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2009 Abarth UK Class Win Review

April 2009
Filed under: ABARTH Car News | ABARTH Headlines
After an early season shakedown at Harewood Hillclimb in Yorkshire, Abarth UK kicked off its celebrity media motorsport programme with a class win last weekend. This came courtesy of Autocars Matt Rigby, during Bognor Regis Motor Clubs well supported Sprint at Goodwood circuit near Chichester.

The teams two immaculate Abarth Grande Punto esseesse cars formed part of a 94-strong entry, and were driven to great effect by four members of Autocars editorial team, led home by Rigby who finally won the standard car class, just 0.4 seconds ahead of team mate Ollie Stallwood in second place.

Rigbys previous motorsport experience, limited solely to endurance go-karting, provided ample encouragement for his team mates, who nevertheless just failed to eclipse the young road tester, who sportingly attributed his success to the forgiving nature of the Abarth Grande Punto. œIt was a joy to drive around Goodwood circuit, and I was able to improve my time by over three seconds on the final run " just enough to stay ahead of Ollie!

A series of hillclimb events now await the team as it prepares for Doune, near Stirling, in Scotland on 20/21 June; Shelsley Walsh (Worcester) 4 July; Gurston Down (Somerset) 19 July, and Harewood (Yorkshire) 2 August. Abarth UKs motorsport season closes with another Sprint at Thoresby Park, Nottingham, on 12 September.

Ivan Gibson, head of the Abarth brand in the UK, says: œThis programme was devised with the basic idea in mind that an enthusiast can enjoy competitive club motorsport with an Abarth road car at the weekends, while using it normally for all domestic duties during the week. Were delighted that Autocar was able to provide our first team this season, and congratulate Matt Rigby on a great drive.The Abarth Grande Punto esseesse, which is available through Abarths 16-strong UK dealer network, is powered by a 180bhp 1.4-litre turbocharged T-Jet engine which delivers 272Nm of torque at 2750rpm through a six speed gearbox. Top speed is 133mph, with 0-62mph acceleration in 7.5 seconds.

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