In preparation for its inaugural motorsport debut in the Celebrity Challenge at this years Australian Formula One GP, the new Fiat 500 has taken to our most famous of racetracks - Bathurst. Spiritual home of Australian motorsport, Bathurst is a daunting track for a supercar V8 which makes it a great place to give the little 500 a good shake-down.
â€œThe cars for the Celebrity Challenge are the very first racing cars to be built from the new Fiat 500 and our first car arrived here fresh out of the box, so we wanted to see how it performed and how it we could tweak it to make it even more exciting for Melbourne. With the Fiat Car Club holding their annual hill climb event at Bathurst, there could be no better place to see how the Fiat 500 performed!â€ ,said David Stone, General Manager for Fiat Cars in Australia.
Now, some of you may be thinking that the diminutive Fiat has no place on our sacred mountain but history tells a different story. A Fiat 600, (at the time the big brother to the original 500) represented the Italian manufacturer at the inaugural 1960 race along with a host of other Fiat models over the ensuing years. The last Fiat to enter the great race, was a Fiat Uno in 1986.
According to David Stone, the little 500 tackled Mount Panorama with aplomb.
â€œThe steering was sharp and responsive, there was plenty of grip and the handling enables the driver to get plenty of speed in the corners, but safely in the knowledge that if he does go too fast, the 500 will help him get out of danger,â€ said David Stone
Unable to compete in the current Supercar V8 championship, for obvious reasons, the Fiat 500 is able to compete in the production car Bathurst 12 hour endurance race...and there is every chance that it will.