Johnny Kanavas _ professional driver

NEWS _ Rimicci Corse To Debut the Fiat 500 Abarth at the United States Air Force NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill

Rimicci Corse To Debut the Fiat 500 Abarth at the United States Air Force NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill

Team of Kanavas, Olivares, Rimicci, and Rimicci Is As Ready As They Are Ever Going To Be

December 6, 2012 (Northridge, Calif.) – This weekend, the smallest car will attempt to complete the longest race as the no. 58 Rimicci Corse Fiat Abarth will take the green – and hopefully, the checkered – flag at the tenth United States Air Force 25 Hours of Thunderhill.

Developed for the Pirelli World Challenge’s Touring Car class, the Abarth will compete in the E0 class this weekend – squaring off against varied machinery such as BMW’s in E30, E36, and E46 vintages, a Mazda MX-5, and an Acura TSX. Several tests with all four drivers – team owner Anthony Rimicci, brother Fabrizio Rimicci, Efrain Olivares and 25 Hour veteran Johnny Kanavas – have left the team confident for this weekend’s endurance contest, which features a total of seventy-three cars.

As the veteran on the squad, Kanavas – with eight starts at the 25 Hour under his belt – is looking forward to the new challenge of driving the Abarth. Kanavas, from San Clemente, Calif., has three times been a class winner at the 25 Hour, including last year in the E3 class.

“I’m really excited to be a part of Rimicci Corse and to drive the little Abarth in the 25 Hours,” said Kanavas. “The guys from Santo’s did a great job with the car, it’s really well prepped and very fun to drive. There’s been a lot of development to turn it from a street car into a race car, and there is still some work to do, but we have a car that is strong enough to make it to the finish and do well. I’m excited, and my wife thinks the car is cute.”

Team owner Anthony Rimicci, from Porter Ranch, Calif. will be making his 25 Hour debut, and has spent the past several months preparing not only the Abarth, but the Rimicci Corse organization, for the race.

“The first thing we did was picked Johnny’s brain about anything we could think of for this race,” said Rimicci. “He’s been here and knows what’s what so if things go wrong, we can blame him. The second thing we did was put together the best free crew we could get our hands on, and to keep them going for two days in the cold weather, we installed an espresso machine in the trailer and bought them beanies.

“The third thing we did was to try and break everything on the Abarth that we could. We have been able to get a lot of miles on the car and while we’ve had a few stumbling blocks and development issues, we are pretty happy with how the car is performing. This is a real test not just for the car, but for the team, but everything has gone really well and I can’t wait to get to the track this weekend.”

His brother, Fabrizio, who lives in nearby Campbell, Calif., is happy just to be there.

“I almost couldn’t get the time off of work,” said Rimicci. “Trust me when I tell you I really didn’t want to miss practice. If I do anything wrong to the car I think Anthony will kill me.”

The fourth driver of the weekend, Olivares, is also a rookie to the 25 Hours of Thunderhill. While normally found behind the scenes, working for sportscar teams as a PR rep, Olivares has some idea of what to expect in an endurance race such as the 25 Hours of Thunderhill.

“I’ve been fortunate to work with a lot of great drivers who have shared the same piece of advice,” said Olivares. “They’ve all said ‘don’t be the guy that wrecks the race for your teammates.’ So, no pressure. I’m really looking forward to this race and seeing what the little Abarth can do. It’s the first big weekend for Rimicci Corse and we are hoping to make it to the finish and have a great time in the process.”

The tenth United States Air Force NASA 25 Hours of Thunderhill will go green this Saturday, December 8, at 11 AM PST. To keep up with Rimicci Corse throughout the race, follow the team on their Facebook page (facebook.com/RimicciCorse) and on twitter (@rimiccicorse). Despite awful internet and cell service at Thunderhill Raceway Park, the team will be providing regular updates throughout the race.

Live radio coverage of the race and live timing and scoring will be available at www.nasa25hour.com

Rimicci Corse

The Rimicci’s are an Italian family who will compete in the Pirelli World Challenge Championships with Fiat 500 Abarths. For more information, visit rimiccicorse.com. facebook.com/rimiccicorse, and follow the team on twitter (@rimiccicorse).

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Media Contact: Efrain Olivares | 818.254.7196 | efrain@shiftgroup.net