Sports Car — 29 August 2011

Michele Abbate Blog Post


Competing at Auto Club for the second and last time of the year with the NASA organization offered our team a chance to breathe. Being as we had run at the same track in the same configuration as we did before, allowed us to know what to expect; to an extent. The only new aspect we would need to adapt to is the fact that we have now put both cars on a set of new Toyo R888 Tires. I was very excited to try these tires out because I have heard nothing but good things about them.

Saturday was a hot sunny day at the track and my lap times were very consistent when compared to my previous lap times. I ran my best session in the morning when it was cool, with a 2:05.2 during practice. Being as the practice times don’t count I landed 4th place with my best time of the day as a 2:05.7. With temperatures reaches the high 90’s it was understandable to not see a huge improvement from the morning.Sunday offered the biggest and best surprise for me. As I woke up, I thought I had heard rain, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up. As I moved the curtain away from the window I was surprised to see a huge downpour in the Fontana area. I couldn’t believe it! I was so excited. I love nothing more than racing in the rain. I had only driven one other time in the rain, and I was one of the fastest cars on the track and won in my class; rain is my element and I couldn’t wait to get to the track and run my sessions.
During the first morning session the rain was still coming down very hard. As we took our warm up lap and headed for the straight with the green flag flying, I passed 4 cars on the straight away as I flew into the oval at turn 1. I was still taking it easy because I needed to feel how the car responded in the rain. Yet I still had a blast. I came in after the session to find out I was the 3rd fastest car on the track overall, and 1st in my class #TT-E#. I was feeling confident and having the time of my life. All I could do is pray that the rain kept strong all day.

Unfortunately, as the day went on the sun came out and dried up everything wet at the track. The higher horsepower cars got their grip and confidence back and times started to set in similar to Saturday. By the end of the day I set a very similar time as well, and once again placed 4th for the TT-E class.This was definitely an awesome event for the Crawford Performance Scion Racing tC’s because we got to experience rain, which doesn’t happen that often. The skills you can develop and learn in the rain are some of the most vital things as a driver. I’d like to thank all of our sponsors for their continued support throughout the season, including: Scion Racing, Toyo Tires, Motul, NGK, Tein, Advan, TRD, & K&N. And I look forward to our next event!
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About Author

I am a Las Vegas native and I have spent all of my life around many types of motorsports. My brother, Michael Abbate, was a very successful driver in many go-kart organizations and his achievements opened my eyes to the world of racing. It has always been my dream and passion to drive but it was not my reality until I stopped watching him and took action myself to get on the track. After some experience of karting at a hobby level, I began competing in autocross at a regional level with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) in 2004 at the age of sixteen with my daily driven car. My first national event with the SCCA was in 2007 with a podium finish behind two national champions. In April of 2009 I expanded my racing career with road course racing and time attack events through several organizations including 600 Racing/INEX, Redline Time Attack, NASA, UMS Tuning Time Attack, and others. After about a year and a half of driving in NASA’s High Performance Driving Education I earned my NASA Time Trial License in 2011 still using my daily driven car. This year I am working towards my Race License while driving the 2011 Crawford Performance Scion Racing tC. I am very grateful to be a part of the Crawford Performance and Scion Racing team for the 2011 season. I look forward to continuing to compete in several road course events to gain more seat time, experience, and exposure by excelling my motorsports career at both a regional and national level. The track is where I belong and it fuels all my motivation in life.