Breakout Weekend for Rising Star Jacob Abel; Wins First Two Professional Races

Success in professional racing is all about performance.   For young drivers, the ability to win races makes or breaks a career.   For 18-year-old Jacob Abel of Louisville, KY, the road ahead is now a whole lot brighter, after posting a dominant weekend in F3Americas powered by Honda action at Road Atlanta on Easter weekend.

Jacob won two of the weekend’s three F3Americas rounds, earning victory in stellar fashion.  He rounded out his breakout performance by collecting another podium finish, third, to take over the series points lead after two weekends of action in 2019.

“It’s been a long time coming”, noted the high school senior.  “When I knew I had the first race won, I started screaming on the radio.  It means so much to me that I could give our guys this win.  I’ve been close to them for such a long time. I’m thrilled I could pay our guys back for all their hard work by earning my first two pro wins as a driver.   Awesome weekend for our team!” 

Jacob Abel and his Abel Motorsports #51 Ligier-Honda faced a tough battle as the race weekend began at Road Atlanta.   Stormy spring weather forced F3Americas officials to cancel qualifying and line up the field for race 1 on the basis of points earned at Barber Motorsports Park during the season’s first race weekend.   That gave Abel second starting spot for the Road Atlanta opener.  

When the green light flashed on, Jacob charged from the outset, grabbing the lead on lap 1 and never looking back.   “We knew going in we’d have a leg up, since I raced in F3 at Road Atlanta last year.  Already knowing the track, we were able to get down to business preparing for the three races right away in the first practice session.  And it paid off big!”  noted the second-year star.    It was another outstanding moment as well for the reigning F3Americas Championship team, after Abel Motorsports dominated the series in 2018.   “This was very important for Jacob.  It was a breakout weekend for him for sure”, commented Team Principal Bill Abel.

Race 2 on Saturday was more of the same.   “I was running 4thearly in Race 2, when the leader had problems.  Then the two cars in front of me tangled; I went off too, into the gravel trap at Turn 10.  I locked up the brakes and flat-spotted the right front”, the young charger commented.  “I got a great restart and was able to grab the lead, manage my tires, and get to the checkers first.  It was great to win again!”

The weekend’s finale saw the young pilot from Kentucky put together another strong outing, starting 4th and battling to a strong third at the finish.  Jacob’s amazing race weekend paid off with the F3Americas Championship lead, with the year’s third race weekend ahead in June at Pitt Race.  

Jacob Abel added, “Now we have just about a month break until we go racing in May.  I have a lot of testing ahead, starting right away.   We’re at an awesome stage for our team, leading the points in two major championships.”

Based on Abel Motorsports’ showing at Road Atlanta, it looks like a second consecutive F3Americas Championship season could well be in the offing.  Regardless, Road Atlanta will always be a special place in the team’s young history.

First-Year Indy Pro 2000 Team Looks Forward To Strong Weekend in Indianapolis Return

Abel Motorsports, one of the sport’s top developmental racing teams, has already earned a year’s worth of successes, even though the 2019 season has barely started.   Four victories across two series, highlighted by a weekend sweep of Indy Pro 2000 action at the season opening Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, have established Abel Motorsports as a Championship favorite on the Road to Indy.

Now, the third-year organization makes its Road to Indy debut on the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course this Friday and Saturday, as part of Indy GP weekend.  “We raced there in another series two years ago,” commented 18-year-old Jacob Abel, who wheels the team’s #51 Indy Pro 2000 entry.   “I actually had one of my best weekends my rookie year at Indy on the road course, so I’m really looking forward to racing there this weekend.”

Since the St. Pete opener, Jacob has raced in another developmental series where he picked up his first two professional victories at Road Atlanta.  “Getting those wins has given me a lot of confidence going into Indy.  It’s going to be a busy month of May for us, with the Grand Prix weekend, and then my oval debut at Lucas Oil Raceway on 500 weekend.  I can’t wait to get going!”

Jacob’s teammate in Indy Pro 2000 competition this year is young Canadian veteran Parker Thompson, who earned both Indy Pro 2000 wins at St. Pete to kick off the season.   Thompson goes into the Indy GP doubleheader as the series points leader.  “I’ve had success there last year.  I won and finished 5th, due to a mechanical issue, in the 2 Indy Pro 2000 events a year ago.   As strong as Abel Motorsports is right now, there’s nowhere to go but up.  I’m going to hold us to a pretty high standard.   I don’t see any reason why we can’t be on the top step of the podium both days this weekend.” 

