BRC

Fiat Stilo Rally Cup season shakedown notes

Successful Debut For Rally Stilos BRC Live 21 March 2004 The Fiat Stilo Rally Cup kicked off to a flying, if windy, start at last weekend's BRC Live at Nuneaton in Warwickshire. Five of the striking Broom Yellow one-make series cars attended...

Successful Debut For Rally Stilos
BRC Live 21 March 2004

The Fiat Stilo Rally Cup kicked off to a flying, if windy, start at last weekend's BRC Live at Nuneaton in Warwickshire. Five of the striking Broom Yellow one-make series cars attended the pre-British Rally Championship shakedown and PR day.

The event, held at Bramcote Barracks near Nuneaton in Warwickshire, was subjected to gale force winds that swept across the former RAF base. This did not dampen the enthusiasm of the Stilo crews, most of whom had only driven a few miles in their brand new 187bhp machines.

Young Scot, Tom Metcalfe, had arrived straight from an event north of the border, showing his commitment to the sport. His team was not alone in showing a professional approach to the event, bringing sponsors to experience passenger rides in the agile left hand drive cars.

Shaun Woffinden pronounced himself happy with the car although the short stage did not favour his preferred left foot braking technique, commenting, "The 0.9 mile stage means we can't get any heat into the brakes or tyres, but once we get onto the gravel, it will be much more predictable."

Former BRC and WRC driver Justin Dale drove the convalescing Paul Alexander's car and reported its balance to be perfect. Alexander was delighted to have feedback from Dale who is hugely experienced in both front and four wheel drive machinery.

Paul Tod was another with no problems to report, except a lack of turn-in on gravel tyres. "The whole event is asphalt," said the Welshman, "but the organisers asked everyone to use gravel tyres to make more of a spectacle for the assembled public and media. It makes for good viewing but it's a good job the stage is not timed."

Fellow Welshman Chris Davies, however, was sidelined when the car developed an oil leak as he took it off the trailer. Fiat Stilo Rally Cup Manager Gary Pesticcio commented, "Chris wisely decided not to run and we will obviously find and remedy the fault. This reinforces the importance of shakedown days to iron out any teething troubles with a new car."

Pesticcio continued by expressing his admiration for both crews and organisers, saying "This kind of event is invaluable for teams and sponsors to showcase their cars and as an opportunity to test their cars and blow away any close season cobwebs. The weather certainly helped blow away the cobwebs and the organisers did a great job to contend with and overcome the conditions."

Fiat Auto UK's Regional Director Mark Webster experienced a passenger ride in the Fiat Punto Super 1600 car that the winner of the UK's inaugural Fiat Stilo Rally Cup will drive in 2005. "It's a fantastic opportunity for drivers to pit their skills against each other in equal machinery," he said, adding: "Fiat Auto UK wholeheartedly supports this championship, particularly with such a high profile and great prize."

The first event for the Fiat Stilo Rally Cup is the Pirelli International Rally which starts in Gateshead on 23 April.

The Fiat Stilo Rally Cup acknowledges support from Fiat Auto UK, Hi-Tec, Toora Competizione, PIAA, Bardahl, Pirelli and media partner, Motorsport News.

-fsrc-

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About this article
Series BRC
Drivers Justin Dale , Paul Tod , Shaun Woffinden , Tom Metcalfe