Round 8 of the Trans Am National Tour Series was the first stop of the final back-to-back race weekends on the schedule. With the known fact that the next race weekend is just days away, you may think that the racing might not be as hard fought, but you couldn’t be more wrong. The weekend was a treacherous fight all the way to the checkered.
Friday’s test session was cut short due to a on-track clean up from a motor that let go. “It was unfortunate for me because this is my first time at Mid Ohio and I really need to learn the track,” Michele shared. She was able to land her first personal best lap time of a 1:30.0, placing her in the 23 spot out of the 35 cars.
On Saturday, she had another shot at some practice laps, but it was once again cut short due to a few incidents. She bettered her lap time in qualifying by 1.4 seconds with a personal best of a 1:28.6, but with the massive talent in TA2, the times are very tight, so Abbate would start from the P30 position out of the 34 cars entered.
“It is tough to swallow, but, I have to remember the majority of the field has been here, and I have only a handful of laps. I am happy with my personal progress, it has been great, and I am looking forward to the challenge to do better in the race. We have some of the best road racing driver’s in the nation competing in TA2 and I am getting better every race. I will just have to put my head down and focus forward.” Abbate explained.
On Sunday morning the 34 car field took the green flag under dry conditions and the battle began. Michele found herself in a hard charge throughout the entire race, including making passes, avoiding several multi-car incidents, and 2 full course black flags.
“I had a front row view of so many incidents it was a mental challenge to stay focused and stay clean”, she shared.
“I am pretty sure Michele was one of the only cars that finished the race without any contact,” Crew Chief Anthony Philleo shared. The race ended under a black flag condition with all the cars in the pits. Michele made up 13 positions and finished 17th overall in the provisional race results.
You can catch the race highlights on the CBS Sports Network on Saturday, July 2 at 7:30 p.m. EST, with an encore presentation on Sunday, July 3 at 11:30 a.m. EST.
TA2 returns to the track next weekend, July 1-3, when Ryan Companies presents the Trans Am 100s at Road America.