 Thompson is equally high on his teammate’s prospects.  “Jacob Abel is starting to show what he’s made of, with those two wins at Road Atlanta.   He’s going to win Road to Indy races, and he’s going to make it to IndyCar.  Once he starts putting it all together, he’s going to have a lot of success.”

The two Abel Motorsports Indy Pro 2000 entries will battle for honors Friday afternoon at 3:40 PM on the IMS road course in the third round of the 2019 Indy Pro 2000 Championship; round four goes green Saturday morning at 10:10 AM.   The races will be live streamed at www.roadtoindy.tv.

F3 AMERICAS CHAMPIONS FIND SUCCESS IN FIRST BARBER VISIT

Team Earns Podium, Top Five Finish on F3 Opening Weekend

Reigning F3Americas champions Abel Motorsports of Louisville, KY made a late decision to support the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Barber at Barber Motorsports Park, outside Birmingham, AL., by fielding one of their team-title-winning Ligier JS3 machines powered by Honda.   It was the right call, as rising young ace Jacob Abel muscled his way to a 3rdplace finish in the Saturday season opener, backing that up with a strong 4thin the finale Sunday morning.

 “It was a strong weekend for our team,” noted the 18-year-old driver.

“We were good on Saturday, and I’m proud of the podium result.   But we were better Sunday after a tough start, and we were closing on the third-place car when the race ended early.  If we’d gone green again, I think we would have been back on the podium easily.   Considering we only had one day in the car testing after deciding to support Honda at this event, we had a great weekend.”

Adding to the challenge Sunday, officials determined it to be a wet race after overnight storms dampened the Barber course.   “We’re on a new tire in F3 this year, and we had to run on rain tires, a completely new experience,” added Jacob Abel.   “Our team did a great job preparing our car and giving me a chance to run really well.  I’m pleased.”

Team Principal Bill Abel added, “It was great to come back to the F3 paddock, see lots of old friends in the series, and support Honda.  Not sure what the rest of the F3 season looks like for us, but we’ve got a lot of great things coming up in the 2019 season.”

Abel Motorsports has a heavy testing schedule planned over the next several weeks before returning to racing action.

2018 F3 Americas Champions Return For Season Opener

2018 F3 Americas Championship Team Returns For Season Opener in Alabama;  Supports Honda Racing at Honda IndyCar Grand Prix of Alabama Weekend

When the bell rings to open a new racing season, real racers respond.  And that opening bell is sending top-flight open wheel development team Abel Motorsports back to the F3 Americas Championship Powered by Honda next weekend at Barber Motorsports Park in Alabama.

Abel Motorsports captured the 2018 Driver’s Championship and the Team Championship in the first year for the new FIA-approved development series.  Jacob Abel, who earned 4thin the final 2018 standings, will drive the team’s entry in the Barber Motorsports Park doubleheader, which kicks off the second season of F3 Americas competition.

Team Principal Bill Abel noted, “We’re looking forward to having Jacob back in the car at a new venue for the series at Barber.  I understand it’s one of the nicest facilities in the country, and we’re excited to kick off the new F3 Americas season there.   It’ll be great to support Honda Racing and HPD on Honda IndyCar Grand Prix weekend, and to see old friends who competed against us the past few years in F4 US and F3 Americas.”

In 2018, Abel Motorsports won 15 of the 17 F3 Americas races, romping to both Series Championships.  While the competition is expected to be stronger this year, the Kentucky-based team is planning to be more than equal to the challenge.

Lead driver Jacob Abel is equally excited.  “I’ve missed being in the F3 race car.  The platform we have, the Ligier JS3 chassis and the turbocharged Honda engine, is terrific.   I love driving the car.  It suits my driving style, and we’re looking forward to picking up where we left off at the end of last season.  It’s important, too, for me to get some seat time and laps at Barber, one of the most important IndyCar venues on the calendar.”

The 2019 F3Americas Powered by Honda season opens Saturday April 6thwith qualifying at 8:05am CDT, with race #1 of the weekend going green at 11:45am Central.

