Professional race car driver and The Grand Tour’s in-house hot-lapper, Abbie Eaton, has finally gotten back behind the wheel of a race car after breaking her back at the Circuit of the Americas in a W Series race in October 2021.
After months of rehab and training, Eaton was finally able to slide into a Revolution A-One race car. Powered by a supercharged Ford-based 3.7-liter V6 engine that makes around 550 hp (410 kW/558 PS), the race car features a carbon-fiber tub and can keep up with LMP3 race cars. The goal of the test, says Eaton, is to race again in Zandvoort on April 9-10, which she calls one of her favorite tracks.
“I’m still in one piece, so phew. Yeah. Relief,” said Eaton of her first few laps in the race car, which is new to her. “I was excited to get back in but you kind of wonder whether when you’re out there you’ll think ‘What am I doing?’ But thankfully I didn’t and it was just me kind of pushing as much as I could.”
Eaton said that she was pushing at about 80 percent on this day in order not to overextend herself on her first foray back out on track. She added, though, that she was feeling well enough to test the car’s limits.
At Zandvoort, she’ll share her seat with Jorge Calado from Carfection in order to ensure that she doesn’t ask too much of herself during her first race weekend back in action. That will be important this year because she has big plans.
Although 17 of the 18 seats available in the W Series are spoken for, Eaton is training and driving right now in order to make her case for the last car that’s available. I think we can all join in wishing her very good luck on her mission.