The Abarth 500 Trophy will be making its debut on Saturday 28 and Sunday 29 March at the Monza track. This one-make championship stars the Abarth 500 Assetto Corse, announcing 190HP engines.

Monza is the Abarth 500 Trophy's first outing and includes six events of two races each. There are free trials, a qualifying heat of 25 minutes, and two 50 km races. The starting grid for the second race will depend on the best lap times achieved in the first race.

The Abarth 500 Trophy races are part of a high-profile scenario, like the Ferrari Challenge-Pirelli Trophy and the CSAI Championships. After the Monza event, there will be races at Mugello on 3 May, at Imola on 17 May, at Magione on 7 June, at Mugello on 27 September and at Vallelunga on 11 October.

There is a lavish prize pool of 4,500 euros to be split amongst the first five over the finish line in each race and a top prize of an Abarth 500 for the overall winner, while the runner- up will win free registration for the 2010 Trophy.

Abarth 500 Assetto Corse, 1 of 6
Abarth 500 Assetto Corse, 2 of 6
Abarth 500 Assetto Corse, 3 of 6
Abarth 500 Assetto Corse, 4 of 6
Abarth 500 Assetto Corse, 5 of 6
Abarth 500 Assetto Corse, 6 of 6

Competitors' names will be announced in the middle of next week.

There is a lot of breath-holding for the debut of this vehicle with its out-and-out racing features but very affordable if compared to other sports cars around.

It was precisely on the Monza circuit that some spectacular historic races were seen, with cars scraping past on the straight. A spectacle that will be revived with today's Abarth 500 Assetto Corse cars, all fitted out and prepared directly by the Officine Abarth, then delivered to the "Abarth Racing" tuners who take care of racetrack maintenance and support.

For sports car customers the brand has actually created an Italian tuner network – called "Abarth Racing" – that is the privileged gateway to Abarth races.

The exclusive "Abarth Racing" network is highly specialized and currently includes nine companies famous for their many years of experience in the car engine and race world: Uboldi Corse with Autoalberta by Uboldi Corse (Lomazzo, Como); Carrozzeria Campana (Modena); Forza Service (Turin); Romeo Ferraris (Opera, Milan); Rosso Corsa (San Zeno Naviglio, Brescia); Trico Motor Sport (Alessandria); Officina Foresi (Civitanova Marche, Macerata); Procar (Casalguidi, Pistoia); Zatti Sport (Parma).

A VIP car will attend every race, although it won't be competing: an Abarth 500 Assetto Corse driven by a famous figure from the car engine, sport or entertainment worlds. Further proof of Abarth's commitment to spreading racing culture and one more occasion for drumming up enthusiasm in the racing public.

Organization for teams and drivers is enhanced by Abarth's offer of precision service in circuit paddocks, conceived as an organization and meeting centre for all competitors.

Anyone with a driver's licence can register for the Abarth 500 Trophy and an extension is offered to anyone over 15 as long as they have a national licence awarded after taking a special course with the CSAI Federal School.

The Abarth 500 European Trophy will rev up in late May and is actually partnering six WTCC-World Touring Car Championship events. The first event is on 31 May in Valencia (Spain), continuing on 21 June at Brno (Czech Republic), 5 July at Porto (Portugal), 19 July at Brands Hatch (GB), 6 September at Oschersleben (Germany), closing at Imola on 20 September.

Once again there will be two races for each date, with cash prizes of 4,500 euros per event and an Abarth 500 for the outright winner.