Championship Team Ready to Bid for Indy Pro 2000 Title Starting This Weekend At The Grand Prix of St. Petersburg

Louisville-based team signs 2018 Championship runnerup to partner with rookie Jacob Abel as team’s Road to Indy quest begins

Top-tier open wheel development team Abel Motorsports of Louisville is set to open its quest for another Championship starting this coming Friday and Saturday as the 2019 Road to Indy season begins with a doubleheader on the streets of St. Petersburg, FL.  Coming off a dominant F3Americas campaign, Abel Motorsports will run two cars all season in the Indy Pro 2000 Series, the middle tier in the Road to Indy ladder system that feeds the NTT IndyCar Series.

Team principal Bill Abel is finding it hard to contain his enthusiasm for the new challenge.  “We’re really excited to be involved with the Road to Indy full time now.  We’re really pleased with what we have in these Indy Pro 2000 cars.  We’ve been testing since December and we feel like we’ve got a good handle on these cars.  We’re in a good position to get out and win the championship.  We’re ready to build on our 2018 F3 Championship starting next week.”   

There are several key reasons for optimism in the Abel camp. None is more important than the team’s newest driver, 21-year-old Parker Thompson of Red Deer, Alberta, CA, last year’s Championship runner-up. Thompson won 3 Indy Pro 2000 events in 2018 and likes what he sees in Abel Motorsports.“It’s a fantastic group of people.They’re not new to winning, and I’m looking forward to working with them to succeed.Our deal is just for St. Pete right now; I had a second (place finish) there last year.We’ve been at the top of the time charts all weekend at the Homestead test, even though we’ve focused on getting ready for St. Pete.  The goal is to put Abel Motorsports on top of the box next week and turn this into a Championship run with these guys.”

Jacob Abel, who has made several starts in USF2000 on the Road to Indy, is equally optimistic.  “This car is a whole new animal for our group, in terms of speed, performance, and adjustability.   We’ve beefed up our engineering program, adding Doug Forker (from Team Pelfrey) as my engineer and that’s huge. And Parker is a great guy, really professional, a terrific driver and just as good a coach.  I think top fives next weekend are doable, even though it’ll be my first time on a temporary circuit.  It’ll be a great start to our year.”

Practice and qualifying for the opener are Thursday, March 7th, with Round 1 of the Indy Pro 2000 Championship taking place Friday afternoon, March 8, at 12:40 PM.

Championship Team Takes First Steps on "Road to Indy" For 2019

Kentucky-based team logs fast laps at Homestead in first official Pro Mazda test, meets media at Performance Racing Industry trade show

Top-tier open wheel development team Abel Motorsports of Louisville made its first full-time foray into Road to Indy action this week in South Florida and in Indianapolis, running its two Pro Mazda entries in the official Series test at Homestead Miami Speedway.   Days later the team formally announced its entry Into the Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tires Championship for 2019.

Team Principal Bill Abel was encouraged by the team’s strong showing at Homestead, and by the reception Abel Motorsports is receiving since confirming its move to Pro Mazda.   “We’ve really stepped up our effort to get ready for the 2019 season,” noted Abel. “The competition level and the professionalism of the series demand our best effort, which we’re prepared to give. We’ve made the commitment to buy two strong race cars, we’re staffing up, and our drivers will be ready to answer the challenge come March.”

While the team worked through some normal opening-day teething problems, their potential for success was obvious.  Abel Motorsports will field car number 51 for full-time driver Jacob Abel of Louisville, a high school senior who’s already found success in several open wheel series, including a top ten run at Road America last year in USF2000, and podium finishes in F3 Americas action.   “I have a lot to learn in these cars,” said Jacob, “but they’re a lot of fun, they’re fast, and they demand a lot from a driver.”

We’ll be ready to contend for podiums when the season kicks off.  I can’t wait.”

While the team’s second seat is not yet committed, three-time champion Kyle Kirkwood tested in the Abel #8 at Homestead.   Kirkwood had little trouble posting the fastest time Monday in limited action.  “Abel Motorsports is a great team”, indicated Kirkwood, who won 28 races in 32 starts in three different types of cars in 2018.  “I’m not sure yet what I’ll be doing in 2019, but driving for Abel Motorsports in Pro Mazda would be great.   They’ll be ready to run up front for sure.”

Abel Motorsports officials are wrapping up the week by meeting key partners and motorsports media at the annual PRI Trade Show in Indianapolis, while making the formal announcement of their Pro Mazda plans.    

