Freiberg Crowned Porsche Sprint Challenge Champion

October 9, 2023

Shift Up Now Athlete Ashley Freiberg clinched the 2023 Porsche Sprint Challenge North America by Yokohama Championship in the 991.2 class, driving for MDK Motorsports, at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Friday, October 6, 2023.

Freiberg’s season total 583 points included a 50 percent win rate, with the Las Vegas-based driver taking home victory in seven of the 14 races. In addition, she earned podium finishes at all but two races.

Going into the Indianapolis weekend, her commanding points lead meant the championship was decided as soon as she took the green flag for the second race.

On Wednesday, Freiberg’s pace was solid for the two practice sessions. When it came time to qualify, traffic came into play. Both the Sprint Challenge North America and Sprint Challenge USA West championships were taking place, and the 991.2 cars were sharing the track with the Caymans, causing Freiberg to catch traffic at inopportune times. She ended the session with the eighth-fastest lap time, putting her No. 122 Shift Up Now liveried Porsche Cup Car on the outside of row four to start race one the following day.

On Thursday morning, weather played a factor as Freiberg found her place on the starting grid. While light rain fell, it wasn’t enough to warrant wet tires, so the field took to the track on Yokohama slick tires. Freiberg knew the first lap would be tricky, with parts of the track being fully dry, while others were damp.

When the green flag flew, she began a slow march toward the front. She drove with caution, knowing the championship implications of this race. Freiberg moved up to third place overall, and second place in her class. She set her sights on overtaking the car ahead, but an incident on the start/finish straight brought out the double yellow flags. The last ten minutes of the race finished under a full-course caution.

The race one result meant Freiberg simply needed to take the green flag for race two and she would be crowned champion. She would start P5, based on Thursday’s second-fastest lap.

On Friday, confusion marred the start of race two when the field was unsure whether the green flag should have been thrown or waived off. A crash at the back of the pack brought out a full- course caution and race officials organized the cars back to the correct starting lineup for a single-file restart.

Shortly after the green flag fell, Freiberg made a pass for fourth place. Several laps later, she advanced to third. Unfortunately, contact then caused her first DNF of the season.

Despite the race result, Freiberg emerged from her race car smiling. Her season-long efforts had paid off, and the incident had no impact on her being crowned the 2023 Porsche Sprint Challenge champion.

“I thought my racing career was over and now I’m here,” said Freibert. “My heart is exploding, and I’m so thankful to all the amazing people and partners who have surrounded me to make this season possible.

“I’m so grateful to have been selected for the inaugural Yokohama ‘All In’ campaign, and to have had the opportunity to work with MDK Motorsports this year, and to be able to run Shift Up Now livery.

“This season has been a dream come true.”

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