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.