Enhanced Abarth 124 rally set for ERC action
Abarth will unleash an updated version of its 124 rally in the FIA European Rally Championship in 2019 as the inaugural ERC-based Abarth Rally Cup gathers momentum.
More than 5000 kilometres of testing have been covered with the aim of improving the car’s performance and handling, while the introduction of a gravel kit will help drivers to optimise car set-up.
Utilising data accumulated from two seasons of rallying, ongoing development work, plus the considerable input of test driver and seven-time ERC event winner Alex Fiorio, Abarth engineers have implemented a number of changes to the 124 rally to suit professional and gentlemen drivers alike.
Jean-Baptiste Ley, the ERC Co-ordinator, said: “We are very excited to welcome the Abarth Rally Cup to the FIA European Rally Championship and, of course watching this spectacular, lightweight, rear-engined sportscar in action. With the Abarth 124 rally eligible for ERC2 points from 2019, the changes that have been made to the car will only increase its competitiveness against its rivals, while also raising the spectacle of what promises to be an entertaining category, which carries a very attractive prize package.”
The main changes are summarised below:
Engine: Power delivery is improved with better throttle response, particularly in low-speed sections, such as hairpin exists.
Transmission: Four differential maps (high, medium, low grip, wet) are now available and can be selected by the driver on the steering wheel. They will adjust the engine torque delivery according to surface grip to achieve a better response.
Gearbox: The pneumatic actuator has been adjusted to allow faster gear engagement on acceleration and more calibrated, smoother downshifting to prevent the rear axle locking. Nevertheless, rear-wheel locking is possible by using the newly-optimised handbrake.
Set-up: Abarth engineers have worked on all components to improve grip levels on Tarmac, while providing a kit for use on gravel. Set-up changes have resulted in a positive pitching effect and braking is now more progressive.
Gravel kit caters for loose-surface rounds
With two of the six Abarth Rally Cup events taking place on loose surfaces (Rally Liepāja and Rally Poland), a special gravel kit is now available. The kit enables the ride height to be increased by 40 millimetres but without compromising suspension performance. It also comes with brake discs compatible with the 15-inch alloy wheels used on gravel instead of the asphalt-specification 18-inch wheels.
The Abarth 124 rally is available for €110,000, which includes the ERC registration fee.
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)
Attractive prize package on offer
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.
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