During the offseason, the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) announced its new B-Spec class to give automakers and racers a relatively affordable platform to go racing. The season has finally kicked off with Carbotech’s Fiat 500 claiming the first victory.
The ‘showroom stock’ racing series includes race cars like the Honda Fit and Mazda 2, while Ford represents for the domestics with its Fiesta. From Europe are the MINI and Fiat contenders with the Italian automaker holding off the contenders in its inaugural race.
While it’s definitely noteworthy that Fiat claimed the first win in a new racing series, the more important question to ask is when was the last time Fiat won a race in America?
Driving the number-00 Fiat USA/SRT/Carbotech 500 was Jonathan Start who swept the doubleheader of two 30 minute races separated by a brief 10 minute break. Craig Capaldi in the number-86 Ford Fiesta lead for the opening seven laps, before Shaun Bailey overtook with the number-0 Road & Track Mazda2.
Capaldi then led three laps in the middle stage of the race before Start took the lead in the Fiat 500, holding on to a 2.171 second win. His pass for the lead also net him the Invisible Glass Clean Pass of the Race award.
“Race one was exactly what B-Spec should be,” Start said. “Close, tight, and very similar cars. I had the race of my life in the fun category. We were able to flip and flop, and we raced each other clean. This is what World Challenge is.”
In the second race, Start took the green flag from start to finish with a 1.392 second victory to sweep the doubleheader.
Fiat currently is ahead in the Manufacturers’ Championship with 19 points and it will be interesting to see if the 500 remains a contender through the rest of the season in the highly competitive B-Spec class.