 

 

Champion Open Wheel Team Driving "Road To Indy" in '19

Louisville-based Squad Acquires Pair of Pro Mazda Machines, Enters IndyCar Ladder

Record-setting open wheel development team Abel Motorsports of Louisville, fresh off a stunning F3Americas debut season, will begin a new chapter in its growth for 2019.   Abel Motorsports (ABM) has acquired the Pro Mazda assets of championship-winning team Cape Motorsports, and will begin private testing this week with Jacob Abel of Louisville behind the wheel.

“This represents a major step forward in our development as a top-line racing organization,” stated team principal Bill Abel.  “We intend to make more progress in 2019, our third season as a professional open wheel team.   We’re coming off a sensational second year, with Kyle Kirkwood dominating F3Americas and us winning the team championship there.   Now, we’re ready to tackle the Road to Indy ladder in Pro Mazda.   It’s a tough series with lots of  strong teams and talented young drivers, but we’ve built the infrastructure on and off the track to allow us to succeed at that level and beyond.”

17-year-old Jacob Abel can’t wait to get started in Pro Mazda.  “I raced several times the past few seasons in USF2000, so I know how tough the Road to Indy series are.  After the success we had this past year in F3Americas, with my podium finishes in that car, I think we can be fast from the start.  It should be an awesome experience to race with IndyCar all year long.”

While plans for the team’s second Pro Mazda seat are not yet firm, ABM expects to bring another driver onboard who can also contend for wins and the season championship.  “We have some strong options for our second car,” Bill Abel noted.   “We’ve had inquiries from some terrific young drivers, and we’re still taking calls.  Our cars were among the strongest in the paddock in 2018.  And with our key team members in place, we know we can provide good young racers with the platform they’re seeking as they take the next step in their driving careers.”

ABM will continue off-season testing at the official Pro Mazda series test at Homestead Miami Speedway (FL) in early December.   The 2019 Pro Mazda season opens next March on the streets of St. Petersburg, FL, part of the season-opening event for the IndyCar Series.

Abel Motorsports Sweeps F3Americas' Closing Weekend at United States Grand Prix

Mission Accomplished for Dominant F3Americas Squad at COTA

Leading open wheel development team Abel Motorsports of Louisville, KY wrapped up their F3Americas Championship season in style this past weekend at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX, sweeping both F3 race wins and clinching the inaugural F3Americas Team Championship.   Driver Kyle Kirkwood won his 14th and 15th F3Americas races in 17 series events at COTA, closing his Championship year with an exclamation point.   Kirkwood’s teammate, teenager Jacob Abel of Louisville, put together a strong final weekend as well, finishing 6thand 4thin the two events.

“We had a great weekend,” team principal Bill Abel noted.   “We wanted to finish what we started, finish strong, and we did.   Kyle capped off a remarkable year with us, winning his third major championship within a year… winning both COTA races.  It was amazing.”    While Kirkwood had already locked up the Driver’s Championship in F3Americas, to go along with his 2017 F4US Championship and his 2018 USF2000 title, his two F3Americas wins at COTA gave him an incredible 27 wins in 31 starts across USF2000 and F3Americas.

That’s considered a modern-era record of dominance in open-wheel racing that may never be duplicated. 

And Jacob Abel continued to progress at COTA, on one of the biggest stages in racing.  “Jacob continued to learn, working with his driving coach Shelby Blackstock, and our whole team.  He just keeps getting better.   Sometimes it’s easy for us to forget this is only his second season racing cars, and he still has a lot to learn.  But he’s getting better all the time and I couldn’t be more pleased.   And watching Jacob work with Kyle, who’s just an incredible talent, you can see that’s really been a positive for both of them.”

Kirkwood won the F3Americas Championship by 129 points; Abel Motorsports took the Team Championship by 50 points, on the strength of Kirkwood’s title and Jacob Abel’s 4thPlace finish in the Championship.

Now, with their first Championships tucked away, the focus for Abel Motorsports turns to 2019.   Bill Abel commented, “we’re not quite ready to announce our plans as yet, but suffice it to say we’re going forward full bore, planning to challenge for more wins and championships.   We want to continue to work with young drivers who are hungry for success, and we want to keep giving Jacob Abel and other young racers who will drive for us the best possible platform to learn and grow behind the wheel as well as off-track.”

Leading open-wheel team looks for Texas Two-Step at COTA

Abel Motorsports Bidding For Inaugural F3Americas Team Title

Abel Motorsports of Louisville, KY, one of the country’s top open-wheel development race teams, has already put together a strong 2018 resume’.

