in 2000, which lasted until 2006. In the meantime, the Fiat Panda Kit Trophy was joined by the Fiat Grande Punto JTd championship.
The Abarth 500 R3T was the star of an international one-make championship from 2010 to 2013, while the Abarth 500 Assetto Corse and the Abarth 695 Assetto Corse animated the track trophies in Italy and Europe from 2009 to 2018.
The Abarth 124 rally started in 2017 with the Abarth 124 rally Trophy in Italy. In 2018 the championship went international and it has formed part of the European ERC Championship since 2019.