Abarth Rally Cup joins forces with ERC
The Abarth Rally Cup will run in conjunction with the FIA European Rally Championship in 2019*, bringing together the hugely exciting one-make series and the leading regional competition promoted by Eurosport Events under a long-term agreement with motorsport’s world governing body.
Contested over six rounds of the eight-event ERC, the Abarth Rally Cup is open to competitors using the lightweight, rear-wheel-drive Italian sportscars, which conform to the FIA’s R-GT category technical regulations. The Abarth 124 rally is available for €110,000, which includes the ERC registration fee.
And following the FIA World Motor Sport Council’s decision on 5 December to allow R-GT cars to take part in the revitalised ERC2 category, Abarth Rally Cup drivers will be eligible for points in the popular showroom class, while also chasing a round-by-round and end-of-season prize fund.
“We are very pleased to enter into what we hope will be a long-term and fruitful partnership with the Abarth Rally Cup organisers and we thank Abarth for placing its trust in the FIA European Rally Championship,” said Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator. “Abarth is an illustrious name synonymous with rallying and we are delighted the company is opening the latest chapter of its motorsport story in the ERC.
“During 2018 we were given the opportunity to watch Abarth 124 rally drivers competing on selected rounds of the ERC as part of the FIA RGT Cup and it was clear that there is a lot of interest, plus a strong level of drivers and teams. The Abarth 124 rally also brings another dimension to ERC events, its viewers and fans as a fast and spectacular lightweight, rear-engined sportscar, which is available at a very interesting price.”
Luca Napolitano, Head of EMEA Fiat & Abarth Brands, commented: “In just two seasons, the Abarth 124 rally has established itself as the car to beat in the R-GT class, thrilling spectators and winning on all terrains. Rallies such as the Monte Carlo and Tour de Corse brought rich rewards: in the Principality, the 124 Abarth finished amongst the World Rally Cars in the race’s toughest special stage with the fourth best time overall, while in Corsica, not only was a 124 rally victorious but the four cars in the race actually took the flag one after the other. Next year we want to improve on this year’s results, continuing to star internationally in the ERC with our Cup. At each race, we will have our own Abarth area with our hospitality, which will become the meeting place for Scorpion drivers and fans. What’s more, we will be providing teams with real-time support thanks to our in-race parts service and full cover by our technical staff.”
Napolitano continued: “Racing has always been central to Abarth’s identity and embodies its values, and competition enables us to reinforce this bond with Abarth’s history and future. What’s more, it lets us try out technical innovations and new technologies in the toughest development conditions, ready for transfer to standard production models, because we want to offer our customers products with ever-improving performance and reliability.”
As part of the agreement between Eurosport Events and the Abarth Rally Cup, a dedicated highlights video will be published at FIAERC.com and via the ERC’s social media channels on each rally. Abarth Rally Cup drivers will also be featured in the weekly ERC Newsletter and through articles published at FIAERC.com. In addition, Abarth Rally Cup drivers will be invited to take part in promotional activities on ERC rounds, such as pre-rally press conferences and selfie sessions.
Meanwhile, a dedicated Abarth Rally Cup area will be created in event service parks, while Abarth Rally Cup drivers will enjoy ERC priority status, which gives them a seeded entry and access to Free Practice and the Qualifying Stage among other operational and promotional benefits.
The 2019 Abarth Rally Cup will be contested on the following FIA ERC events*:
Round 1: Rally Islas Canarias, 2-4 May (asphalt)
Round 2: Rally Liepāja (Latvia), 24-26 May (gravel)
Round 3: Rally Poland, 28-30 June (gravel)
Round 4: Rally di Roma Capitale (Italy), 19-21 July (asphalt)
Round 5: Barum Czech Rally Zlín, 16-18 August (asphalt)
Round 6: Rally Hungary, 8-10 November (asphalt)
On each round the following prize fund will be offered:
First position: €12,000
Second position: €10,000
Third position: €8,000
Fourth position: €4,000
At the end of the season the Abarth Rally Cup winner will receive a final prize of €30,000
For more information on the Abarth Rally Cup visit: www.abarthpress.com
*Subject to FIA WMSC validation