Abel secured the first-ever F3Americas Championship title for Kyle Kirkwood at NOLA Motorsports Park last weekend.  This weekend, Abel will fire up their two-car F3Americas team before a huge F1 crowd at Circuit of the Americas, outside Austin, TX, chasing the first F3Americas Team Championship.   Abel currently leads the team standings by 36 points heading into the COTA doubleheader.

 “It’s a different kind of weekend for us,” said team principal Bill Abel.

“We’ll run two races instead of the normal three, and they’re 10 lap sprints, instead of the normal 35-minute timed events. But we get to showcase our team in front of a couple hundred thousand fans from around the world, and our guys get to perform in front of some of the most influential people in racing. It’s a huge deal for us.”

Abel continued, “Our drivers, Kyle (Kirkwood) and Jacob (Abel) will have to concentrate on good starts and be quick and smooth out of the gate.  Hopefully by the end of the weekend we can claim the Team Championship, to go along with Kyle’s Driver’s Championship.

Kirkwood, the teenager from Jupiter, FL, will wrap up another season of dominance at COTA.  Last weekend at NOLA Motorsports Park, Kirkwood won 2 of the 3 F3Americas races, picking up his 12th and 13th victories in 15 series starts this year.   The wins gave Kirkwood the F3Americas Championship, adding to his F4 US Championship in 2017 and his USF2000 Championship earlier this year.   Overall in 2018, Kirkwood has scored an unprecedented 25 wins in 29 starts across USF2000 and F3Americas.

His teammate, 17-year-old Jacob Abel of Louisville, is looking for his fifth and sixth podium finishes in his inaugural F3Americas campaign.  “(COTA) is definitely our best event of the year.  I have experience there, having run the F4 US Championship rounds there a year ago.   It’s an awesome experience.   It’ll be tough competition, but podiums are a realistic expectation.” 

The inaugural F3Anericas Championship Powered by Honda concludes with one race each day this Saturday and Sunday at Circuit of the Americas.

Dominant F3Americas Team Notches 2 Wins, 3 Podiums, in NOLA Tripleheader

Kirkwood Claims THIRD Major Development Series Crown in 12 Months, Abel Motorsports Closes In On Inaugural Team Championship

One down, one 2018 objective to go for top-tier open-wheel race team Abel Motorsports of Louisville, Kentucky.    The team’s lead driver, 19-year-old Kyle Kirkwood of Jupiter, FL, won two of the three F3Americas Championship races this past weekend at NOLA Motorsports Park just outside New Orleans, Louisiana.   By taking those two victories Kirkwood claimed his third major development-series championship in 12 months, an unprecedented accomplishment in North American motorsports history.   

“It’s very cool”, commented Kirkwood.  “I’m proud to have won the first F3Americas title, to go with my F4US Championship in 2017 and USF2000 Road to Indy Championship earlier this year.   Abel Motorsports is an amazing team, they again gave me a great race car, and I’m so thankful to be able to race with such a great group.”  The two F3Americas wins over the weekend in the three events ran Kirkwood’s tally to 13 F3 victories in 15 tries in the first-year series, all wheeling Abel Motorsports machinery.

Now, Abel Motorsports has one more task ahead: claiming the inaugural F3Americas Team Championship.  The series has one more race weekend remaining this season.    

Team Principal Bill Abel noted, “I’m so proud of our guys.  Everyone worked very hard to get us to this point, and Kyle Kirkwood is amazing.   He and Jacob (Abel) both did a great job in our cars.   We’re almost there!”

The team’s second driver, rookie Jacob Abel of Louisville, KY, also had a strong weekend.  Abel gained speed and momentum across the three races finishing the finale Sunday afternoon with a strong podium result of third.   “I was pushing hard all weekend,” the teenager noted.   “In Race 1 I had a good start, good pace.. since I’m not in the points battle I had nothing to lose.  I pushed a little too hard at the end and got into a gravel trap.   Similar thing in Race 2.  I’m still learning the car, the much higher horsepower, the weight and downforce, all those things.  In Race 3 things started to come together.  I put my head down, clicked off some good laps, and got a great result.  It’s good to have a race like that.”

Abel Motorsports will be looking to wrap up the first F3Americas Championship season in style this coming weekend at Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX