Alfa Romeo will field a factory-backed team, including two 147 GTAs, in the SA production car series this year. Could the GTAs’ race début precede a local launch for the potent Alfas?

Alfa Romeo will field a factory-backed team, including two 147 GTAs, in the SA production car series this year. Could the GTAs’ race début precede a local launch for the potent Alfas?

The marque made a comeback last year when the manufacturer-supported Alfissimo 156 GTA, piloted by Martin Steyn, challenged BMW’s supremacy in class A of the national championship. And, significantly, by the time Steyn notched up his first victory at a rain-drenched Killarney, Fiat Auto SA had launched the 186 kW fire-breather on the South African market.

For 2004, constructors Auto Delta/Ntechnology have delivered two 147 GTAs that, along with a rebuilt version of the 156 GTA used last year, will form part of the Alfa Romeo Squadra Corse team. How long before the 147 GTA’s are launched here, then?


Fiat Auto SA spokesperson Rella Guiricich told CARtoday.com on Monday that the highly-rated 147 GTA was "seriously being considered for the South African market". If Fiat Auto SA decided to introduce the 147 GTA, it would in all likelihood be launched during the second half of the year.

Speaking at the launch of the Squadra Corse last week, Fiat Auto SA managing director Giorgio Gorelli said that “now that the company is actively involved in motorsport again, it would compete to win.

"Our objective is to continue to grow our official involvement in and passion for local motorsport and present a professional team capable of winning the Class A championship," he added.

The new Alfa Romeo 147 GTAs will run on semi-slicks this year with around 186kW to take on the other Class A contenders. Being left hand drive, as supplied by Auto Delta, the 147s have had to receive special permission from Motorsport South Africa and the Production Car Association to race.

Steyn and Morné Jurgens will be driving the two 147 GTAs this year. Experienced kart and production car driver Marco de Cunha will pilot the 156 GTA.

Original article from Car