Fiat Auto Argentinië als Scuderia Fiat in TC2000

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Fiat Auto Argentinië als Scuderia Fiat in TC2000

Berichtdoor Sportiva-Italia » Ma Feb 22, 2010 16:01


Fiat Auto Argentinië als Scuderia Fiat in TC2000

Fiat Auto Argentinië gaat dit jaar als fabrieksteam onder de naam 'Scuderia Fiat' meedoen in de TC2000 (Turismo Competición 2000), waar ze vorig jaar als het Fiat ProRacing Team debuteerden met de Fiat Linea.
Nu worden er vier Linea's ingezet, die onderhouden worden door hetzelfde technische team als vorig jaar.
De rijders zijn: Emiliano Spataro, Ezequiel Bosio, Emanuel Moriatis en Leandro Carducc. Vorig jaar behaalde het team een zesde plaats met 49 punten, wat een zeer goed resultaat was. Nu de auto's succesvol blijken te zijn, denkt het team dat komend seizoen, dat 21 maart van start gaat, een stuk beter uit kan pakken. De TC2000 klasse is voorbehouden aan auto's met een standaard 2 liter, non-turbo motor. Hulpjes als ABS of tractiecontrole zijn niet toegestaan. De TC2000 Linea weegt ongeveer 1080kg en heeft een vermogen van rond de 310 pk:

After making a winning return to the highly-competitive domestic TC2000 (Turismo Competición 2000) championship last year, Fiat Auto Argentina is stepping up its involvement for 2010 a big gear with the formation of Scudería Fiat to run four full factory Linea racers throughout the coming season, which kicks off on March 21. Young pilot Emiliano Spataro has been retained as one of the quartet of drivers of the team while his new team mates will be Ezequiel Bosio, Emanuel Moriatis and Leandro Carducci. The team will be managed by Edgardo Porfiri and will maintain the same technical staff and premises that were used by the team during the 2009 season, located in Villa Carlos Paz, Córdoba.
Under the Scudería Fiat banner, the Italian car maker with a long history of selling and manufacturing vehicles in Argentina, will take part in all the rounds of the 2010 TC2000 calendar: "For the Fiat ProRacing Team, 2009 was a learning year and one which very good results were obtained. When we began the season we were not expecting to finish it with one win, to also end up fighting for the Endurance Series right until the final round, and to have been leading more than one race or topping qualifying sessions. Now, in 2010, we shall be going for more, with a number of changes which surely allow us to be more competitive," said Jorge Rizzuto, the sports coordinator of Fiat Auto Argentina. "Apart from the continuity of Spataro, there will also be the incorporations of Ezequiel Bosio and Leandro Carducci, with all of whom Scudería Fiat expects to offer further successes to the make’s fans in our country."

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Edgardo Porfiri, Director General of Scudería Fiat, highlighted the importance of representing the Italian car manufacturer in TC2000 and gave details of the aims of the team for this second season. In what refers to his own responsibility within the works outfit, Porfiri said: “It’s an honour to represent a car make so important within international motor racing like Fiat is. Our job will consist in further development of the Fiat Linea, with the members of the technical centre, which is headed by [Engineer] Alejandro Venturi. They have a lot of experience in this specialty and have done a lot of development on the cars. We will manage the team so that everything works in the best possible way."
In its return to the tough touring car series in 2009 Fiat finished a very solid sixth in the TC2000's manufacturers championship final standings with 49 points amassed, and having collected an unexpected race win along the way. In fact that win came nineteen years after Fiat had last graced the winners circle of the prestigious Campeonato Argentino de TC2000, and the Turinese brand was right back there last summer after racing to a stunning victory at the Autódromo Termas de Río Hondo in the first of the season's three endurance distance rounds. It had been a long wait for the multitude of Fiat racing enthusiasts' in Argentina, and the gap between wins stretched back to 29th November 1990 when Osvaldo Cocho López raced to victory at Balcarce behind the wheel of the legendary Fiat Regata. So last year's triumph set many records straight, and came five races into the return of the Fiat brand to the top level TC2000 series, and just as the Italian brand was celebrating its 90th year in the Latin American nation. The win went to the #47 Fiat Pro Racing run Linea which was shared for the race by Omar Martínez and Mariano Altuna.

