Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 

Will Fiat Take a Punto on the Race Track?

Will Fiat Take a Punto on the Race Track?

Fiat has been spied testing a Fiat Punto Sport at Sydney’s Eastern Creek raceway leading to speculation that the newly launched diesel hot hatch is about to make its motorsport debut in Australia or New Zealand.

“Yes, our Australian colleagues have been testing the Punto with a view to participation in Motorsport in Australia and New Zealand,” confirms Lawrie Malatios, General Manager for Fiat Cars in New Zealand. “But it is very much in the early stages and we have not firmed up exactly in which motor sport arena we will compete.”

The Fiat Punto, which arrived in New Zealand earlier this year before it heralded the return to Australia of the Fiat brand, has got its motorsport career off to a stunning start in Europe with the Fiat Punto S2000 rally car taking both the European and Italian Rally Championship titles.

“The Fiat Punto S2000 rally car is an outstanding car, but it has little in it that could be used in a Punto on a New Zealand or Australian racetrack,” explains Mr Malatios. “It has been built around the new Super 2000 rally rules, so it is a turbo 2.0 litre with four wheel drive. Not exactly what we sell in New Zealand! We would like to promote the performance offered by our diesel range so we are looking at a showroom category in which the Punto Sport, with its 1.9 turbo diesel engine, can compete. Initial testing has shown that it has the performance and the chassis to mount a strong campaign and we have started talking to teams who are interested in running the Punto in 2007.”

Fiat cannot confirm which teams to whom it is talking, but the company is confident that in 2007 it will be back on New Zealand or Australian race tracks.

Fiats were a regular sight on New Zealand and Australian racetracks in the 1960s, 70s and 80s with cars ranging from the diminutive Fiat 500 challenging the Mini, through to larger Fiats such as the Fiat 124, 128 and 128 Coupé in a wide range of events, including Bathurst, and at most race tracks across Australia and New Zealand.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 


Howard Davis: Joel Coen's Monochromatic Macbeth

The Bard of Avon may well be smirking up the sleeves of his lace doublet at the irony of Will Smith's Oscar debacle, but now that the initial furore has dissipated, it's worth revisiting the movie for which Denzel Washington was also nominated. More>>

Howard Davis: Kenneth Branagh’s Black & White Belfast

Branagh has assembled a wonderful cast, including Ciarán Hinds, a gently formidable actor who well deserves his Oscar nomination, and Judi Dench, who steals every scene she’s in. More>>


Howard Davis: Dennis Villeneuve’s Dune - A Brief History

So many elements of Herbert’s novel have since become tropes of popular SciFi that Villeneuve’s film sometimes seems deceptively derivative. What makes all this nonsense essential viewing is his astonishing visual sensibility. More>>


Howard Davis: Jill Trevelyan's Rita Angus

Although Angus has become one of Aotearoa’s best-loved painters, the story of her life remained little known and poorly understood before Jill Trevelyan's acclaimed and revelatory biography, which has been republished by Te Papa press. More>>

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • CULTURE
  • HEALTH
  • EDUCATION
 
 
  • Wellington
  • Christchurch
  • Auckland