Meredith Fifth, Abbale Sixth in FSCCA Race Thursday Afternoon at Sebring SEBRING, Fla., March 18 -- Chris Meredith of Potomac, Md. finished fifth and Danny Abbale of Northport, N.Y. was sixth in the Cooper Tires Formula SCCA race Thursday ...
Meredith Fifth, Abbale Sixth in FSCCA Race Thursday Afternoon at Sebring
SEBRING, Fla., March 18 -- Chris Meredith of Potomac, Md. finished fifth and Danny Abbale of Northport, N.Y. was sixth in the Cooper Tires Formula SCCA race Thursday afternoon at Sebring International Raceway. It was the second of two FSCCA races held at Sebring this week as support events to the prestigious Mobil 1 Twelve Hours of Sebring.
The third Andersen Walko Racing driver in the event, Jonathan Klein of Long Grove, Ill., suffered a broken half-shaft in his Van Diemen while running third and ended up 11th in the final rundown for the 25-minute, 13-lap race on the 3.7-mile road course.
Meredith started third but Klein and Abbale started in the back due to problems they encountered in yesterday's race. Klein was in the team's back-up car because his regular mount had been damaged too much for repairs to be made before today's race.
The start was a wild one. Meredith advanced to second and held that for four corners before he spun in turn five. He regrouped but then he had to start his march back up through the field. He got fifth by lap seven despite the fact his car was pushing, and that's were he eventually finished.
Abbale climbed to seventh by the mid-way point and was sixth by lap 10. He was struggling too, however, and there was a big interval between he and Meredith and he never got any higher Thursday.
Klein's day was the most frustrating, as he was fifth by lap three and eventually made it as high as third after starting at the rear. He spun on lap five and dropped back to fifth, but his half-shaft snapped on lap seven and his day was done.
Elivan Goulart of Huntington, Conn. won the race, just like he did Wednesday.
Meredith's car is supported by MII Security Consultants. Klein's primary sponsors are Nexus Distribution, Ronclad Performance Wear and Midwest Steel & Services. Abbale is still searching for a primary sponsor.
The next FSCCA race is at Road Atlanta in Braselton, Ga the weekend of April 25.
For more information on the team, which is based in Fairfield, N.J. and North Versailles, Pa., contact team co-owner Dan Andersen at (973) 244-1900 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, and see the team's Web site at www.andersenwalko.com.
Driver quotes follow:
Chris Meredith: "I got second at the start and held that for four corners. Then in turn five on lap one I did a 360-degree spin and went from second to last, but then I managed to work my way back up to fifth.
"The car had a really bad push and I wasn't getting full throttle the whole race."
Danny Abbale: "The first half of the race the car felt like it was off. Towards the middle it started to come in; I'm not sure what the problem was. By the time the car came in, it was too late.
"I got it sideways once coming through turn 13, but I saved it. I lost a position or two on that."
Jonathan Klein: "The half-shaft broke in turn seven. I just pulled it off on the grass.
"This was our team's back-up car. As it turned out, the car I drove yesterday was too bad to fix before today's race, so the team worked until 8:30 or 9 o'clock last night to get the back-up ready for me today. Eric and the whole team chipped in and got it ready. I feel really bad for the whole team, because they busted their butts to get it done, and we were let down by parts.
"Today I went from last to third. The car picked up a real bad oversteer though; I mean real bad. Then the half shaft broke. That's about all I can say."
Dan Andersen (team co-owner): "I feel really bad for Jonathan. That's the fourth half-shaft that has broken in Jonathan's car this year; two in testing and two this weekend. It was a mechanical DNF; it wasn't anything to do with the quality of the car's preparation.
"We're concerned about the quality of the half-shafts the series uses, but according to the rules we're not allowed to run other ones. We've petitioned the series to allow us to change that part or allow us make our own half-shafts, and we hope that they'll do that before the next race."