ERC’s Nucita goes up against fellow Abarth-powered driver Hauger in champions’ challenge
Andrea Nucita, the winner of the 2019 FIA European Rally Championship-based Abarth Rally Cup, and Dennis Hauger, who took last year’s Italian F4 Championship powered by Abarth title, went up against each other in a unique challenge – and drew.
They were both crowned Champion of Champions following a contest in Abarth’s new 695 70° Anniversario at the Misano circuit in Italy, as Abarth also announced its competition plans for 2020.
Sicilian Nucita and Norwegian Hauger were given the opportunity to showcase their skills on their preferred surface of gravel and asphalt respectively, as well as trying out the surface of choice of their opponent.
An Abarth communication read: “The challenge was evenly matched, with the two specialists driving simultaneously on the racetrack and on a dirt track, each with an advantage by driving on their own terrain.
“Their two driving styles were in clear contrast. A racetrack requires precision, continuity and the ability to harness the engine’s full power, along a precise trajectory. A dirt track requires an ability to improvise, to control any skidding and, despite the difficult road surface, to be more efficient in search of performance while taking advantage of skills in stability and traction. Even so, there was only one objective: to be the faster of the two.”
Luca Napolitano, Head of EMEA Fiat and Abarth Brands, commented: “We wanted to end the 2019 season and begin 2020 with an unusual challenge. Andrea and Dennis are two different drivers in terms of the driving features, style, experience. They clearly come from two divergent car categories, but with a lowest common denominator: Abarth at their heart. We put them in the driving seat of the new 695 70° Anniversario and the result was fantastic.
“All Abarth drivers and teams, both on the circuits and in rallies, are fundamental to our research and development work. In fact, for us, racing represents a stringent battery of tests for technological solutions, which we then sometimes use in series production.
“In 2020, our commitment to racing will continue both on the track with Formula 4 in Italy and Germany, and in rallies, at the European Rally Championship and the Abarth Rally Cup. We love to test ourselves and improve on a daily basis, just as Carlo Abarth taught.”
The fun, high-performance Abarth 695 70° Anniversario proved itself able to adapt to both Nucita’s more acrobatic driving and to Hauger’s more precise run. The result was a draw. At the end of the day, both drivers were crowned Champion of Champions.