The Magnificent Six – Abarth’s '60s World Championships

Within the FIA’s World Sportscar Championship, Abarth reigned supreme for six consecutive seasons in the early '60s.  During the period, categories and classes were subject to several revisions.  For example, in 1962, Abarth’s campaign was for the WSC’s subsidiary competition, ‘The International Championship for GT Manufacturers,’ and the marque’s winning points total was accrued within the GT 1000 cc class.  The following year, Abarth’s effort was concentrated on the 1300 cc GT class.  In 1966 the title, ‘International Sports Car Championship’ was introduced.  Under this, Abarth ran primarily in the ‘Sports’ category, and, within this, Division I (1300 cc).  In response to this evolving competition framework, Abarth varied its track models focus, from the Fiat Abarth 1000 Bialbero GT, through the Abarth Simca 1300 GT, to the Abarth 1300 OT.  Throughout the period, several other related Abarth models competed in the WSC events, including 700 cc and Monomille versions of the Fiat-engine coupes, 1300 S, 1600 OT, Abarth Simca 2000 GT, 1000 and 2000 SP, 1000 Berlinetta and 1000 OTS.
 
Abarth frequently featured its championship achievements in its in-period advertising/promotional material, (see examples, illustrated below), and they are referenced by the marque to this day – no wonder, it was quite a feat!


Listed below are details of the (class) winning car/driver for the championship events for seasons 1962 – 1967, together with notes on lesser placings and relevant photographs.

1962 
International Championship for GT Manufacturers; GT 1.0 class victories:

Sebring (3 hours)
Bruce McLaren     Fiat Abarth 1000 Bialbero GT  #8


Circuit del Garda
Ludovico Scarfiotti     Fiat Abarth 1000 Bialbero GT  #56

This event was dominated by Fiat Abarth cars, with Gianni Lado 1st in the GT700 class.

Avus 
Robert Jenny     Fiat Abarth 1000 Bialbero GT  #40

Another event at which Abarth was a major presence, main opposition coming from the BMW 700 in the lower capacity class, which was nonetheless won by Teodoro Zeccoli in the 700 version of the Abarth GT.

Nurburgring 1000
This event was not significantly contested by Abarth (though Porsche Abarth GTLs were 1st/2nd in the GT1.6 class).  Claude Bobrowski/Claude Dubois Jean (entered by Jean Amic), Fiat Abarth 1000S, finished 3rd in the S1.0 class.

Pergusa (Coppa Citta di Enna)
Marsilio Pasotti/Giancarlo Scotti     Fiat Abarth 1000 Bialbero GT  #58 

Abarth cars were placed 1st to 6th, with Giovanni Pessina 5th and the GT700 class victor. 

Nurburgring 500
Eberhard Mahle     Fiat Abarth 1000 Bialbero GT  #86

Also taking class wins for Abarth at this event: Tommy Spychiger, GT700. and Marsilio Pasotti, (850 TC) Touring850. 

Bridgehampton 400
Bob Grossman     Fiat Abarth 1000 Bialbero GT  #9
 
Overall victory at this race went to a Porsche Abarth GTL driven by Bob Holbert.
 
1000 km. of Paris  
Though the best-placed 1000 Bialbero GT finished down in 14th, (Claude Bobrowski/Frank Ruata), this race was significant in that the GT1.3 class was won by Hans Herrmann/Mauro Bianchi in the new Abarth Simca 1300, #33. 

Championship points table:


1963
International Championship for GT Manufacturers; GT 1.3 class victories, (and significant other Series/Sub-Division results): 

Sebring (3 Hours)
Hans Herrmann, (Abarth Corse)     Fiat Abarth 1000 Bialbero GT  #18 

Mauro Bianchi (#19) was placed second in a similar car. 

Circuit del Garda
Marsilio Pasotti/Benedetto Guarini     Fiat Abarth 1000 Bialbero GT  #9 

Nurburgring (1000 kms) 
A rare lack-lustre event for Abarth, all three works Abarth Simca 1300 Bialbero GTs, including the pole sitter of Bianchi/Mahle, failing to finish.


Consuma (Hill Climb)
Mauro Bianchi     Abarth Simca 1300 Bialbero GT  #102 

Whilst Bianchi was 2nd overall and first in GT1.3, Tommy Spychiger was first in the 1.0 class in a 1000 Bialbero, (#22).


Monza (3 Hours)
Romano Perdomi (‘Tiger’)     Fiat Abarth 1000 Bialbero GT  #14

Wiesbasen (Rallye)
Peter Ettmuller/Xavier Perrot     Fiat Abarth 1000 Bialbero GT  #43
 
Schauinsland (Freiburg) (Hill Climb)
Giampiero Biscaldi     Abarth Simca 1300 Bialbero GT  #9 

Biscaldi took the GT 1.3 class, and there were also Abarth class victories for Tommy Spychiger (S/P1.0) and Vittorio Venturi (GT1.0).


