The Monte Carlo Rally will be staged from January 19 to 22 and is the first crucial chance to develop the Abarth 124 Rally in extreme conditions in the most important race on the world championship calendar
- Three test days with Abarth Racing Team engineers for three private crews that will be competing in the first round of the 2017 Rally World Championship
- Champion Francois Delecour, Italian talent Fabio Andolfi and the expert Gabriele Noberasco will be taking part
January 6th, 2017 – The racing career of the new Abarth 124 Rally kicks off with a bang in the 85th Monte Carlo Rally, the first race of the 2017 Rally World Championship to be staged from January 19 to 22.
Three private crews have picked the new Abarth 124 Rally to take on one of the most difficult yet prestigious races in the Championship, with the goal of taking the brand with the Scorpion badge and a glorious past in the speciality back to the top.
The three crews embody three different types of drivers. Frenchman Francois Delecour, with his mate Dominique Savignoni, was the official driver and 1993 World Championship runner-up. He won the international FIA R-GT Cup in 2015, the same category in which the Abarth 124 Rally is competing. Young Fabio Andolfi, with Manuel Fenoli, is seen as one of the more promising Italian drivers, being sponsored by the ACI Sport in the scope of the ACI Team Italia young driver project. Finally, Gabriele Noberasco, with Daniele Michi, has won many national competitions, having competed in the Monte Carlo Rally several times, once at the wheel of an Abarth 500 R3T.
With the support of their respective teams – the French-based Milano Racing and Bernini Rally – the three drivers have conducted several specific test sessions to prepare for the Monte Carlo race on the roads near Cuneo in Italy. Tests were undertaken together with racing and test driver Alex Fiorio, who worked on developing and tuning the car with the Abarth Racing Team.
The Abarth 124 rally breaks the mould by combining excitement and technology: rear-wheel drive guarantees the spectacle, while the very high-level performance is the result of painstaking development and as a Group R-GT model, it can compete in national and international races.
The Abarth 124 Rally Trophy will count seven rallies; six taking place on road and one taking place on dirt. Trophy contenders may also compete for the new Group R-GT Italian championship title.
The jackpot is rich with prizes for the absolute ranking, Under 23 drivers and teams. All prizes – 5000 Euro for the winner, 4000 Euro for the team and 2000 Euro for the Under 23 drivers – are cumulative. According to regulations, prizes will be given to the first three rankings in each race and final in each category. The best ranking team will win a final jackpot of 30,000 Euro. The Under 23 winner will also be given the opportunity to compete in the 2017 Monza Rally in the official Abarth 124 Rally. Other prizes include an ACI Sport Federal Super Course and a “rally master” organised directly by the Abarth Racing Team. The winner of the overall ranking will receive their own street-legal Abarth 124 spider.