Jacob Abel Takes First FR Americas Podium of Season
Conventional racing wisdom dictates that a multi-car effort yields stronger results. That having more data from multiple cars brings better finishes. But at Sebring International Raceway in Florida, young veteran Jacob Abel and his Abel Motorsports squad, working as a single-car effort, posted their best weekend of the 2020 Formula Regional Americas season. Abel had top-five pace throughout and posted a strong third-place finish in Sunday’s first race.
“We’re finally starting to gain some momentum,” commented the college sophomore. “We had a podium last week at Mid Ohio in Indy Pro 2000, and it was great to be back on the podium this weekend in FR Americas. Sebring is notorious, a bumpy and difficult track. We had some issues to work through on Friday but our guys took care of that. We had our best pace of the year.”
Abel qualified sixth for the Saturday opener to the tripleheader FR Americas weekend, moving up to finish fifth in that round. Sunday, Abel started sixth again in Race 2 and turned in a stellar run to third at the checkers. The final event of the weekend was tougher. After lining up fourth based on quickest race lap in Race 2, Jacob had an on-track issue and had to pit for a new nose and new tire. The Abel crew fired off a rapid stop to keep the #15 car on the lead lap. Jacob raced his way back through the field to put pressure on the fourth-place car, finally settling for his second fifth-place finish of the weekend.
Team Principal Bill Abel noted, “We overcame a significant amount of adversity to get that first podium of the season Sunday. But I think the best team performance as well as Jacob’s best drive of the weekend came in the second race Sunday. Coming back from that on-track issue to get the car fixed, stay on the lead lap, and then to have Jacob catch up to the gearbox of the fourth-place car by the checkered flag shows what our guys are made of. We will build on this weekend to finish the season strongly.”
The Abel Motorsports team won’t have much of a breather this week. While their driver heads back to class at Butler University, the team will turn their FR Americas machine around quickly to prepare for the season’s fourth race weekend about 150 miles south, at Homestead Miami Speedway’s road course.
It’s quite a change from the 3-mile-plus flat airport layout of Sebring to the “roval” course at Homestead, which uses a good portion of Homestead’s 1.5-mile trioval. It’s a place Jacob Abel and his team are familiar with, having raced there in F4 US Championship action in 2017. And it’ll be no surprise to anyone if Abel posts another strong weekend to close out the Series’ “Florida Tour” in 2020.