The Fiat 500 Abarth Head-to-Head Challenge was a fun and unique course layout. Unlike the other challenges, for the Head-to-Head Challenge the media tent was situated in the interior of the race track. Two Fiat 500 Abarth sports cars were positioned on either side of the tent and started the race at the same time with a red light signal. Drivers blazed through the course in opposite directions, and as with the Autocross Challenge, they were penalized for hitting cones or stopping outside of the parking box (the start and end point of the race). Points were awarded based on whether they win or lose in that round. At the end of the competition, total points for the event were awarded based on the participant’s final ranking. The circle elements of the race track demonstrated the sharp steering and handling ability of the 500 Abarth, while the start and stop boxes boasted its acceleration and braking abilities respectively.
The Fiat 500 Abarth Performance Drive Challenge was the final challenge of the day in which drivers were expected to take what they have learned throughout the day and apply it on the large, high-speed road track. Going into the challenge, my Team Velocity and Team Bad Boys were neck-and-neck at the number one and two positions, although Fiat staff would not divulge who was leading. Despite my team showing drastic improvement in racing the Fiat 500 Abarth, we ultimately fell short to taking first place. Nevertheless, the Fiat 500 Abarth Driving Experience at the Las Vegas Speedway was one of the most incredible automotive experiences of my life. Amazing people (Fiat staff and participants), super fun compact sports coupe to play with, friendly competition on race tracks and good food…not to mention some neat Fiat 500 Abarth “swag” to take home. Hats off to Fiat USA for organizing an amazing event to illustrate the impressive abilities of its new small sports coupe. Too bad Fiat dealers don’t have race tracks on their premises to show prospective 500 Abarth customers what it can really do.