Pergusa (Coppa Citta di Enna)
Romano Perdomi (‘Tiger’)     Fiat Abarth 1000 Bialbero GT  #52
 
The GT700 class was won by Gian Battista Mainetti for Abarth. 

Ollon-Villars (Hill Climb)
Giampiero Biscaldi     Abarth Simca 1300 Bialbero GT  #74
 
Nurburgring (500 kms)
Anzio Zucchi     Fiat Abarth 1000 Bialbero GT  #104


Monza (Coppa Inter-Europa)
Tommy Spychiger     Abarth Simca 1300 Bialbero GT  #16
 
Tour de France
Not a good race for Abarth – highest finisher, 8th in class, was an 850.


Bridgehampton 500
Tom Fleming/Otto Linton/Ray Heppenstall     Abarth Simca 1300 Bialbero GT  #3 

The Championship points tables were finalised: 



1964
International Championship for GT Manufacturers; Division I (1300 cc) victories: 

Sebring (12 hours)
Tom Fleming/Otto Linton/Jimmy Diaz     Abarth Simca 1300 Bialbero  #62


Monza (GT Grand Prix)
Franco Patria     Abarth-Simca 1300 Bialbero GT  #19      

This was a 1-2-3 for Abarth in the 1.3 GT class.  The 1.0 class was won by Anzio Zucchi, (Fiat-Abarth 1000). 

Consuma (Hill Climb)
Secondo Ridolfi     Abarth Simca 1300 Bialbero GT  #304

Abarth-Simca 1300 Bialbero GTs filled 1st to 9th place in class. 

Nurburgring (1000 kms)
Hans Herrmann/Fritz Jüttner     Abarth Simca 1300 Bialbero GT  #8


Schauinsland (Freiburg) (Hill Climb)
Hans-Dieter Dechent     Abarth Simca 1300 Bialbero GT  #12 

The winning Abarth Simca was entered by Scuderia Lufthansa.  Fiat Abarth GTs were 1st and 2nd in the 1.0 GT class.


Grosser Bergerpreis (Sierre Crans-Montana) (Hill Climb)
Denis Borel     Abarth Simca 1300 Bialbero GT  #113 

Nurburgring (500 kms)
Ernst Furtmayr/Hans-Dieter Dechent     Abarth Simca 1300 Bialbero GT  #97
 
The Furtmayr/Dechent car was another entry by Scuderia Lufthansa.  Overall winning car, running in the Prototype GT 1300 class, was the Abarth-Simca 1300 Bialbero GT of Hans Herrmann/Klaus Steinmetz (#130):


Bridgehampton (500 kms)
Although various Abarth GTs ran at the Saturday race, no championship points were scored for the marque. 

Paris, Montlhéry (1000 kms)
Herbert Demetz/Anton Fischhaber     Abarth Simca 1300 Bialbero GT  #52 

A strong 1-2-3 in class finish for Abarth Simca.

Top of the final points table for the GT championship (Division I) looked like this:

Abarth Simca was placed 3rd in Division II. 

Note: The International Championship for GT Manufacturers was run within 3 divisions: Division I – Under 1300cc; Division II – Under 2000cc; Division III – Over 2000cc.  Although there were 20 events, not all counted for each division.  For example, the opening round at Daytona counted for Divisions II and III, but not for I, whereas Round 4, Monza 3 Hours counted only for Division 1.  Points were awarded to the top six positions in each division in each race on a 9-6-4-3-2-1 basis with a points coefficient applied which reflected the relative arduousness of the event; for example, the 24 Hours of Le Mans warranted a 2.0 coefficient, the Nurburgring 1000 Kms 1.6, whereas the hill climbs tended to be just 1.0.  Only the best six race results plus one hillclimb result were retained towards the final classification.

1965
International Championship for GT Manufacturers; Division I (1300 cc) victories:
 
Sebring (12 hours)
Only one Abarth Simca 1300 and one Abarth Simca 2000 ran, neither finishing this race.
 
Imola (GT Grand Prix)
Herbert Demetz     Abarth-Simca 1300 Bialbero GT  #48
 
This was a 1-2-3 for Abarth Simca and Fiat Abarth Berlinettas were 4th to 8th.
 
Monza (Coppa Inter-Europa)
Klaus Steinmetz     Abarth-Simca 1300 Bialbero GT  #14
 
Another Abarth Simca 1-2-3.


