Author Topic: The giro d'Italia 1978: Where it all started  (Read 3814 times)

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Offline vlasi

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The giro d'Italia 1978: Where it all started
« on: April 06, 2006, 12:18:08 PM »
The succes of the Ritmo 75 gr.2 and the TC's afterwards all where part of a well defined strategy of Fiat. The start of this succes was in the Giro d'Italia where Ricardo Patrese, the famous F1-driver, was driving in a Ritmo and won his class.

I want to share with you a pressrelease from 1978 about Fiat's entry in the Giro d'Italia.

"A Ritmo with full racing gear has been prepared for competing in the automobile Tour of Italy (to be run from october 14-17); Devoloped in record time, this prototype has proved competitive right from the start. The two Ritmos enrolled will represent the major challengers in the tour, in addition to being a centre of attraction for the sporting public because of the skills and experience of the outstanding crews to which they have been entrusted: Patrese-Pozzetto-Sodano and Scheckter-Mannucci-Verini from whom one is entitled to expect the most striking results. One should not be altogether confident when dealing with a brand new model such as the Ritmo, if it where not for the fact that the performance of the two cars enrolled in the tour has been truly outstanding, which augurs well for their behaviour. The participation of Fiat in this event is not confined to these two Ritmos but also includesthe established Lancia Stratos Pirelli (which will be driven by such veterans as Alan, Munari and Kivimaki) and a Fiat Abarth 131 for Mouton and Concini.

A 1.5 litre Ritmo entered by the "Four-Block" Fiat dealer racing team will join the Fiat official cars. This is part of the program started in the recent past with the 131, to enhance the succesfull participation in racing of owner-drivers. This tird Ritmo to be running the our will be slightly diffrend. It will be powered by a wet sump 1.5 litre carburettor engine (developing 140 bhp) and will be driven by Ceccato and Pasetti by a new racing team set up by a number of Fiat dealers with the "Four-Block" Fiat corporate trade mark as emblem. This particular entry is also charcterised by a Abarth modified suspension ("Unibal" components in place of rubber bushings) as well as by a more powerfull braking system. This "Four-Block" Ritmo has wider front spoiler and wheel arches which makes it simular in appearence to the Abarth Ritmo.

Only a few months after its official introduction the Ritmo is already fully set on a promessing racing career. The further experience to be gained in the tour may well provide usefull suggestions in the way of the new role likely to be played by this car in the future.

Let us have a closer look to the official cars:

The engine's output is of the order of 150 bhp at 8500 rpm. Fuel feed is of the indirect injection type while the lubrification is via a dry sump and oiltank located in the engine compartement. The electronically operating ignition system is by Magneti Marelli.

The gearbox is a manually-operated five-speed unit. Selflocking (25%) diferential and Abarth produced axle shafts. Wheel hub cups have been redesigned to make the location of wider bearings possible.
The rear suspension has been entirely redesigned. The transverse springs consists of one single leaf acting as the driving unit when the wheels rebound. The flexible element now consists of a coil spring shock absorber group. The length of the shock absorbers has been increased to permit a full bump position (in the order of 200 mm). This solution prevents loss of rear wheel adherence in bends, which is often the case with front drive arrangements.
The Ritmo body has fully stood up to the stresses which it has been submitted. Its structural ridgidity has proved superior to that of the 131 in spite of its more extended glazing and wider rear hatch. Provision has been made (in addition of the usual protection cage) for supporting elements in the engine compartement. A stiff bar links the two front suspension mountings.
The braking system consists of two ventilated discs at the front and discs on the rear axle."

Note: The first two photos show the first road tests of the prototype driven by Fiats testdriver Giorgio Pianta. So in that time 3 identical Ritmo's where build. Together with The Ritmo of "Four-Block" makes the total of 4. Only about 20 of these prepared Ritmo 75 gr.2 have been build.

« Last Edit: April 06, 2006, 12:20:50 PM by vlasi »

Offline guy moerenhout

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Re: The giro d'Italia 1978: Where it all started
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2006, 01:31:27 PM »
this wingextention kit gr  2 will be remade in some days and will cost 300 euro ex vat .It will by the one from the belguim gr 2 car.
« Last Edit: April 06, 2006, 01:56:17 PM by vlasi »
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