THE Bathurst 6 Hour is drawing racers from all over the nation, and even beyond our continent.
Dual Sports Car Club of America (SCCA) champion Michele Abbate will be part of the grid for next month’s event after joining forces with the Pedders Racing garage, getting behind the wheel of their Toyota 86.
For Abbate, it’s a dream come true to have the opportunity to race at one of the world’s greatest circuits. It was a dream that was big enough to cancel a honeymoon and make the journey to Australia to go racing.
“I couldn’t be more excited and thankful to take advantage of this amazing opportunity,” she said.
“It has always been my dream to visit Australia and watch some of the best racing in the world, and, thanks to seasons of sharing information, a mutual commitment to the FRS (Toyota 86) chassis, and now with this open door from Pedders Racing, I don’t have to watch, I can actually get out there and race Bathurst.
“We’ve been toying with the idea of joining forces for a while now, but our racing seasons and business commitments hadn’t fallen in line, so when the date was mentioned, my crew chief [fiancé] and I changed our plans because, let’s be honest, is there any where or any way better to do a honeymoon?”
In a unique education-first partnership, and with Australia’s most promising motor sport professionals, the students of Motorsports Training Australia, at the helm of preparations, strategy and crew operation, Abbate’s signing to the seasoned production racing outfit could just prove to be their ticket to tame the mountain.
With high hopes shared across the Pacific, the #86 champion Toyota has undergone a complete mechanical and electrical review during the Australian Production Cars Series off season to give the greatest of opportunities when Easter rolls around.
“We’ve had lots of exciting things happen to the team since we joined the national scene seven years ago, but to be able to secure the opportunity for an international driver to be with us at Bathurst is pretty up there,” Pedders Racing driver and Team Principal Grant Phillips said.
“Michele has developed a strong pedigree of racing across every opportunity that she creates, and we’re very keen to get her to Australia and get her settled into the seat of our 86.
“There’s no doubt that Michele’s knowledge of track racing, her understanding of the 86 chassis, and her entertaining approach will gel really well with our team, and it won’t just be a ‘bucket list’ experience for her as a driver, but also an outstanding experience for our MTA [Motorsports Training Australia] crew who take every moment as a unique opportunity to learn.”