Team Salvages Pair of Top Tens Sunday After Tough Saturday
Top-tier Road to Indy team Abel Motorsports of Louisville, KY came into Honda Indy 200 weekend at their home track, Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course, expecting to build on their string of strong 2019 results. While the two-car Indy Pro 2000 squad showed speed, strong results were hard to come by.
Series veteran Parker Thompson of Red Deer, Alberta, Canada, and lead driver Jacob Abel both qualified well Friday for Saturday’s opener of the doubleheader weekend. Thompson started third, with Abel fourth on the grid. But things went south quickly. “On lap 1, another driver popped out on me,” commented Abel, “he got into me hard, and that was it. I’m ok, but we got all four corners of the car.” Thompson, meanwhile, ran with the leaders in the early laps, before encountering drive train issues with his machine. “We came in hoping to build on the podiums we scored at Toronto,” noted the young Canadian ace. But an issue with an electrical component controlling the gearbox sent Thompson’s machine behind pit wall.
Sunday, after the Abel Motorsports crew pulled an all-nighter to repair both cars, Abel and Thompson were ready to do battle. Thompson gridded 3rd, with Abel 7th. Thompson got a great start, moving to 2ndquickly. But a late restart would prove his undoing. “The caution with 2 laps to go wasn’t what we were looking for. I don’t think I kept the tires clean enough under caution, and we weren’t good on the first lap. I’ll take the blame for that one.
But that’s racing. There’s highs and lows, and we will keep pushing through the adversity.” Thompson finished 4th, dropping to third in the Championship. Three race weekends remain in the 2019 season.
For young Abel, Sunday’s race saw him struggle throughout the 25 lap run, ending up 10th. “It was definitely a rough weekend. The boys worked really hard all night long to get both cars ready to race (Sunday). I had problems starting so far back, working to get around some other cars. It was just a bunch of bad luck, things that were out of our control. We showed a lot of determination as a team, and now we’ll go back and get ready for World Wide Technology Raceway in a few weeks.”
Team Principal Bill Abel was equally grateful to his crew. “We’re not happy with the results at Mid-Ohio, but we’re looking forward to getting to Gateway. It’s part of the measure of our team that we battle hard through adversity. These weekends happen. That’s why they call it racing, not winning.”
Indy Pro 2000 action resumes August 24 on the 1.25 mile World Wide Technology Raceway, just outside St. Louis. Thompson is now 3rd, 48 points out of the Championship lead, with Abel now 11th in the standings.
ABOUT ABEL MOTORSPORTS:
Abel Motorsports is a full-time open wheel development team, mounting a two-car Indy Pro 2000 effort in 2019.The team also competes in other professional series and has driving and marketing opportunities available throughout the year.Keep up to date on Abel Motorsports at the team’s official website,www.abelmotorsports.com.