Bits of italy

Press Release

ASP Cut price Adelaide Hills Tarmac Rally

Press release 2 June 2009

Well Team Punto have dun it again, on the back of our Targa Tasmania diesel class win and 3rd place in the 2WD Showroom class, Driver Phil Buggee said, we have brought home another great result for Fiat cars in Australia with the First Ever Diesel Class Win in South Australia rally history and an 11th Outright in a field of some 59 starters over 2 days and some 130 kms competitive competition.

I would like to put in a very big thank you for all of the support we received again from BioMax Bio Diesel fuel, Silverstone tyres and the Fiat Dealer support we received from Prestige Formula of South Australia, as for with out this support we could not have achieved this great result.

We had another wonderful opportunity to do some more good promotion of clean green fuels such as BioMax Bio Diesel, showing that you can have environmentally friendly motor sport in a pristine environment such as the very beautiful region of McLaren Vale in the hart of the wine district of South Australia.

The Silverstone tyres were absolutely fantastic the grip they provide was exceptional on these dry fast cool roads, we were often surprising may spectators and competitors with our stage times. Many people were caught by surprise at how fast and fuel efficient the Fiat Punto diesel is, having used only 55 litres of BioMax biodiesel for the 650km event. The other surprising feature of the Fiat Punto for the spectators, was how very quiet the car is as it rushes past on stage.

In all the weekend was fantastic, with the Southern Districts Car Club to be congratulated with running 2 events in 1, a round of the South Australian Rally Championship and the South Australian Tarmac Rally Championship, making this a 2 day event to be remembered by all who took part, as this was a weekend of new friendships and fund raising for the ‘Cure4CF’ (Cystic Fibrosis).

The ASP Adelaide Hills Tarmac Rally finished off with a Presentation Dinner at the Penny’s Hill winery, topped off with some very nice ‘house wines’. The event charity was ‘Cure4CF’ which helped to raised awareness for this disease in a magnificent effort by the organizers officials and competitors in raising over $11,000.

Team Punto to race Targa Tasmania with clean, green biodiesel

Press release 23 April 2009

In an Australian Tarmac Rally first, Team Punto will race its Fiat Punto Sport Abarth on clean, green biodiesel at this year’s Targa Tasmania rally, held from April 28 to May 3.

Running the first diesel-powered car at Targa in 2007, Team Punto will now contest the six-day race using Smorgon Fuels’ BioMax B20 biodiesel in an effort to reduce its carbon footprint.

Finishing second outright at Targa in the two-wheel drive Showroom category last year, team driver Phil Buggee said biodiesel will reduce its CO2 and air pollutant emissions.

“Smorgon Fuels’ BioMax biodiesel is a renewable fuel predominantly made from used cooking oil, along with animal fats (tallow) and other oilseeds,” Mr Buggee said.

“While competing in one of the toughest tarmac rallies in the world, in one of the most pristine environments in the world, it’s reassuring that we’ll be reducing our CO2 and air pollutant emissions with biodiesel.

“We will be aiming to complete Targa using less than 200 litres of BioMax biodiesel, a fuel which meets Targa Tasmania’s initiatives of reduction and offsetting,” he said.

BioMax B20 is a blend of 20 per cent biodiesel mixed with mineral diesel that reduces CO2 emissions by 15 per cent. It also exceeds the Australian Diesel and Biodiesel Fuel Standard.

Targa Tasmania 2009, the 18th running of the world-renowned event, begins with a prologue through the streets of Georgetown on Tuesday, April 28, with the action proper getting underway the next day.

While primarily based in Launceston, the event will have an overnight stop in Strahan on the west coast of the Apple Isle, before finishing in the capital, Hobart, on Sunday, May 3.

BioMax is available through selected outlets in Melbourne and regional Victoria, see for details

For more information contact Jonathon Geddes 0410573278.

Press release Targa Tasmania 2009

Press release date 16/04/09

Phil Buggee & Paul Freame of Team Punto (Car 986) are very pleased to announce the signing of a new eco friendly sponsor, BioMax, Australian manufacturers of Biodiesel.

BioMax will be supplying the Fiat Punto Diesel Sport Abarth, with their B20 blend of Biodiesel. This performance fuel will help our team efforts in being very competitive, but most of all, in leaving an even greener and smaller foot print on the planet, whilst taking part in one of the toughest Tarmac Rallies anywhere in the world, in one of the most pristine environments in the world.

BioMax manufacture their Biodiesel from animal fats (tallow), used cooking oil, and other oilseeds. B20 is a blend of 20% Biodiesel mixed with mineral diesel and exceeds the Australian Diesel Fuel Standards and Australian Biodiesel Fuel Standard. Biodiesel significantly reduces CO2 and particulate emissions, it is nontoxic, biodegradable and sulphur free. Biodiesel has a higher flash point, so it is safer to store and transport.

BioMax is available through selected outlets in Melbourne and regional Victoria, see for details.

