• FIAT Facebook fans can enter for a chance to win a Fiat 500 Abarth Driving Experience
  • Winners get a full day of training from professional drivers
  • Contest runs through Thursday, April 26

Auburn Hills, Mich. , Apr 20, 2012  –  To commemorate the first “Fiat 500 Abarth Driving Experience” the FIAT brand has selected five Facebook fans to participate at a special inauguration drive event taking place in Las Vegas on Thursday, April 26.

The five Facebook participants will team up with five automotive bloggers, five lifestyle bloggers and five professional drivers in a series of driving challenges. The teams will compete for a variety of trips and prizes on behalf of other Fiat Facebook fans (contestants) online.

To enter, contestants can visit www.Facebook.com/FiatUSA and click on the “Drive for the Fans” tab. Fiat Facebook fans will be able to select their favorite team and enter for a chance to win a drive experience for themselves in one of six Fiat Abarth Driving Experience locations across the country. In addition to selecting their favorite team, the “Drive for the Fans” tab also will allow contestants to track the score for each team, learn more about track modules and view on-site video and photo coverage of the track experience.

“Every Fiat 500 Abarth owner will have the opportunity to attend an ‘Abarth Driving Experience’ at six locations across the country throughout the year,” said Tim Kuniskis, Head of FIAT Brand for North America, Chrysler Group LLC. “We wanted to provide our loyal Facebook fans with a similar opportunity so they can enjoy first-hand the “small but wicked” spirit of our Fiat 500 Abarth while also enhancing their driving skills.”

Each team will compete in a four-part driving challenge comprised of:

  • Driving Dynamics – Slip behind the steering wheel to learn about the racing line, braking points and how to pick up the Abarth’s 160 horsepower
  • Autocross – A race against the clock using electronic timing (accurate to 1/1,000th of a second) to determine the fastest driver
  • Head-to-Head – Two vehicles go head-to-head as each driver works to tame the track, master the machine and beat their opponent
  • Performance – A time-trial competition where the fastest driver wins. Drivers will put the knowledge from Driving Dynamics together with the inspired performance of the Fiat 500 Abarth.

Professional drivers:

  • Maryeve Dufault – Dufault began her career by racing in many different karting series, including the Rotax International Series. In August 2011, Dufault became the first Canadian woman to compete in a NASCAR Nationwide Series event at the Montreal race in 2011 where she drove a Dodge Challenger for MacDonald Motorsports
  • Dominik Farnbacher – Born in Ansbach, Germany, Farnbacher grew up in a racing family where he watched his father excel in competitions throughout Europe. Farnbacher has seen his own career take off as well with highlights that include a 2005 victory in the Rolex 24 at Daytona, Fla., a second-place finish in GT2 class at the 24 Hours of Le Mans in 2006 and participation at the Asian Le Mans Series Championship in 2009
  • Samuel Hubinette – Hubinette comes from the highly competitive world of European motorsports. Upon arriving in the United States, Hubinette established himself as a champion in the exciting new category of “drifting”. In addition to winning numerous Formula Drift Championships, Hubinette has demonstrated his driving skills in national automotive commercials and feature films
  • Jonathan Start – Start’s love of racing began at the age of 6 when he started racing go-karts. Career highlights include multiple race wins throughout the years including the SCCA Great Lake Champion in 2009. Start will drive a 2012 Fiat 500 in the World Challenge Spec B Championship
  • Kuno Wittmer – Wittmer became the youngest driver to compete in the Toyota Atlantic Championship when he was just 17 years old. Wittmer has scored six victories while racing in the SCCA World Challenge GT Class in the United States from 2008-2010. While driving a street-legal Dodge Viper ACR, he also has set single-lap timed records for production cars at Miller Motorsports Park, Tooele, Utah; Daytona International Speedway, Daytona Beach, Fla.; Gingerman Raceway in South Haven, Mich.; Monticello Motor Club, Monticello, N.Y.; New Jersey Motorsports Park, Millville, N.J.; Road America, Elkhart Lake, Wis.; Texas World Speedway, College Station, Texas and Virginia International Raceway, Alton, Va.

Automotive bloggers:

Lifestyle bloggers:

Facebook fans:

  • Mark Bittoni – FIAT fan who has owned a fair share of FIAT vehicles and believes the FIAT 500 is an extension of his lifestyle and gets him one step closer to La Dolce Vita
  • Margaret Byden – California resident who is a FIAT enthusiast and has been following the development of Fiat 500 and its introduction to the US for the last two years
  • Tiffany Lee – Racing fan who has demonstrated a passion for driving and now is ready to show the world what a FIAT 500 Abarth can really do
  • Scott Leggit – FIAT fan from Colorado who is active on FIAT USA Facebook page and learned to drive in a FIAT 124 sedan
  • Jeff Seelig – Racing enthusiast with a sense of adventure, held an SCCA racing license and resides in California

The Fiat 500 Abarth Driving Experience

Included in the price of each 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth is the opportunity for new owners to attend one of the exclusive driving programs held around the country at no additional charge. The Abarth Driving Experience is an entire day of full-throttle training, guided by professional instructors from the Richard Petty Driving Experience, to ensure fun and top-level instruction in a safe and structured setting.

Six Abarth Driving Experience events are confirmed this year across the country. Future dates and locations will be determined by customer need.

About the 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth
Building on the excitement of the new 2012 Fiat 500 (Cinquecento), the new Fiat 500 Abarth is designed for track-day enthusiasts and driving purists who want the ultimate high-performance small car with the pedigree of an exclusive Italian exotic.

With its all-new 1.4-liter MultiAir® Turbo engine, Abarth-tuned suspension and brake systems, race-inspired design and technology features not traditionally included on a small car, the new 2012 Fiat 500 Abarth unleashes the brand’s legendary performance heritage to American streets. The starting U.S. Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) is $22,000 (not including destination).