Lites: Mishael Abbott Utah race notes

Mixed Results for Mishael Abbott and B-K Motorsports in Utah TOOELE, UTAH (May 19, 2007) -- The weekend for the B-K Motorsports Lites team at Miller Motorsports Park for Rounds 3 & 4 of the 2007 IMSA Lites Presented by Hankook...

Mixed Results for Mishael Abbott and B-K Motorsports in Utah

TOOELE, UTAH (May 19, 2007) -- The weekend for the B-K Motorsports Lites team at Miller Motorsports Park for Rounds 3 & 4 of the 2007 IMSA Lites Presented by Hankook season provided the ups and downs that are inherent in racing. Mishael Abbott had bad luck most of the weekend that included a crash in practice and a continuing struggle with gearbox mechanical problems. Her teammate, Gerardo Bonilla, was strong at every session, taking his third straight IMSA Lites 1 win in Race 1 on Friday but suffering a blown engine in Race 2 on Saturday morning.

"This was a difficult and disappointing week for me at Miller Motorsports Park," Mishael Abbott said. "They have a wonderful facility and a challenging track that suits my driving style. I am definitely looking forward to returning here."

Mishael's crash in Thursday afternoon's practice session sent her straight into the barrier at about 115 mph. Fortunately the air cushions placed in front of the guardrail at Miller Motorsports Park did their job wonderfully and Mishael immerged unhurt and the car sustained only nose and bodywork damage. The B-K Motorsports crew did a great job that night getting everything back together on her Mazda-powered, Elan DP02 for Friday morning's qualifying session.

Qualifying was incident free for the 30-minute session but wasn't everything Mishael had hoped for. She encountered shifting and computer management problems but still she chipped away at her lap times and posted her best time of 2:49.204 (95.445 mph) for the week in the final qualifying lap around the 4.486 mile track.

Race 1 was Friday afternoon with Mishael starting in eighth position among IMSA Lites 1 cars. At the start of the race she immediately noticed gearbox problems coming down the front straight for the green flag. She seemed to be missing fourth gear and was getting neutral during shifting. In fear of doing further damage to the gearbox and engine she pulled into the pit on the third lap.

Qualifying for Race 2 was based on the best lap times from yesterday's Race 1. With only two scored laps in the race because of the shifting problems, her best time was down from where it should have been. She was positioned 10th in the Lites 1 class and 18th overall among the combined group of Lites 1, 2 & 3.

The car performed better for Mishael in Race 2 but she still had downshifting difficulties. She moved up to 8th in class and also 8th overall. It was a very good move through the field that sported a bunch of passing and at times some exciting back and forth battles. Mishael had gained ten positions on the field during the 30-minute race and given just one more lap she was posed to move up one more position.

Unfortunately Gerardo Bonilla suffered a blown engine and completed only two laps. He started 2nd and was sitting in 3rd when his engine let go. It happened just at the approach to the pits so he was able to get off the track and into the pits where they put out the ensuing fire. He had an excellent run of three wins in a row but the streak and spray of champagne ended today for Gerardo and B-K Motorsports.

"Racing has it ups and downs and fortunes and misfortunes," said Mishael Abbott. "This weekend was more on the downside for me but we showed in the second race that there are good days ahead. I have all the confidence in my B-K Motorsports team and we will be strong at Lime Rock Park."

Rounds 5 and 6 of the 2007 IMSA Lites Presented by Hankook (www.imsaracing.net) is scheduled for July 6 and 7, 2007 at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut for the New England Grand Prix.

-credit: mar

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About this article
Series IMSA Others
Drivers Mishael Abbott , Gerardo Bonilla