Podium and Pole Position for Freiberg at Watkins Glen

Shift Up Now Athlete Ashley Freiberg earned her third consecutive podium with a third-place finish for round five of the Porsche Sprint Challenge North America by Yokohama championship at Watkins Glen International (WGI) on July 5-7, 2024.

Driving the No. 222 Thu Brulé / Mobil1 992 Porsche Cup Car for Kellymoss Racing, Freiberg went into the weekend third in the championship points. On Friday, she ran P2 in the first practice and P1 in the second under dry and sunny conditions on the 3.377-mile, 11-turn WGI race track.

During qualifying on Saturday morning, Freiberg - along with competitors Jared Thomas and Paul Bocuse - established a significant performance gap over the rest of the field. Freiberg was at full pace on her first flying lap on Yokohama tires, and set her best lap times of the weekend.

Just two laps into the session, a massive crash on the front straight caused a black flag. Extensive cleanup meant the qualifying session never returned to green, so Freiberg’s second- fastest lap time put her in P2 for race one.

Later that afternoon, she was lined up on the outside of the front row for the first race. When the green flag flew, Freiberg conceded one position to the P3 car, which was running the inside line in turn one. After that, she held her third-place position for the remainder of the race. The finish marked her third consecutive podium of the season.

Freiberg’s second lap from Saturday’s qualifying session earned her the pole position for race two on Sunday. She lead the field to the green flag and got a solid jump at the start.

For the first 25 minutes of the race, she held a gap of less than 0.5 seconds over the second- place car. She took smartly-calculated defensive lines, at turn one and the brake zone of the bus stop, to defend her lead and handle the pressure of the car behind.

With ten minutes remaining, Freiberg had increased the gap to almost one second, her biggest of the competition so far. That’s when she caught lapped traffic at the exit of turn 10. She had to compromise her line - and speed - as she made the pass going into the front straight. This gave the P2 car a run and erased the small margin of distance, but Freiberg was able to defend her lead.

A few corners later, in the middle of the bus stop chicane, she caught the second lapped car. Once again, her momentum was stalled, but she maintained her P1 position. Not to be thwarted, the second-place car went three-wide to pass the lapped car as well.

Still in the lead, Freiberg caught the third lapped car at the start of the famous WGI Climbing Esses, an area where single-file is the only option. She could only wait until the track

straightened out at the top of the hill, at which point the lapped car ceded the racing line to let her by. As they approached the brake zone, she pulled alongside to make the pass. At the same time, the second-place car moved to the middle, forcing the trio to go three-wide. As a result, the cars touched, sending both of the leaders into violent, high-speed spins. The incident also collected the lapped car and the competitor in third place. Thankfully, all drivers were able to walk away safely, but a disappointing ending nonetheless for Freiberg’s potential for victory.

Next up, the Porsche Sprint Challenge North America by Yokohama will head to Wisconsin for round six of the 2024 championship at Road America on August 9-11, 2024.

Second-Place Podium Finish for Unser at Watkins Glen

Shift Up Now Athlete Loni Unser earned her best result of the season, finishing second in round five of the Porsche Sprint Challenge North America by Yokohama at Watkins Glen International (WGI) on July 5-7, 2024.

Unser piloted the No. 4 Speedway Motors Cayman GT4 RS for Kellymoss Racing in the ProAm class. Supported by Hagerty, Mobil1, and Yokohama, she had a solid practice on Friday that set her up for Saturday’s qualifying. Conditions were dry and sunny all weekend over the 3.377-mile, 11-turn WGI race track.

During qualifying on Saturday, Unser set her personal-best lap times of the weekend on her Yokohama tires. Her times earned her a P5 spot overall on the starting grid, and P4 in the ProAm class.

Later that afternoon, Unser lined up for the first 35-minute-plus-one-lap sprint race. After the green flag flew, she had her sights set on making the pass for fourth place as the field headed into turn one. When one of the cars behind made a late lunge, she was sandwiched in the middle of three cars at the apex. She backed out to avoid contact and emerged from the melee in P6 heading up to the Esses.

Shortly afterward, the two race leaders made contact at the bus stop, sending one spinning. Once again, Unser avoided contact and gained a position as a result. When the new leader was deemed to have caused the incident, he was assessed a drive-through penalty, moving Unser up another spot to P4.

After a full-course caution halfway through the race, the field was bunched up for the restart. Unser held her position on the restart, then went back to putting pressure on the car ahead. When that car made a mistake several laps later, she advanced to third place overall, and P2 in ProAm.

After one more full-course caution for an incident at the exit of turn nine, five minutes - plus one lap - remained. This meant a three-lap shootout to the end. When the checkered flag fell, Unser earned her second podium and best result of the season. The moment was also historic, featuring a female driver 1-2 finish with Caroline Candas as the victor.

