Fiat has announced plans for the Team Abarth squad to return to the Bathurst 12 Hour next year after tasting a class win.
Fiat Chrysler Australia managing director Veronica Johns announced the 2015 return mission while the team celebrated Luke Youlden, Paul Gover, Mike Sinclair and Greg Hede’s win in Class F with the #96 Fiat finishing 18th outright in an attrition laden race.
The team, which was meticulously prepared by the experienced touring car and rally manager Alan Heaphy, saw its other two entries, the #95 finish 22nd while the #59 was 28th, restricted to 10 laps through a team ‘strategy’ decision.
“I can officially confirm we’ll be back to do it again next year,” Johns said.
The slowest cars in the race kept out of the way of the GT3 rocketships, prompting praise from John Bowe, part of the race-winning Maranello Motorsports Ferrari.
“Those blokes were the best ones out there. I didn’t have a single drama with them,” Bowe said.
Fiat Chrysler imported the pocket battleships, all race-ready from Italy, for the race effort and enlisted the hugely experienced Heaphy to run the campaign, which included qualifying a number of the rookie drivers for a race license.
Pro drivers Paul Stokell (#95) and Youlden were enlisted to head the driving ranks with the cars turning quick qualifying laps headed by Stokell producing a team best 2:31.4393s.