First Podium Finish of 2024 for Freiberg at Sebring Raceway

March 6, 2024

Two Shift Up Now Athletes supported by Mobil 1 Racing competed this weekend on Yokohama tires at Sebring International Raceway in the Porsche Sprint Challenge by Porsche Motorsports North America.

In GT3 Cup, 2023 Porsche 991.2 Champion Ashley Frieberg returned to sprint competition with MDK Motorsports, this season racing in a 992 Porsche Cup Car in the Pro-Am class.

With two sessions each Thursday and Friday, Freiberg was able to get the car on track for its first shakedown as part of this program. With both days of testing and practice marred by teething issues, the team was uncertain going into qualifying that they would be able to make a showing befitting their past success in the series.

Saturday morning, under partly cloudy skies keeping the temperatures in the high 70s, Freiberg and MDK finally had the car they’d been looking for. Freiberg qualified the Mobil 1 Racing blue and white 992 machine in P3 for race 1 and P4 for race 2.

Later that afternoon, Ashley immediately went to work on her Yokohama tires at the green flag for the first of two 40-minute races for the weekend. The Porsche veteran showed impressive pace in the competitive 37-car field, jumping up into P2 on the start.

Staying right on the tail of the P1 car, Freiberg and her competitor pulled away from the field and battled fiercely for most of the race, until a late caution period stalled their competition. The race ended under yellow-flag conditions, and the Porsche Sprint Challenge veteran clinched her first podium finish of the 2024 season in her new 992 class.

Frieberg continued her performance in race 2, starting P4 on the grid. Having made changes to the car anticipating cooler weather, the team was stymied when the heat rolled in and it was all she could do to manage the tires and cross the line in her starting position, gaining another valuable top-five finish.

The points earned from a strong debut weekend at Sebring puts Frieberg solidly in third place in the championship standings.

“What a weekend!” said Freiberg. “Although everything came together extremely last-minute, I believe we maximized what we had with the tools we were given. The competition is tough this year and everyone has been testing a lot over the off season, so we have some catching up to do. I feel really confident we can get there after showing our pace with such limited time and information.

"I’m still working on gathering the budget to fund the rest of the season, but I’m extremely motivated and plan to show up in a big way at Barber. A massive thank you to MDK Motorsports, Mobil 1 Racing, Yokohama, my friends at the PCA, DreamGiveaway, Shift Up Now, Ease Logistics, and the Cleveland Clinic for getting me to the track in Sebring!”

In GT4 Cup, Loni Unser tackled the famous bumps in her debut on the Porsche Motorsports North America ladder in the No. 4 Speedway Motors and TruStage car run by Kelly Moss Racing.

With 3 test sessions on Thursday and two official practice sessions Friday, Unser and Kelly Moss knew they had a great car out of the box in their new 718 Porsche Cayman GT4 RS.

After qualifying her purple and white machine in an overall P9 out of a competitive 23-car field for race 1, Unser held that position for the 35-minute race to land a top-10 overall result, taking the checker P4 in class.

In race 2, Unser showed similar poise and pace in her Porsche Cayman, starting P8 at the green flag and once again defending that position to the checker, earning another top-ten and P4 in the Pro-Am class.

Unser leaves her first weekend in Porsche Sprint Challenge competition in fourth in the standings, with her sights set on adding to that success.

"Leaving Sebring makes me so excited and confident about the rest of the season,” quoted Unser. “I believe the pace is there to run up front. It's going to come down to doing everything exactly right in this competitive field. I believe it's possible with a world-class team like Kelly Moss Racing behind me. Racing for a woman-owned and run team is extremely special, because it further proves that women have earned their place in motorsports. To top it all off, the new Cayman GT4 RS is a pretty sweet ride. In the Porsche Sprint Challenge we are allowed to run the car unrestricted, which means it reaches speeds over 150mph. I am honored to have partners like Speedway Motors, Trustage, Mobil 1, and Yokohama behind me."

The Porsche Sprint Challenge season resumes at Barber Motorsports Park, April 26th - 28th.

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