On Sunday morning, the weather dawned cool and sunny for the start of race two. Once again, Unser was lined up in P5 on the starting grid.

When the green flag flew, she made a clean pass for fourth overall, and immediately set about gapping the cars behind her. From fourth, she watched the podium battle for the first half of the race, but wasn’t quite close enough to join the fight.

For the second half of the sprint race, the field began to spread out. Unser ran in a small gap of clean air, and held her fourth-place position until the checkered flag.

“I feel like every time I step into the Kellymoss No. 4 Speedway Motors car, I learn and improve,” said Unser. “This weekend was cool for me because I was unsure how I’d take to a new track. I felt as though I hit the ground running, which gave me confidence going into the races. I now have a new-found love for Watkins Glen, and I can’t wait to go to Road America next month.”

Unser and the Porsche Sprint Challenge North America by Yokohama will head to Wisconsin for round six of the 2024 championship at Road America on August 9-11, 2024.

Top-Ten Streak Continues for Cook at Watkins Glen

Shift Up Now Athlete Sabré Cook earned a pair of top-ten finishes in round four of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Championship presented by Only Golfers, alongside the IMSA Sahlin’s “Six Hours at the Glen,” at Watkins Glen International (WGI) on June 19-23, 2024.

Driving the No. 37 PenFed Credit Union 992 Porsche Carrera Cup Car for MDK Motorsports, and supported by Hagerty and Mobil1, Cook geared up for two practice sessions on Thursday before qualifying on Friday morning.

The 3.377-mile, 11-turn WGI race track was dry for both practice sessions, despite a heavy downpour between the first and second. Following her P8 finish in Montreal, Cook was in the top 15 in championship points and looking forward to qualifying.

On Friday, she immediately set her personal-best lap times of the weekend. When the session ran green the entire time, Cook and her competitors got a second run, and she had her sights set on matching her previous-best qualifying performance in Montreal. She used the opportunity to go even faster on her Yokohama tires, further lowering her personal-best and qualifying in the top ten for the first time in her Carrera Cup career with a fastest lap of 1:49.279.

The first of two 40-minute sprint races of the weekend took place on Friday at 4:20pm EDT. Cook was lined up P9 for the rolling start on a dry track, with dark clouds looming overhead. At the drop of the green flag, she got boxed in, emerging P10 as the field drove through the esses toward the bus stop.

Cook spent the next several laps working on the competitor ahead, forcing him to defend his position. As the pair raced into the toe of the boot, she made the move to the outside and pulled alongside in the brake zone. They ran side-by-side through the turn and up the hill to turn eight. The battle continued until Cook was on the inside at the off-camber lefthand turn in nine, and able to complete the pass.

Once clear of traffic, she began to set fast times, running top-five pace and closing the gap to the train of P3 through P8 cars ahead. When a full-course caution came out, the field was bunched up and Cook found herself once again in P9 with sights set on P8. After only a couple laps of green-flag racing, another caution emerged, forcing the field to finish the race behind the safety car. When a start-infraction penalty was assessed to one of the cars ahead, Cook finished race one in P8.

On Saturday morning, race two began at 11am EDT, once again on a dry track. Based on her second-fastest lap in qualifying, Cook would once again start P9. In a repeat of the previous day’s start, she once again got boxed in at turn one, and emerged in tenth place.

Just behind the top ten, two competitors made contact heading into turn two, causing a chain- reaction, multi-car accident and subsequently, a long clean-up period. When the track was clear, only 15 minutes remained in the race.

Cook spent the rest of the competition in a chain of cars from P6 to P14, focused forward but constantly monitoring the action in her mirrors, and managing both attack and defense simultaneously. When the checkered flag fell, she finished P10, earning her third consecutive top-ten finish.

"The past few races have shown a really positive trend," said Cook. "As I'm continuing to learn this series, and the car, I'm starting to gain some momentum in terms of overall performance each weekend, my out-right pace, and my results.

"I want to thank MDK Motorsports for giving me such a strong car, and all the sponsors who make it possible for me to compete in this Championship. I'm really looking forward to our next event at Road America, and I can't wait to continue the progress."

Cook and Porsche Carrera Cup North America are headed to Wisconsin for round five of the championship at Road America on August 2-4, 2024.

Hayes Makes History as Fastest Woman Ever on Pikes Peak

Shift Up Now Athletes Laura Hayes and Loni Unser took on the 102nd running of the Broadmoor Pikes Peak International Hill Climb (PPIHC) presented by Gran Turismo on America’s Mountain in Colorado on June 23, 2024. Not only did Hayes set a new record for being the fastest female athlete ever up the mountain, she won the inaugural Pikes Peak GT4 Trophy by Yokohama Tire and finished in the top 15 overall.

