Freiberg’s Podium Streak Continues at VIRginia International Raceway

June 18, 2024

Shift Up Now Athlete Ashley Freiberg earned a pair of third-place finishes in the 992 ProAm class for round four of the Porsche Sprint Challenge North America by Yokohama championship at VIRginia International Raceway (VIR) on June 14-16, 2024.

Driving the No. 222 Thu Brulé 992 Porsche Cup Car - now competing for Kellymoss Racing - Freiberg hit the track Friday for two practice sessions, and ran in the top three for both. On the heels of her win at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) just a few weeks ago, which put her third in the points, she was ready to continue her championship pursuit.

Freiberg is part of the newly-announced Porsche Mobil1 Female Driver Program North America. In addition, she’s a Mobil1 Racing-supported athlete.

The weather was hot and sunny all weekend on the 3.27-mile, 17-turn VIR road course. Qualifying took place on Saturday morning. Freiberg was immediately up to speed on her brand-new Yokohama tires, setting the third-fastest time.

On lap four, contact with another driver led to an “incident responsibility” penalty. This deleted all of her qualifying times and sending her to the back of the 26-car field for the start of race one.

Later that afternoon, Freiberg went into the 35-minute-plus-one-lap sprint race with two goals. In addition to moving up in the overall order, she aimed to continue her championship chase by passing as many ProAm cars as possible to rack up additional points.

By the end of the first lap, Freiberg had already climbed eight positions to the P18 spot. She spent the next 20 minutes continuing to move up the order. Although it then became more difficult to make passes as she neared the top ten, her bravery showed with an incredible, around-the-outside pass at turn five.

With 15 minutes remaining, she advanced to the top ten overall, then into some clear air as she tried to close the ten-second gap to the seventh-place car overall (fifth in ProAm). Knowing that she also needed to set a fast time in order to start race two at the front, Freiberg caught the two cars ahead with just two laps to go.

On the last lap, she got her signature run into turn one and made the pass for P4 in ProAm. However, the car ahead was watching her progress in his mirrors and chose to defend heavily into “NASCAR Bend,” the tricky, curved braking zone, off-camber turn three. Coming with momentum, Freiberg made a bold move to the outside and pulled fully alongside under braking. Despite the outside line having much less grip through the middle of the corner, she had the grip and the road on track out. She completed the pass heading into turn four, giving her a P6 finish overall and P3 in the ProAm class to continue her podium streak.

Race two began on Sunday at 11:45am EDT. Freiberg’s time from the clean laps in race one meant she was starting fourth for the second 35-minute competition.

She had a solid start heading into turn one, but being on the outside ended up being a disadvantage as she was pushed off the race track into he grass by the car on the inside. She rejoined the field in last place.

Undeterred, Freiberg passed three cars by the end of the next lap and continued to work her way through traffic in an even more dominating fashion than the day before. She caught a train of cars from P4 to P8 overall and worked her way to the front of the entire group within three laps, with 15 minutes to go.

She then set out to close the gap between her 992 and the P3 car (overall and ProAm). Within two laps, she caught him and passed cleanly to move into the final podium position. Without sufficient time to bridge the gap to the leaders, Freiberg took the checkered flag in P3 to round out a solid weekend with her new team.

After the race, Freiberg offered her thanks to Victoria Thomas from Kellymoss Racing for helping her find a new sponsor and continue chasing the championship with her new team.

"I am completely beside myself at the work that Victoria has done to get me back in a race car so quickly,” said Freiberg. “She brought me a wonderful new sponsor, Thu Brulé Skin Care, and without her hitting the ground running to make this all happen, I would not have been racing at VIR.

“It was an amazing first weekend with Kellymoss Racing, especially considering it was such a thrash to find a car and get it to the track within a few days. I can tell that both Andy and Victoria have a lot of passion for their team because it is such a great group of people to work with. I felt like I fit in with them seamlessly and the car was a rocket ship!

“I also couldn't believe the amount of support I received from people in the paddock and all of my fans on social media. The money that was raised both on my OpenFender fundraising page and from supporters coming out of the woodwork to help me, was truly mind blowing. I also have to thank my amazing sponsors, Yokohama and Mobil1, for standing by my side no matter what, and supporting me through this transition. We still need to find a little more funding to close the year, but we are getting closer every day!”

Thomas echoed Freiberg’s sentiments, adding, “I can honestly say that what transpired at VIR will be etched in my memory forever. It perfectly exemplified the week that led up to the race. Putting together a race program, acquiring and race-prepping a car to roll out within just three days - while we were racing in Montreal - seemed like an insurmountable challenge to most. It is exactly why our team is the perfect fit for Ashley. Kellymoss rallied around Ashley because this year we have witnessed her proven ability to turn adversity into success. It's beyond her undeniable race craft; this degree of resilience is innate and cannot be taught. She is truly awe- inspiring. We are privileged to have her as part of our team and are excited about our future together."

Next up, Freiberg heads to Watkins Glen International for round five of the Porsche Sprint Challenge North America by Yokohama championship on July 5-7, 2024.

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