Grr Racing's Abbate Faces Engine Woes at Round 2
April 30, 2019
Auto Club Speedway hosted the SVRA race weekendGrr Racing's Abbate Faces along side of the Trans Am West Coast Championship Series presented by Pirelli April 26-28. The Grr Racing team expressed this to be the most anticipated race weekend of the season due to their experience at the track. Driver and team owner Michele Abbate has more laps around this track than any other circuit on the Trans Am West coast schedule, so the expectation was shaping up to be a great result.
Abbate's race program has limited practice time and due to another flat tire after 5 laps into the session, she was at a disadvantage when it came to getting track time before qualifying. As they headed into qualifying Abbate had the least amount of track time than anyone else in the entire TA2 field. The team planned to qualify in as little laps as possible and she managed to land her fastest lap of the weekend in her 3rd lap, earning the P5 position for the feature race.
On Sunday afternoon the TA2 field came around for the green flag start and pole sitter Brad McAllister had an immediate rear end gear failure, causing an abrupt slow down off the start. Abbate managed an incredible dodge manuever around the 5 car, and settled into 4th by turn 2 (video link: https://youtu.be/BhHTTY1A6po).
Abbate maintained consistent lap times but unfortunately the power was falling off gradually. Crew Cheif Anthony Philleo, stated, "We had to retire the car by the 9th lap due to what sounded like the engine dropped a cylinder".
The team was more than disappointed to face another challenge as they continue their rookie year into the Trans Am Series. Currently Abbate is sitting in 8th place in the Championship points line up with the next round of Laguna Seca this coming weekend. With the least amount of time to prep for the next race the Grr Racing team will be looking to diagnose the car as soon as possible with hopes of being able to join the Trans Am national tour in just a few days.