Also known as The Race to the Clouds, the PPIHC is an invitational automobile hill climb to the summit of a 12.42-mile, 156-turn course, culminating with a finish line at 14,115 feet of elevation. The climb takes place on public roads, which are shut down for the event, and drivers race the clock for the fastest time to the top. The competition features a number of classes, including production-based Time Attack cars, purpose-built Unlimited vehicles, and - for the first time this year - homologated GT4 cars.

Unser’s Porsche 911 entry had been specially adapted for the mountain, including massive additional downforce and more than 900 horsepower. Nicknamed “Lucy” and prepared by BBI Autosport, Unser’s Mobil1 Porsche, running on Yokohama slick tires, is the fastest car she’s ever competed in at PPIHC.

Competing for Thunder Bunny Racing, Hayes drove the only Toyota Supra in the new “Pikes Peak GT4 Trophy by Yokohama” class. All entries in this class compete on Yokohama-treaded, street-legal tires for this event, and run as homologated with the Balance of Performance (BoP) set by the SRO/GT4 America sanctioning body.

Both Unser and Hayes are Shift Up Now Foundation Grantees, sponsored by Mobil1 and running on Yokohama tires.

The PPIHC event began with tech day on the Monday prior to the race, when all teams and drivers were required to report for checks. The first practice took place at sunrise on Tuesday, followed by three additional practice days on Wednesday through Friday.

The entire field was split into three groups, and the mountain was divided into three sections. Hayes and the GT4 cars started on the top section, at high altitude, with a lot of bumps, and significant drop-offs on the sides of the road. During her eight runs, Hayes set a best time of 2:51, putting her second in class.

Unser and the Pikes Peak Open class started on the lower section of the mountain. Since qualifying is held in the lower section, and sets the run order for the start of the race, Unser’s first day on the course was also her qualifying attempt. After morning runs were complete, she qualified third in class.

On Wednesday, Hayes’ class took on qualifying in the lower section with light rain hindering the initial runs. But as competitors got familiar with the tricky terrain, lap times continued to fall. The top three in the GT4 class were separated by less than a second, with Hayes less than one- tenth of second behind P1 in qualifying.

Further up the mountain, weather delayed the Pikes Peak Open group in the middle section, and heavy fog combined with ice accumulation cancelled all running in the upper section.

On Thursday, Unser was ready to tackle the upper section despite wet weather that persisted. She ran on wet Yokohama tires for most runs, until the road began to dry later, and she finally got a few representative runs for race day.

Thursday also brought the announcement of the “Fast 15,” the 15 overall fastest drivers and cars in qualifying across all classes. Both Shift Up Now drivers continued to impress, with Unser being 10th-fastest overall, and Hayes 15th. This earned them potentially-advantageous early runs on race day, plus an exclusive invite to Fan Fest.

Race day dawned clear and bright on Sunday with the first car heading up the mountain at 7:30am. Hayes was lined up fifth and the first GT4 car to run that day. For the first time in her three years at PPIHC, the weather was finally cooperating. She set out in her Mobil1 Toyota Supra GT4 on Yokohama tires and lowered her personal-best time by almost a minute to set the new fastest time in history - by 30 seconds - for a female racer on the mountain.

When it was time for Unser to make her run, she set blistering times in the first two sections. However, a mechanical issue in the Ws section brought out the red flag and meant that “Lucy” had to be retrieved on the flatbed, bringing Unser’s day to an end early.

Once all entries had completed their runs, Hayes was confirmed as the winner of the inaugural Pikes Peak GT4 Trophy by Yokohama tire. She finished in the top 15 overall and confirmed as the fastest female up the mountain in history.

“I can’t believe it,” said Hayes. “I’m the fastest woman up the Mountain in Pikes Peak Hill Climb history! I hope today brings so much inspiration to every girl out there to chase her dreams, not just in racing. This is an honor, and I’m so proud of our entire team.

“This wasn’t just me. It was the collective effort of everyone at Thunder Bunny Racing, Mobil1, Yokohama, Shift Up Now, Toyota of Colorado Springs and so many more. I am supported by a team, sponsors and family who trusted me, and gave me this opportunity to make history today.

“I hope this record is broken every year, as more and more women with greater talent make their names known to the world, and get these opportunities. We’re just getting started, and I’m so excited to see it happen.”

“A Night with the Shift Up Now Foundation” presented by PenFed Credit Union Coming in September

The Shift Up Now Foundation is excited to announce its inaugural in-person fundraising event, “A Night with the Shift Up Now Foundation” presented by PenFed Credit Union. The event will take place at Tom Wood Porsche on Friday, September 20, 2024. An online campaign will run alongside the in-person event as well.

