ABEL Motorsports heads to Monterey for INDY NXT doubleheader

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ABEL Motorsports heads to Monterey for INDY NXT doubleheader

Elkhart Lake, WI - during the XPEL Grand Prix at Road America in Elkhart Lake, Wisconsin. (Photo by Joe Skibinski | IMS Photo)

– Championship leader Jacob Abel looks to get back into the winners circle 

– Yuven Sundaramoorthy ready to capitalize on his season-best finish two weeks ago after helping Wisconsin to a third-place finish in the FSAE electric vehicle finals

SPEEDWAY, Ind. (18 June 2024) – As ABEL Motorsports prepares to enter the second half of the INDY NXT by Firestone season, the team looks to continue the form that has put them on top of the series championship standings – starting with the Grand Prix of Monterey doubleheader this weekend.

Championship leader Jacob Abel (Louisville, Ky.) and Yuven Sundaramoorthy (Oconomowoc, Wis.) are set to battle at one of the legendary American road courses, WeatherTech Raceway Laguna Seca – with its iconic Corkscrew recognized worldwide. Abel and Sundaramoorthy have raced at WRLS several times during their junior formula careers, with Abel scoring four top five finishes in five races and Sundaramoorthy earning two top 10s in four races.

Abel holds a 19-point championship lead and with a doubleheader set at WeatherTech Raceway, he knows that this will be a pivotal weekend.

“Obviously this is a pivotal weekend, with two races,” said Abel. “But we did pretty well at the last doubleheader (on the road course at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where Abel earned a victory and a second-place finish to take the points lead). We’ve always been strong at Laguna so we hope that continues – though hopefully without some of the bad luck we had last year. We tested there back in January and the car was quick. Like Road America, Laguna was repaved last year, and we seem to be good at the high-grip, new surface tracks, it suits my driving style.

“Because it’s a doubleheader, we only have one practice session,” Abel continued. “I also think that benefits me, since I’m a third-year driver and have more experience at the track. It will be extremely important to be able to hit the ground running, and I think that’s one of our strong suits – both for me as a driver, and for the team.”

For Sundaramoorthy, the WeatherTech Raceway event marks the first INDY NXT race weekend at track he has raced the car before. With a top 10 in the first of two races last year and the test day earlier this year, he appreciates having a personal database to draw from this time around.

“We had a lot of pace there last year, we just didn’t have the experience in qualifying,” said Sundaramoorthy. “Similar to Road America, this track is all about commitment. We were pretty good there last year, except in the Corkscrew, so figuring that out will gain us plenty of time. It’s so hard to judge how much speed you can take into the corner because there are no visuals. You can’t see the apex until you’re right there. It’s also a momentum track, so if you mess up in turn 5, it messes you up all the way through the Corkscrew. If we put it all together, we should be okay. I’m excited for the doubleheader, it’s more opportunities to learn.”

Sundaramoorthy comes into the weekend with a podium finish under his belt, having helped his Formula SAE team to a third-place finish in the electric vehicle finals, held last week at Michigan International Speedway. Against 68 other international universities, Wisconsin completed the challenging 22K endurance event and scored well in design, and in the autocross event.

“It’s the first time Wisconsin has finished the endurance event since 2018, so that was very gratifying,” said Sundaramoorthy, who earned a degree in Computer Science from Wisconsin last year while working with the school’s SAE program. “More teams finished this year than ever before, so the event is getting harder to win. We were only six points out from winning it all – it was a well-designed and well-balanced car so hopefully this gives the team even more momentum going forward.”

ABEL Motorsports thanks partners ABEL Construction Company, Advance Ready Mix, Boyd Cat®, S Team Motorsports and OMP for their continued support.

The INDY NXT by Firestone Grand Prix of Monterey takes the green flag Saturday at 3:25 p.m. ET and Sunday at 3:55 p.m. ET. The races will be streamed live in the U.S. on Peacock, while international viewers can watch via INDYCARLIVE, with INDYCAR Radio available at indycar.com and on Sirius XM.