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That's a really impressive drive, even for Bonfiglioli

An industrial drives company that prides itself on speedy deliveries and prompt service is sponsoring a classic racing vehicle that makes its point in spectacular fashion.

Bonfiglioli Transmission – which has invested $20 million in expanding stocking, assembly and backup for its technologically advanced drives in Australia and New Zealand – is backing an Abarth specification Fiat 600 that beats cars 40 years its junior, even if it has to corner on two wheels to do it.

"These ultra-compact high performance cars were never beaten in their class in such famous long distance events such a Le Mans and Daytona, comfortably beating Mini-Coopers and other larger vehicles on the way, Their long pedigree as Group 2 and ultimately Group5 Touring cars remains impressive," says owner Mike Lowe of Hayes International, which manufactures roll forming machines for the metal building industry in 74 countries, a process for which it uses compact but powerful Bonfiglioli drives.

"It took me over a year to find the car I was after ... a forward-hinged door Fiat 600 with Abarth connections that I could turn into a full blown Group Two replica. The car was shipped from Sydney, and over the next five years parts were located all around the world including a genuine Abarth race engine.  Over the years, we have constantly developed the car so that now we believe it is the only tarmac-rally specification Abarth running in the world, and maybe, just maybe, is the fastest 1000cc car in NZ. We do need to find out one day..."

The car's Abarth four-cylinder 1050cc, sport head, 10.75:1 compression engine with twin side-draft 40mm Webers produces about 70kw at 7500rpm in rally trim on avgas. The 40-year-old classic weighs about 690kg dry or 900kg with driver Mr Lowe and co-driver Phil Sutton aboard in racing trim.

"Compared to many other larger cars in Targa, we have to drive our little beast flat-out everywhere, as the big killer for us is loss of momentum. This is also why we hate uphill sections but lovvvvvve downhill ones! The car is enormous fun to drive, especially on either three or even two wheels around 90-degree lefts

"I was asked with the 10th Anniversary event coming up, why don't we run a faster modern car and go for outright honours ... apart from he obvious cost , I explained our main motivation is 'satisfaction' ... having a 40 year old 1000cc car not only finish the event, but beat home over half the field , catching Porsches and the like on the way, gives everyone involved in our Team immense satisfaction"

Bonfiglioli Transmission's Managing Director Mr Malcolm Lewis says the car and its team share the advanced engineering ethos of Bonfiglioli, which designs innovative drives such as its heavy HD series to be the best from the ground up, rather than incremental improvements on existing designs.

"Like us they have an Italian heritage of high performance, seeking always to be best in their class and years ahead of the field in design."

Bonfiglioli Transmission (Australia) Pty Ltd is part of the international Bonfiglioli group, with 2500 employees worldwide and sales of two million products annually. The full Australian branch is part of a global network of 13 full branches and eight production plants supported by nearly 80 national distributors and an Australasian network of distributors complemented by offices in Australian States and New Zealand Bonfiglioli's commissioning at its Sydney headquarters last year of a totally new assembly and testing line for the HD series drives was is the latest of a series of more than $20 million in investments the company has made in Australia and New Zealand in recent years to extend its leadership in range, stocking, engineering capabilities and customer responsiveness.

For more information about Bonfiglioli in Australasia, please contact Mr Malcolm Lewis, Managing Director, Bonfiglioli Transmission (Australia) Pty Ltd, 2, Cox Place, Glendenning, 2761, ph 61 – 2 -  8811 8000, fax 61 – 2- 9765 6605  malcolmlewis@bonfiglioli.com.au. In New Zealand, please call Neil Pollington  0800 432 7770800 432 777, mob (021) 827 199(021) 827 199, npollington@bonfiglioli.com.au.