A Night with the Shift Up Now Foundation will feature several driver Q&As, a silent auction, and hors d’oeuvres and drinks. The “blue tie” event will be limited to 100 guests, who are asked to show up decked out in their favorite shades of blue, in support of the foundation.

The event date is scheduled in correlation with the IMSA race weekend at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, where Shift Up Now Athlete and Foundation grantee Sabré Cook will be competing in Porsche Carrera Cup. Cook will be attending the fundraising event and participating in the driver Q&A.

The goal of A Night with the Shift Up Now Foundation is to raise $50,000. Alongside the in- person event, an online campaign is aimed at raising an additional $25,000 in donations. Funds raised from both will go toward the 2025 Shift Up Now Foundation grants, which are used to award opportunities to racers believed to have the talent and aptitude to succeed in motorsports, giving them access to more competitive equipment, seat time for testing and practice, and resources to help grow their careers.

“PenFed is proud to partner with Shift Up Now to support women trailblazers in motorsports,” said PenFed Credit Union President/CEO James Schenck. “Shift Up Now racers are driving the sport forward and inspiring future generations by achieving victory on and off the track.”

Ariel Ream, Interim CEO of the Shift Up Now Foundation added, “We are so thrilled to welcome PenFed as the inaugural presenting sponsor for ‘A Night with the Shift Up Now Foundation.’ We are honored to have the support of such a well-known brand, who is committed to supporting women in motorsports. We look forward to hosting PenFed and all of our sponsors and supporters on September 20th.”

There are several options for fans and supporters who want to get involved.

First, sponsorship opportunities are still available for companies and brands that want to support the Shift Up Now Foundation and its mission. Please reach out to foundation@ShiftUpNow.org to learn more.

Fans can find information about the silent auction or donate online to the fundraising campaign at www.shiftupnow.org/a-night-with-the-shift-up-now-foundation.

Hagerty Returns as Shift Up Now Partner for Fourth Consecutive Year

Shift Up Now is proud to announce that Hagerty will continue its partnership in 2024 by supporting Athletes Loni Unser and Sabré Cook.

Headquartered in Traverse City, Michigan, Hagerty began as a niche insurance agency offering coverage for wooden boats. After expanding their coverage to classic cars in 1991, it has since grown into a global automotive enthusiast brand, and the world’s largest membership organization for car lovers.

Hagerty’s purpose of saving driving and car culture for future generations includes a strong focus on women in motorsport. The partnership with Shift Up Now began in 2021, and has continued to advance year over year.

“Women aren’t a novelty in motorsport, but a driving force,” said Eva Gregory, Senior Manager of Marketing Partnerships at Hagerty. “Hagerty is so proud to empower Loni and Sabre as they continue their journey in the highest levels of competition and to push the sport forward. Both represent Hagerty’s values and mission on and off the track, leading the enthusiast community with poise and passion.”

For the 2024 season, Hagerty will support Unser for the 102nd running of the Pikes Peak International Hill Climb on June 23, 2024, and in the Porsche Sprint Challenge North America by Yokohama.

“I am so honored to represent Hagerty for the fourth year in a row,” said Unser. “We need companies like Hagerty to push our industry further, faster. Hagerty shows us that anyone can participate in car culture, love driving and pursue their passion. I am so grateful to work with a company who aligns with my goals and values.”

Additionally, Hagerty will be an associate sponsor for Cook in Porsche Carrera Cup North America.

“I’m so delighted to announce Hagerty’s unwavering support of me and my career for a third straight season,” said Cook. “Their partnership with myself, Loni and Shift Up Now shows their commitment to empowering women in motorsports. They continue to be a valuable partner of mine and I look forward to growing together in the years to come.”

Race fans can follow along with all the action on the Shift Up Now website: www.ShiftUpNow.com or on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or X (formerly Twitter).

About Hagerty, Inc.

Based in Traverse City, Michigan, Hagerty’s purpose is to save driving and car culture for future generations and its mission is to build a global business to fund that purpose. Hagerty is an automotive enthusiast brand offering integrated membership products and programs as well as

a specialty insurance provider focused on the global automotive enthusiast market. Hagerty is home to Hagerty Drivers Club, Hagerty Drivers Club magazine, Hagerty Drivers Foundation, Hagerty DriveShare, Hagerty Valuation Tools, Hagerty Media, MotorsportReg, Hagerty Garage + Social, Hagerty Marketplace, The Amelia, the Detroit Concours d’Elegance, the Greenwich Concours d’Elegance, the California Mille, Motorworks Revival and more. For more information on Hagerty, please visit www.hagerty.com, or connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and X (formerly Twitter).