The first Western Conference SCCA Hoosier Super Tour event was held at Buttonwillow Raceway in Southern California this past weekend. The GRRRacing team was faced with some challenging prep after an unfortunate loss of their previous motor at the SCCA Cal Club event a few weeks prior.
The team found themselves wrapping up the new engine install on Friday after waiting for the delivery of a few vital components. A little behind schedule the GRRRacing team hit the road with the Scosche Toyota 86 late Friday night.
Arrival to the track was around 3am Saturday morning with the first warm up session at 9:45am. The team stuck to the strategy of breaking in the motor and cautiously checking all the necessary parameters. Delicious Tuning provided remote support for engine data and the team looked forward to talking the green flag that afternoon.
As they prepared to head to grid with the final updated tune file, a fuse shorted out causing the ECU to become unwriteable. Unfortunately the team was disabled and unable to communicate with the ECU and CAN BUS systems and missed the Saturday race due to the car being inoperable.
“We worked through the night trying all kinds of troubleshooting… our friends from Four Four Motorsports and even long time friend Jeff Abrams of Desert Diagnostics worked to find some sort of solution”, Crew Chief Anthony Philleo shared, “Ultimately, we didn’t correct the problem, but we were able to get the car started and to run properly after several hardship laps and some good luck on Sunday morning”.
Abbate took to the track, dead last, in 33rd position overall, due to no qualifying time. “I just wanted to keep my nose clean through the race and drive cautiously. Our efforts this weekend were to get our motor seated in properly and monitor the new set up”, driver Michele Abbate stated. Through the 35 minute race Abbate did just that and earned a podium finish in 3rd place for STU and 24th overall – an impressive run for driving cautiously.
“This is like a win for us, I don’t think 3rd place has ever felt so good. Our entire team has really busted their butts to get here this weekend and it really couldn’t have been possible without the help from our sponsors. Special shout out the Zach at Delicious Tuning for working overtime throughout the weekend aiding us immediately with our needs. Mishimoto came through with all new components for our new build and got them to us in a very small time window. KING Bearings also has been a vital player in dialing in our engine set up over these past few weeks. As well as Logan Textor at The Subie Source in Las Vegas. Heatshield Products has also given us the competitive advantage of helping us preserve every ounce of horsepower we can. We are so grateful for the partnerships we have and look forward to the rest of our season”, Abbate explains.
Next up on the GRRRacing schedule, the team will join Rookie Motorsports in the Silver State 300 for the Best in the Desert off road race in Nevada. Stay tuned for updates!