Sneak Peek: Michele Abbate's 2012 Scion tC
By Justin Banner
When I first saw Michele Abbate and the Gruppe-S 2012 Scion tC at Buttonwillow for Round 1 of the MotoIQ Pacific Tuner Car Challenge, I wasn't impressed. She was hanging on by a thread and wasn't even close to the leaders in the Tuner Under class. So, my first thought was, "I've heard of her and I've seen tCs race before, but neither one are doing as well as I expect." When the MPTCC racers pulled in after Practice, I over heard her talk to her crew chief, Eddie Kim from Dynamic Autosports, and mention that a shock or a shock mount was broken. Sure enough, during Qualifying I noticed the car diving more to one corner as they had no time between to repair it. The next part that surprised me was when the cars were brought on the scales at the end of Race One. At 3,000 Lbs, the tC is the heaviest car in the MPTCC series. Then watching her at Fontana with a working car, I had to rethink my first impression. Seems to be a theme with me and the MPTCC cars and drivers, here. So, what makes this car work? How does Michele keep up with so much lighter cars besides her intense driving style? Why keep it so heavy, too?
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