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Michele Abbate

Michele Abbate

Trans AM series
United State of America
Next Level Racing Setup
GTtrack, Single Free Standing Monitor Stand
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Get to know

What got you into racing?

When I was about 6 years old, my older brother got a go kart and for the next 10 years of my life I was a spectator. Watching my brother take wins and championships across the nation, and then, eventually globally. Although I had I always wanted to race, I wasn't ever handed the opportunity. When I turned 16, I started taking my car to the local SCCA (Sports Car Club of America) autocross events where I finally got my first taste of driving. Since then, I've never stopped chasing my dream of becoming a professional race car driver. I worked my way from auto crossing in a parking lot, to track days and time attack. I went on to earn my provisional race license in 2011, and became a factory driver for Toyota (Scion) from 2012-2015. I became my own team owner in 2016 and made my professional debut this year, 2019, in the Trans Am series - America's Road Racing Series.

What is your goal for the next 2 years?

This is my rookie year in the Trans Am series, and, I am learning a lot. The car is still very new to me, but we are making notable progress at each event. In the next two years I would like to do a few things. Number one would be to win the Trans Am series TA2 Championship - that is my priority right now. I would also like to make my debut in the NASCAR K&N Pro Series at Sonoma by 2021.

What is your favourite race track to race on?

In the US, my favourite track is Sonoma Raceway in Sonoma, California. I love how challenging it is but it also has a lot of rhythm and flow. The elevation changes are what make it really unique and I have always done well there. Globally my favourite track is the iconic Mount Panorama in Bathurst, Australia. I was fortunate enough to race at the Bathurst 6 Hour in 2017 and I look forward to returning there soon.

What do you love about your Next Level Racing product? How is simulation helping your training?

I love the quality of my Next Level Racing cockpit. It provides a rigid feel and a true in-car feeling. I also like that everything is adjustable so if I want a friend to try it, it only takes a few seconds to get them set up and comfortable. The setup has allowed me to get a genuine feel of sitting in a race car, while really absorbing the same view that I see out of the windshield of a race car. It provides an excellent experience of driving a race car and is universal enough to associate with different types of cars and track. With the Next Level Racing Simulator cockpit, I am able to get more experience behind the wheel to mentally train my brain and my body to learn new tracks, cars, and set ups. I am so grateful for my NLR set up; it allows me to head to new-to-me tracks with confidence I couldn't get elsewhere!