Hard Charge for Abbate at NOLA Motorsports Park
March 14, 2023
Spirits were high for Michele Abbate as the Showtime Motorsports team headed to NOLA Motorsports Park for the 2nd round of the 2023 Trans Am Championship presented by Pirelli. The team had visited the facility about a month ago to shake down the cars in preparation for the season and the track was a new one for most of the team drivers.
"It's really nice to get to a track and have already had some laps on it; I am super grateful that Ken provided us the opportunity to get some testing here so that we can feel more at home this race weekend," Michele shared. Throughout the test sessions and practice Michele showed progress in her speed and lap times in the #30 GHOST Energy x Lucas Oil Camaro, and leaned on her teammates Dylan Archer and Evan Slater for data review. In addition, Tyler Kicera was coaching throughout the weekend as well.
"I was feeling pretty good, but as the sessions continued, even though I was progressing personally, I was dropping farther down the results pages," she admitted. She had a really great qualifying session, landing her personal best lap time of a 1:44.4 but unfortunately it only earned her the 27th spot out of the 30 car grid. "I can't be disappointed, this was my fastest lap around this place - but it's just proof of the caliber of talent that we have in the TA2 field, and I am super committed to working hard at getting better at driving these cars as fast as I can. Tyler really helped pinpoint some of the habits that I have developed that I need to correct in order to maximize speed on track. We will get there, it's just a work in progress. For now, I must focus on the race, because that is what truly matters in the end." Abbate said.
The unpredictable weather of NOLA kept everyone on their toes, but it looked as if it would be a sunny dry but humid race for the 100 mile feature. As always there is the very relevant battle of attrition and Michele was confident in her race craft and ability to stay consistent. The Showtime Motorsports team continues to provide her with a top notch car, proof of which as her teammates both started in the top 10 and battled there throughout the race. Michele made some consistent and key passes throughout the 75 minutes and was running as high as 15th with 5 laps to go. In the final laps she did everything she could to remain in the top 10 but Thad Moffitt would make a pass on her before the checkered flew. A major improvement from her starting place; she advanced 11 positions on track and finished P16 overall.
"It feels good and this is exactly what I needed to prove to myself I belong out here. I have a lot to work on but I'm equipped with everything I need to do well and I am confident I'll get there thanks to my team. I am thankful for some good points this weekend and I will be working really hard behind the scenes to keep improving as we head to Road Atlanta", she smiled.
Catch the NOLA Motorsports race on MAVTV Thursday, March 16 at 6pm PST/9pm EST - and even more exciting, check out the season premiere of "Road to Glory" on MAVTV which will take you behind the scenes of the Showtime Motorsports team and drivers as they chase the 2023 Trans Am Championship! You can get access to MAVTV for just $9.99 through www.tikilive.com so sign up now so you don't miss all the action!