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Fiat Grande Punto Makes Its Debut in the World Rally Championship, Competing in the Turkish Rally

October 2006
 Filed under: FIAT Car News | FIAT Headlines
Turin, October 12, 2006 -- Two Fiat Grande Puntos are competing in the Turkish Rally, the 13th event in the 2006 World Rally Championship, which sets off at 7.45 this evening – Thursday October 12 – from the city of Antalya, and will end at 1.06 pm on Sunday October 15.
After winning the International Rally Challenge and the European Championship with Giandomenico Basso and Mitia Dotta, and laying a serious claim to the Italian title with Paolo Andreucci and Anna Andreussi, the Grande Punto now debuts in one of the most difficult and demanding events in the world championship, on the rocky dirt roads of Turkey.

The honour of driving the Fiat Grande Punto on its World championship debut has gone to Basso and his co-driver Mitia Dotta. The Italian team is backed up by a team from Fiat Turkey made up of Volkan Isik and Guray Karacar, who won the Super Production category (overall fourth in spite of a puncture) at the Bursa Rally for the national championship, where the Turkish Grande Punto made its debut.

Competing at the Turkish Rally for the World Championship will be a difficult, selective test for the Grande Punto, on some of the worst dirt roads in the international rally scene. It will provide Fiat technicians with precious information to enhance the Grande Punto’s already excellent reliability in preparation for its future commitments.

For the time being, this is merely the start of the career of this car which, in only a few months since its first race (the Ciocco Rally on March 19, 2006, which it won), has succeeded in winning five Italian Championship races, five European Championship races and three of the four that made up the first International Rally Challenge.

After the starting ceremony today, the Turkish Rally will include three legs and 19 special speed trials, for a total of 1,201 km on the difficult dirt roads of Turkey. The first leg will start at 7 tomorrow morning, arriving at 0.30 am after 9 speed trials (152 km timed). The second leg will be run on Saturday October 14, from 8 am to 0.30 am, with 7 speed trials (147 km), and the final leg on Sunday 15, from 9.15 am to 1.06 pm, with the remaining 3 special speed trials (50 km at high speed).


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