Porfiri has also outlined the aims which the team has for this forthcoming season: "We want to take Fiat right to the top in TC2000," said Porfiri. "We know it won’t be easy and that there is a long road ahead of us. But we have faith that we are going to obtain the results we are seeking. We thank the directors of Fiat for having placed their trust in us."
"Fiat has a rich history in motorsports, both globally and in Argentina, and the {Córdoba] plant going back into production, the presentation of the Linea on the Argentine market and as part of the celebration of 90 year of Fiat in the country, we thought it appropriate to return the brand to the circuits," says Cristiano Rattazzi, President of Fiat Auto Argentina. "The TC2000 option, combined with the launch of Fiat Linea Competizione single brand [championship], we felt is the best option for professionalism and technology."

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"Participation in TC2000, coupled with the success of the Fiat Linea Competizione, has given the Fiat Linea an exposure level that has contributed to positioning the product on the market," continues Rattazzi. "Moreover, with the races of the Fiat Linea Competizione involving cars identical to those on display in dealerships, except with safety features and a few changes to improve handling on the circuits, the Linea model has shown its reliability as a product. It did not break any engine throughout the year." Asked about the decision to double its line-up from two cars during Fiat's first year back in TC2000 last year to four cars for this season, Rattazzi says: "It's a way to ratify the decision to become a major player in the category. We are very pleased with what was achieved in 2009, but we believe that by strengthening the team we can expect better results. We are also expanding the number of cars that will be on the tracks with the Fiat Linea Competizione. For us it is a tremendous joy to race in TC2000 and the Fiat Linea Competizione, these are areas where the empathy between the brand and its supporters can be channeled. Hopefully, we can give joy to new fans of Fiat."

The fourth and final driver to be confirmed by Scudería Fiat for the expanded new programme is Emanuel Moriatis, the 2009 TC2000 privateer champion during what was his fifth year in the hotly-fought touring car series. "I think I had a very good performance in the 2009," says Moriatis. "I finished ninth in the championship, even mixing with the official teams and that helped a lot. He is happy that he will still get the required attention even with four cars: "A team to have four cars on the track gives a better chance to get results," reckons Moriates, who adds: "I met the Pro Racing team at the factory, I met with the engineer Alexander Venturi, I made contact with the staff behind the Linea, I was impressed with the team structure." He believes the team can fight at the front this year, saying: "We will try to win races."

Fiat and Campeonato Argentino de TC2000

The Campeonato Argentino de TC2000, which is reserved for cars with 2.0-litre normally aspirated engines and places strict limits on the technology, such as outlawing anti-lock brakes, traction control and variable valve timing, is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. The TC2000 specification Linea has approximately 310 bhp which it feeds to the wheels through a six-speed Xtrac transmission and it weighs in at 1080 kgs. Fiat has a strong history of competing in the The Campeonato Argentino de TC2000 and was represented at its inception in 1979 with the 125 Coupé. That car ran in private hands until 1981 before from 1983-85 the Fiat 128 was the brand's contender. However Fiat's greatest success in TC2000 would come when Osvaldo Antelo split with Renault and began preparing a Fiat Regatta to be raced by Cocho López. In 1989 the new car achieved excellent results and in 1990 López claimed four wins (three consecutively) and three pole positions. This awakened the interest of Fiat and for 1991 an official team was formed with Hugo Olmi piloting a second car. However the competiveness failed to match the previous year and a switch to the Tempra in 1993 didn't improve matters before an off track tragedy in 1995 helped to seal Fiat's exit from the series. The Fiat Marea was raced by private teams between 1997 and 1999 before in 2004 Fiat Auto Argentina returned officially to the TC2000 series with the Stilo. However a lack of meaningful results saw the Stilo programme (by now in private hands) wrapped up by the end of 2006.
The Fiat operation last year for the brand's heralded return to the series was run by the ProRacing Team (Pro Competiton S.A.) based in Malagüeño in the outskirts of Villa Carlos Paz, Córdoba. Pro Racing Team was a highly respected Argentinean outfit that brought with it all the ingredients for on track success: it had won the TC2000 championship in three of the previous six years [2004, 2006 and 2007] all with Chevrolet. It had also has claimed five drivers' titles [1998, 1999, 2004, 2006 and 2007] and last year two cars were run under the name of the Fiat ProRacing Team.
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