Last weekend kicked off the 2022 Trans Am National Tour Championship at the historic Sebring International Raceway. The BC Race Cars team was prepared for battle with the two new Ford Mustangs they built during the offseason for driver’s Misha Goikhberg and Michele Abbate.
“I am really excited that the season is finally starting, the team has worked really hard to prepare these cars and I am most looking forward to seeing where I can stack up against this massive field of 48 TA2 entries”, Michele shared before her first test session in the car.
Abbate had never raced on the full Sebring track and it would be her first laps ever in the new BC Race Cars prepped Ghost Energy Ford Mustang. “There is a lot to learn this weekend and we are here to absorb it all,” husband and Crew Chief Anthony Philleo shared. Alongside Anthony, Michele will also have Car/Crew Chief Zac Mahoney leading the prep and maintenance.
With 2 test sessions, 1 practice, and a very congested qualifying session, Abbate earned the P27 spot on the 48 car grid. “The BC Race Cars team gave me a very strong and predictable car, this is a very challenging track and I am proud of where we are at, but I’m definitely looking to better my position and take the checkered flag for the race tomorrow”, Michele said on Sunday.
The green flag flew and the madness ensued. A record breaking field for the Trans Am TA2 series at Sebring and the excitement was raw with every lap of the race. Abbate had worked her way up to the P24 position early in the race, and her teammate Misha was running a strong P2.
Unfortunately on the restart lap 13, Abbate was collected in a 3 car incident. “I did my best to avoid contact with the #43 car after the #97 car spun him. As I moved to the outside to go around, I was hit by the #9 car and forced into the #43.” Michele explained.
With heavy damage to the front end of the #30 Ghost Energy Mustang, Abbate was able to limp it into the pits and was forced to retire from the race – officially finishing P38. “This was definitely not what we were hoping for in our first race of the year. BC Race Cars provided a great set up and it was unfortunate to get caught up with nowhere to go. We will have to focus forward and wish for better luck at Charlotte in a few weeks”, Abbate said.
Catch the 90-minute race recap on CBS Sports Network tomorrow, Thursday March 3rd at 7:30pm EST. For the full livestream broadcast you can see it on the Trans Am Youtube. The next Trans Am TA2 race will be at Charlotte Motor Speedway on the Roval on March 19th. You can watch every 2022 Trans Am race LIVE and FREE on www.SpeedTour.tv so be sure to tune in!