Abbate Earns Trans Am 2024 Season Finale Basset Hard Charger Award - Top 20 at COTA
November 7, 2023
The final round of the Trans Am 2024 Championships was held at the iconic Circuit of the America’s in Austin, Texas last weekend. With the TA2 Championship title still in contest for two drivers, the outcome of the race was highly anticipated by all.
“I am really looking forward to this weekend because of a few reasons. First, this is the first time that I have had the opportunity to race with my National team at this event, rather than using the Grr Racing TA2 race car. Secondly, I was able to gain invaluable track time with the Nitro Motorsports team at my home track just a few weeks ago, which helped me progress much further in the car”, Michele explained.
Michele set her personal best lap at the track in Practice 1, which left her feeling confident as they headed into qualifying on Saturday. The track seemed to have slowed down just a bit for everyone, but she was able to earn the P28 position out of 44 cars by official results.
On Sunday, she took the green from the P28 position but as they field headed into T1 Abbate locked up the rear brakes on entrance, causing the nose to dive hard into the track surfaces ultimately damaging the two piece bumper. She pitted during the yellow to have the team review and make quick repairs, but officials were not happy with the solution and forced another pit entry for additional repairs.
Due to the multiple pit stops Abbate was unable to make up any ground during the race and even though she continued to race competitively, she ultimately crossed the line in the P27 position overall, and P17 for the National series.
Despite the challenges she faced in the race, her Nitro Motorsports teammates both captured history making runs. Thomas Annunziata captured his first race win at COTA and Brent Crews sealed the deal earning the 2024 Trans Am TA2 National Championship. In addition, Abbate earned the season’s Basset Hard Charger Award for the year, passing a total of 68 cars throughout the season - the most out of any competitor in the National TA2 field.
“This award shows me that I have great potential as a race car driver, but also it motivates me to continue to work towards qualifying better so that we have less passes that need to be made to finish towards the front,” Michele shared.
The 2023 season has come to a close and Abbate hopes to return to the TA2 series for 2024.