Alfa GTV Cup
The Alfa Romeo offered the opportunity for a limited number of enthusiasts to participate in a race on the track with the GTV 3.0. After a sports-car driving course by Andrea de Adamich participants were ready to manage 230 horsepower.
With the GTV Cup, Alfa Romeo has succeeded in really creating a series of events which were missing from the sports-car scene; the missing link between enthusiasts and an adventure towards professionalism. With little more than five million lire and two weekends on the race-track, it was possible to go from being a simple spectator to being a performer in the world of racing. The transformation took place in two distinct moments: first a couple of lessons in the Safe Driving Centre run by Andrea De Adamich at the Varano de’Melegari race-track (Parma) in order to learn the tricks of the trade and then on the track aboard a brand-new Alfa Romeo GTV 230 horsepower for the mono-make race as part of the Italian Supertourismo Championship.
The new version Cup of the GTV 3.0 24 valves was tested on the track at Varano. The car was prepared following the rules set up by Gruppo N (commercial vehicles with slight improvements), even though they are exclusively approved for mono-make races. Externally the GTV 3.0 Cup is recognisable for the presence of the aerodynamic kit, also available for the commercial series: back and front spoilers and lateral air extractors in the front wings. The whole suspension is lowered by a few centimetres and fitted with ‘slick’ or ‘rain’ Michelin racing tyres. In spite of the safety measures, the weight has been reduced by another 200 kilos. The mechanics remain the same as the commercial series, but with different regulations in the electronic chip and suspension, to gain a little more horsepower and better transfer them onto the road.
The circuit at Varano, with a few slow corners and two fast ‘S’ bends, was the ideal track to find ones feet with a car of character: a 230 horsepower is considerably powerful because of its front traction. The exuberating torque of six cylinders and the weight distribution on the front wheels need to be driven in a particular way, almost like rear traction. We would recommend sacrificing a little speed when approaching a bend in order to create a clean curve when accelerating which will occupy the width of the track when coming out of the bend. To insist with the steering and go into a bend too tight is not productive. With the accelerator it is easy to under-steer which will damage the tyres and will, inevitably, take the car off track at a tangent. The suspension had to be rigid in order to improve traction and girders decidedly become trampolines, where every bump can easily take you off course. The suspension still requires perfecting (the GTV in trials was a prototype) but what counts in a mono- makers’ challenge is that all the vehicles are the same, to bring to light the ability of their best drivers. There are six gears, as in the commercial vehicle, and have a long ratio, therefore, not really apt for the Varano track where fifth gear is rarely used but, appropriate for circuits like Monza and Mugello where 260 km/h max speed is easily accessible for the GTV. The powerful brakes, however, need a little consideration so as not too over use them; the pads aren’t especially designed for racing, therefore, their correct use will greatly determine the outcome of the race regarding lap times. Consequently, a very agreeable and professional car, not too difficult to drive but demanding if you want to beat the stopwatch.
In order to participate in one of the ten races during the “Alfa GTV Cup” calendar one had go to an Alfa Romeo dealer and fill out a form and if come in the 160 chosen drivers (16 different drivers for each of the ten races in the programme), one will have to pay subscription fee which comprises: participation in sports’ car driving course with Andrea De Adamich (at the Varano de’Melegari racing track, near Parma), a C.S.A.I. driving license, fire-proof racing gear (overalls, helmet, gloves and shoes) and complete hospitality for the whole duration of the event. Included in this quota are all the expenses for the vehicles (tyres, petrol and general wear & tear), for free trials, for qualification laps and the final race on the Sunday.
The sixteen vehicles available for the Alfa GTV Cup have all been prepared by Fiat Auto Racing in Chivasso, equal in performance and identical to the “official” Alfa Romeo colours. In respect to the models to be found in the show-rooms they also have aerodynamic appendix, both front and back. The body of the GTV maintains its already sporty showroom appearance. The only new “racing” additions are the steering wheel and OMP seat. The other seats and interior trims have disappeared along with approximately 200 kilos.
Beneath the ample bonnet stares the generous 3.0l V6 24 valve. Different to the standard showroom version the fuel injection chip has been re-mapped and the exhaust no longer has lambda sensors or a catalytic converter. Also new is the centrally mounted engine oil cooler.
Engine: Front transverse, 6 cylinder 60° V, bore and stroke 93 x 72.6mm, cylinder capacity 2959cc, 230 bhp at 6900 rpm; max torque 28.5 kgm at 5300 rpm, 4 camshafts-2 per cylinder head, four valves per cylinder, electronic fuel injection.
Transmission: front wheel drive, manual 6 speed gear box.
Chassis: independent front and rear suspension.
Front; McPherson struts with helicoil springs and anti-roll bar.
Rear; multi-link with helicoil springs, telescopic shock absorbers and anti-roll bar.
Brakes: discs all round (front vented) with ABS.
Steering: rack with hydraulic power steering.
Tyres: Michelin 20/61-16.
Dimensions: wheelbase 2.54m, length 4.29m, width 1.78m, height 1.27m.
Weight: 1215 kg
To commemorate this event, Alfa Romeo created a limited edition GTV Cup.
- "Alfa GTV Cup". bozhdynsky.com. 2012.