Abbie Eaton shows strong speed in Austria

Abbie Eaton returned to TitansRX at the MJP Arena last weekend for her second-ever rallycross race weekend.

The sports car racer hit the ground running on Saturday by setting the third-fastest time in practice, which took place in mixed conditions.

„I’ve always been the kind of person that will go out and I’ll be quick straight away, whereas everyone else finds their feet,“ Eaton said of her impressive speed early on. „Some of the guys went out on dry tyres straight away whereas I was on wets when the weather was kind of in between. I can always go out and do a time to start off with but then it’s when they kind of eat into it I take longer to get up to that level.“

Eaton then battled through the qualifying heats, bouncing back from two punctures, and hard contact with a barrier to make the semi-finals for the second time this season where she missed out on making the final by the tiniest of margins after mounting a challenge to Jerome Grosset-Janin as the pair took the chequered flag.

„It started strong in free practice and I surprised myself being third fastest overall and then it was just getting used to driving on the gravel,“ Eaton said of her performance in round seven. „We used dry tyres at Lydden Hill but the gravel here is so different to the stuff at Lydden and it’s just knowing how to get the car to do what you want it to do and only really in the last two races I did on Sunday that I felt I cracked it.“

„It’s just completely different to anything else I’ve done. Obviously the jumps too – I’ve never done a jump before as well so yeah, just kind of learning every time we go out. The amount of knowledge I’ve gained this weekend has been twice as much as Lydden Hill so we’ll see in Hungary if I can maybe put it all together and keep out of trouble.“



A key part of Eaton’s weekend was her thrilling battle with Perry McCarthy in qualifying on Saturday. The two Brits pushed eachother hard throughout their opening heat race, with Eaton ending up in the barriers after pushing too hard. The incident brought out a red flag and when the race resumed, so did the battle.

„I love Perry, he’s such a nice guy and yeah we did have some good battles,“ said Eaton. „I think there’s a couple of times where me and him were a bit like ‘let’s just try this and see what happens’ and we both got into eachother when we probably shouldn’t have and I was probably over-driving a little bit to get back in front of him which is why I ended up going into the tyres.“

Eaton is set to once again return to TitansRX next month in Hungary and she has one thing on her mind – mastering gravel.

„It’s just the gravel,“ she said. Honestly I can’t stress how different this gravel here [at the MJP Arena] is compared to Lydden Hill and everything else I’ve done. Lydden has a really nice tarmac or concrete base underneath it and only a thin layer of stones basically.“

„Here it’s really deep, thick, and really slippy,“ she added. One of the Hansen brothers said it was like driving on ice and it really is. If you do it slightly wrong – too much power or not enough power – and you’re nowhere. You have to find that sweet spot in the middle. Kenneth Hansen offered me some words of advice which I really appreciated. I’m still smiling.“


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