Just as Mini did with its Challenge racing series, Fiat will be launching a new competition for its 500 minicar called the 5Hundred Cup. The new series is being sponsored by Speedway Communications together with Fiat and will official launch at a ceremony planned to take place at the Vallelunga circuit near Rome. Organizers hope to launch two new races, one series solely for Italy and another for the rest of Europe.

The new race cars will debut later this month at the Australian Grand Prix in Melbourne, where the cars will be driven in the event’s annual Celebrity Challenge (formerly Mini Coopers were used). The cars have already been testing at Australia’s Bathurst race track and will soon head over to Europe to start the official competition.

At this week’s Geneva Motor Show Fiat is debuting its new performance 500 Abarth models, which are expected to be the basis for the new race-prepped models. The new car comes with a sporty bodykit with larger air intakes, side skirts, a rear diffuser, pumped fenders, Abarth decals and new alloys plus the famed scorpion logo on the grille. Power will come from Fiat Group’s turbocharged T-Jet petrol engine, developing a peak 135hp at 5,500rpm and 180Nm of torque at 2,500rpm.

Fiat 500 Abarth