St. Pete Winners Excited to Return to Street Circuit Competition
Rising open-wheel development team Abel Motorsports of Louisville, KY has reached many milestones in 2019. One of the biggest: winning both Indy Pro 2000 races on the streets of St. Petersburg, FL, to kick off their first full Road to Indy campaign.
Now, the team and drivers Parker Thompson and Jacob Abel return to street-circuit competition this weekend at Toronto’s Exhibition Place, as the Indy Pro 2000 Series stages its eighth and ninth rounds of the season.
Thompson, from Red Deer, Alberta, CA, considers the Toronto event his home race. While he finished 8thin the two Indy Pro 2000 events at the Exhibition Place circuit a year ago, he won twice there in 2017 in USF2000 action. Thompson comes into the weekend second in the Indy Pro 2000 standings, trailing the leader by 29 points. Another double victory on this temporary circuit could propel him back into the Championship lead.
His teammate, 18-year-old Jacob Abel, from Louisville, KY, attended the Toronto weekend last year, and is looking forward to returning to Indy Pro 2000 action for the first time since finishing 5thon the oval at Lucas Oil Raceway just outside Indianapolis on Memorial Day weekend. “The whole atmosphere there (at Toronto) is pretty cool. The fan turnout is great. The Road to Indy does it really well, starting the year in St. Pete so we get an early taste of street circuit racing. This is more intimidating, but we’re ready. I’m going in with an open mind, a learning attitude. Good results will be a bonus, but I’m optimistic.”
This weekend marks another milestone for Abel Motorsports: it’ll be the first time for the team to enter an event at Toronto’s Exhibition Place circuit. “We’re excited to be bringing both Indy Pro 2000 cars to the track this weekend,” noted Team Principal Bill Abel. “We’re coming off a great test at Mid-Ohio right after Road America. It was good for us, it went really well. We were first and second quick in the final session, and we’re looking to build on that. Both our drivers are pretty confident going into Toronto, and we can’t wait to go racing there!”
Former IndyCar Champion engineer/crew chief Thomas Knapp has joined Abel Motorsports full-time, and will be the lead engineer on Parker Thompson’s 8 car. Doug Forker remains lead engineer for Jacob Abel’s 51 car, assisting Team Manager Ian Brown.
The two Abel entries will practice and qualify for Race 1 at Toronto Friday. Race 1 takes place Saturday morning, with Race 2 Sunday morning. Both are available to stream live at roadtoindy.tv.