After the 6 week break in the Trans Am schedule, driver Michele Abbate was looking forward to regaining some valuable championship points as the Showtime Motorsports team headed to Lime Rock Park for the 4th round of the 2023 series.
“We have spent this time away from the track working towards setting ourselves up for success. Anthony and I spent a few days at the shop with the team, making some improvements to the car and adjusting a few things that took some time and were unable to be completed during a race weekend. I am really excited to get back in the car and compete on this awesome Memorial Day weekend!”, Michele explained.
There were 36 TA2 cars entered in the event with a very busy Friday that would include one test session, one practice, and a qualifying session. As the team dialed the car in, Abbate did her best in the qualifying session, making her personal best lap time at the track, but it only earned her the P33 grid spot.
“This is definitely not where we want to be, but I am looking forward to moving forward in the race – something I am starting to get used to”, she shared.
The race was set for Saturday afternoon, and Abbate welcomed the challenge. Unfortunately, as she went out for the 2 pace laps she wasn’t feeling too comfortable.
“My brakes were not working well, but this wasn’t something I had experienced before.. I tried by best to diagnose the issues in the three minutes we had before taking the green flag, but I just couldn’t understand what the issue was.”
“We came around for the green and I was driving very cautiously in the first couple corners when I thought I saw some smoke from the front left fender, I immediately radio’d the team to let them know I was going to come in”, Michele explains.
Abbate came into the pits on lap one and that is where she remained for the rest of the race. Immediately the team removed the hood and found a leaking oil line. Unable to make repairs in the pits Abbate was forced to retire from the race.
“Gutted is the best way for me to explain how this feels. We work so incredibly hard to be here full time and to add another DNF to our race results really hurts. I am thankful to be getting back in the #30 Ghost Energy x Lucas Oil Camaro in just a few days as we head to the Detroit Grand Prix. A track that I will have to learn on site, it will be a massive challenge but I’m very grateful to be a part of this iconic event alongside Indy Car”, she said.
Tune into MAVTV on June 8th to catch the race Thursday, June 1 at 8:00pm EST, and get the inside scoop on the entire Showtime Motorsports team through the documentary “Road to Glory” on MAVTV Thursdays at 10pm EST.
The next race will be head on the street course in downtown Detroit for the Detroit Grand Prix (www.DetroitGP.com) with TA2 racing on both Saturday and Sunday.