Targa Florio
Salvatore Calascibetta/Giuseppe Virgilio      Abarth-Simca 1300 Bialbero GT  #26

Nurburgring (1000 Kms)
Salvatore Calascibetta/Giuseppe Virgilio      Abarth-Simca 1300 Bialbero GT  #95 

Another Abarth Simca 1-2-3.


Mugello (GP)
No provision here for the 1.3 GT class.  A 2.0 version of the Abarth Simca GT placed 2nd in the 2.5 GT class. 

Rossfeld (Hill Climb)
Again the 1.3 GT class was not contested.  However, Hans Herrmann was 4th overall in a 2000 OT and two Abarth Simca 2000 GTs also featured in the top ten. 

Le Mans (24 Hours)
No Abarth cars started this race. 

Reims (12 hours)
No Abarth entries.
 
Bolzano-Mendola (Hill Climb)
Giuseppe Dalla Torre     Abarth Simca 1300 Bialbero GT  #214 

2.0 versions were 1st and 2nd overall, the winning car driven by Herbert Demetz. 

Schauinsland (Freiburg) (Hill Climb)
Roland Stierli     Abarth-Simca 1300 Bialbero GT  #11 

Pergusa (Coppa Citta di Enna)
No Abarth entries.

Ollon-Villars (Hill Climb)
Denis Borel     Abarth Simca 1300 Bialbero GT #68 

Nurburgring (500 kms)
Kurt Ahrens, Jr.     Abarth-Simca 1300 Bialbero GT  #44 

Bridgehampton (500 kms)
No Abarth Simca GTs ran at this event. 

Championship points table:

1966
International Sports Car Championship; Sports, Division I (1300 cc) victories: 

The season saw the Abarth Simca 1300 GT replaced as the marque’s primary machine by the 1300 OT.  It featured many improvements though still Simca-based.  The car was not homologated until May. 

Nurburgring (1000 Kms)
Jo Ortner/Kurt Ahrens Jr./Ernst Furtmayr/Wolf-Dieter Mantzel     Abarth 1300 OT  #83 

1300 OTs finished 1-2-3 in class.


Mugello (GP)
Luigi Taramazzo/Giulio Bona     Abarth 1300 OT  #136 

Pergusa (Coppa Citta di Enna)
Alfio Gambero     Abarth 1300 OT  #22 

An Abarth 1-2-3 in the Sports 1300 class, with an Abarth Simca 1300 in 3rd.

Sierre Montagna (Hill Climb)
Jean-Daniel Grandjean     Abarth-Simca 1300 Bialbero GT  #73 

Another Abarth 1-2-3, with Abarth Simcas in 1st and 2nd and a 1300 OT in 3rd

Nurburgring (500 kms)
Ernst Furtmayr     Abarth 1300 OT  #35 

Zeltweg (500 kms)
Jo Ortner     Abarth 1300 OT  #28 

An event dominated by Porsche 906s, but Abarth scored another 1-2-3 in class.

Points at season’s end were:


1967
International Sports Car Championship; Sports, Division I (1300 cc) victories: 

Targa Florio 
Guido Garufi/Giuseppe Ferlito     Abarth 1300 OT  #98


Le Mans (24 Hours)
Marcel Martin/Jean Mesange     Abarth 1300 OT  #64           

Entered by Ecurie du Maine, #64 finished 16th overall and 1st in class.  It is the subject of a Spark 1/43 scale model.



Hockenheim (GP)
Toine Hezemans     Abarth 1300 OT  #3 

This event yielded a 1-2-3-4 for the Abarth 1300 OTs.  The Spark model mentioned above is also available liveried, with #3, as it ran at this event. 

Mugello (GP)                                     
Mauro Nesti/Ernst Furtmayr/Toine Hezemans     Abarth 1300 OT  #90 

A 1-2 in class for Abarth, and, once again, a race-specific Spark model was produced. 

Pergusa (Coppa Citta di Enna)                 
Alfio Gambero     Abarth 1300 OT  #26 

An Abarth 1-2-3, with an Abarth Simca 1300 GT in 3rd.

Zeltweg (500 kms)
Jo Ortner     Abarth 1300 OT  #25 

Again an Abarth 1-2-3 (all 1300 OTs).

Ollon-Villars (Hill Climb)
Toine Hezemans     Abarth 1300 OT  #148 

A Best-Model 1/43 die cast was made carrying Hezemans's number for this hill climb. 

Nurburgring (500 kms)
Ernst Furtmayr     Abarth 1300 OT  #42 

Last race of the season and yet another win for the OT. 

Final points for the championship (Sport, Division 1, 1300 class):




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