British National Sprint Event, Colerne, Nr Chippenham, Wilts
Monday 29th August
This great event took place on Bank Holiday Monday in glorious sunshine with an entry of some 140 cars.
Peter Rigby entered his Abarth Osella PA2 which is run by Middle Barton Garage. On this occasion Colin Pool was the driver on the day as Peter was sunning himself in Majorca!
To those familiar with the Super Sports Championship, Colin Pool will be no stranger and in recent years has become synonymous with Abarth Osellas. He has vast experience driving PA1 and PA2 sports racing cars. "Our" PA2 ran faultlessly all day, except for a fairly serious hitch in relation to noise. Despite a new silencer we broke the 120 decibel sound barrier and were fortunate to borrow a supplementary silencer to reduce the level to around 106 decibels which allowed us to continue. The only other problem was that the PA2 was very undergeared and sitting on the rev limiter for a good 150 metrees of the main straight. The end result was a strong 2nd place behind a 2 litre Cosworth BDA engined sportscar. We will be back next year with the correct gearing and should be in a good position to win the sports racing category.
The organisers have suggested a group of Abarth cars will be most welcome next year and afforded the opportunity to exercise our cars over this challenging 1.6 mile circuit.
AutoItalia Italian Car Day Sunday 11th September
This very well supported event took place at theHeritage Motor Museum, Gaydon, Warwickshire. There was a very wide range of Italian cars on show from a singleton Fiat 500 all the way through to Ferraris and Maseratis.
The Abarth Club of Great Britain was represented by a small group of five cars - Bernard Rowe (Fiat Abarth 1000 TC Corsa), John Lloyd (Fiat Abarth 100 TC Corsa), Tony Castle-Miller (Abarth 100 TC Radiale), Tony Childe-Freeman (Simca Abarth 1300) and Graham Franklin (Fiat 131 Abarth Volumetrico).
This was the first time that the Simca Abarth had been seen in the UK, as it was recently imported from the USA and it certainly created a great deal of interest, as did the other Abarths (as usual!). It was a great shame that there was no opportuntity to demonstrate the speed and the noise of these wonderful cars.
There were some other rare cars to be seen, including an early 60s Alfa Spider with knock-on wire wheels - a really lovely car.
Well done to Phil Ward and the organisers and to Steve Berry for his support for Abarth from the podium whilst interviewing yours truly!!