“We will be aiming to again complete Targa Tasmania, using less than 200 litres of BioMax Biodiesel, which exceeds Targa Tasmania, Octagon and Events Tasmania initiatives of ‘reduction’ and ‘offsetting’ carbon emissions, due 2011”, said Phil.

Diesel Fiat right in the spirit of Targa

Wednesday, 04 March 2009

Phil Buggee and Paul Freame are ready to build on the success of their fantastic result in the 2008 Targa Tasmania, where they finished a strong second outright in the two-wheel drive Showroom category.

The pair have once again entered their Bits of Italy-prepared Fiat Punto Sport in Australia’s ultimate tarmac rally, which will be held over six days from April 28 to May 3.

With another year of testing and development on the Fiat Punto Sport, the small team involved in preparing and maintaining the car are hoping that all their hard work will translate into another win in the diesel class, and a strong showing in the outright competition within the showroom class.

“At each event the Punto has entered it has attracted a lot of media and spectator interest,” driver Phil Buggee says. “Initially viewed as just a curiosity, it wasn’t long before the car’s outstanding stage times were beginning to be noticed and applauded.”

As a showroom class car in Targa Tasmania, the little Fiat has all the standard creature comforts as installed by the Fiat factory, including electric windows, climate control, stability control.

In these tight financial times, the excellent fuel economy of the Punto is really appreciated by the team as there are often few refuel opportunities during each day of Targa.

“The car has often consumed less than a tank full of diesel over a whole day’s competition,” Buggee adds.

Frugal fuel consumption is one thing, but not if it were at the expense of performance. Fortunately, the Punto is able to pull strongly in each of the six gears, all the way to the ‘redline’ in most.

Targa Tasmania is a test of man (or woman) and machine over six tough days. The diesel Fiat Punto may not have the speed and performance of a Nissan GTR, a Lamborghini Gallardo or a Porsche 911 GT2, but it’s entry in Targa is just as important.

“The beauty of Targa Tasmania is that the event is open to just about anyone in any type of car,” Event Director, Mark Perry, says. “The Showroom class, in particular, opens the event up to standard production cars that don’t cost the earth to buy or run, and the Fiat Punto diesel is a perfect example of that.”

Targa Tasmania 2009, the 18th running of the world-renowned event, begins with a prologue through the streets of Georgetown on Tuesday, April 28, with the action proper getting underway the next day.

While primarily based in Launceston, the event will have an overnight stop in Strahan on the west coast of the Apple Isle, before finishing in the capital, Hobart, on Sunday, May 3.


Press release 7/10/2008

The Bits Of Italy-prepared Fiat Punto of Philip Buggee and Paul Freame has enjoyed another competition success, this time at the Tasmanian Tarmac Challenge, held over the weekend of October 4 and 5.

In addition to the regular tarmac rally competitors, the field also included many of the country’s best rally drivers, competing in a round of the Australian Rally Championship (ARC). The ARC competitors were competing on tarmac, not gravel roads, for the first time in the 50 years of ARC competition.

There was a prediction of a cold weather front to come in from the north west over the weekend that was expected to produce treacherous driving conditions for all the competitors, and true to form, that’s exactly the weather that arrived. The field of cars rarely enjoyed a dry road all weekend, until the very last stage on Sunday.

The BOI Punto continues to be a favourite with the spectators and also attracts considerable media attention because it is so different to ‘normal’ rally cars. Its incredible finish on the event - 1st Diesel, 2nd Showroom 2WD and 16th outright - was achieved with the astonishing fuel economy of only 44 litres used over the whole 450km of the event.

Putting it another way, with diesel fuel in Tasmania costing $1.79/ltr, the fuel used on the event only cost $78.76 for two days of competition. Is it any wonder there is considerable envy and amazement from the petrol powered competitors as they consume large quantities of premium unleaded petrol (PULP) that costs up to $5.00/ltr?

However, what the Punto lacks in thirst for fuel, it more than makes up for in absolute grunt. With the Punto’s turbo diesel engine producing a massive 300NM of torque, complimented by the astounding grip from Silverstone tyres, the stage times and its pace proved the BOI Punto is an incredibly competitive vehicle. The standard Fiat Punto features of traction and stability control were a bonus exploited by the crew in the extremely treacherous weather conditions.

Running the car in Showroom class means that apart from the addition of a roll cage and other required competition safety items, the Punto is basically as built originally by Fiat. Mechanical modifications are relatively minor to remain in this class. The Punto is both quiet and environmentally friendly.

Whilst tyre technicians from the other major tyre suppliers were in a constant frenzy with regrooving tools, cutting extra water drainage channels in a desperate search for grip, the Silverstone tyres on the Punto were providing the exceptional grip the others were searching for. These are road legal tyres as supplied by Silverstone for sporting motorists through the leading tyre retailers around the country.

The BOI Punto crew gave three TV interviews over the weekend, whilst they featured for 30 seconds on the Saturday sport news report, and another 40 seconds on the Sunday night news report.

The Punto will now be readied for the next event, possibly the Buller Sprint in a few weeks time. Forza Fiat Punto!

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