If you didn’t know already, 86Fest is an awesome event put on each year to bring together all the generations of 86 platform enthusiasts. From the classic AE86’s to the new FT86 platform. People throughout the nation gather to check out the events, vendors, and enjoy the simple company of each other. This year was the 3rd consecutive year that the GRR Racing year has attended this event. Last year Michele provided ride a longs at the autocross course for the veterans of War Fighter Made. This year, the team decided to participate in the newly added Global Time Attack event as the series took the infield course at Auto Club Speedway.
Abbate was excited, “Jason of GTA asked what configuration I would suggest for the event, and he decided to go with it!”. It’s been over 6 years since running the infield and Michele was excited to make a return to Time Attack. “It’s been a handful of years since participating in a time attack event. I’m looking forward to the opportunity while representing the 86 chassis on this awesome day!” Michele stated.
In addition to making her return, the team was excited to up the trim of the race car to fit the GTA rulings for Limited Class. Adding the large APR rear wing, Driveway labs diffuser, Deatschwerk injectors, vented SEIBON CARBON dry carbon hood, and a new custom tune for e85 by Delicious Tuning to handle the Ignite Racing Fuel, the team was stoked to see how they could perform on this new track layout.
With five 20 minute sessions to land one fast lap, the GRR Racing team set out with somewhat of a strategy. “The car has more power with our new tune, Ignite Racing Fuel, and Deatschwerks injectors, so it will be interesting to see the transition. Although, we are competing on Federal 595 tires, which will provide a challenge compared to our usual Hoosier slicks; it should be a lot of fun!”, Crew Chief Anthony Philleo shared.
The first two sessions out, Abbate worked to learn the course and feel the new set up on the car. “It was challenging to remember how to drive on street tires. I’m afraid I have been spoiled the last couple years as we have been racing on slicks in all of our events”, Michele admits. With two sessions left to go, and not really being any faster than a 1:22, the team knew it was go time. To conserve both the tires and the temperatures, Michele aimed the lay down a fast lap immediate off the drop of the green flag. The 4th session she landed a 1:19.3, kept her in front of half of the field, but knowing more time was there to shed, the team made some last minute changes to lighten up the car.
Swapping to their lighter front end, pulling the passenger seat, and making a few other weight reduction changes, the team headed out for the final round. Anthony and Michele planned out their attack, with a one shot lap at the drop of the flag Abbate pieced together a wicked fast 1:17.8 time. Surprising herself and the team, they were proud to take 2nd place in the Global Time Attack Limited RWD class! Beating over 30 cars, and finishing in the top 10 overall position, the GRR Racing team was excited about their debut in the Global Time Attack series.
Stay tuned for an awesome ride along view with Abbate brought to you buy Driving Line 360! Link to post soon.
Michele was also given the opportunity to try out the new Schroth Racing Flex head restraint unit and compare it to the carbon fiber HANS device she has been using over her career. Check out the review at: http://m1cheleabbate.com/abbate-reviews-schroth-shr-flex-device/
Michele also had the opportunity to try out the latest model of the Ultra Chiller thanks to Chris, who came out to support the GRR Racing team at the event. The new unit is a HUGE upgrade from the previous model of the Ultra Chiller – with more options, better connection, and even a timer for intermittent use, you’ll for sure want to hear more about this product in the near future. Be sure to check out Ultra Chiller at: http://www.UltraChiller.com the better solution to staying cool!
As always, big thank you to all of our sponsors who have helped keep us fast and on track all year long. We’re excited to make some announcements very soon! For reference, here is a link to the final results of the event: http://globaltimeattack.com/2016-rd2-gta-pro-86fest-auto-club-results/