Top-Ten Finish for Cook in Rainy Montreal Porsche Carrera Cup Race

June 11, 2024

Shift Up Now Athlete Sabré Cook earned an eighth-place finish in round three of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America Championship presented by Rafa Racing Club, alongside the Formula 1 Racing Series, at Circuit Gilles Villeneuve on June 7-9, 2024.

Driving the No. 37 PenFed Credit Union entry for MDK Motorsports, Cook had two practice sessions on Friday to dial in her 992 Porsche Cup Car before Saturday’s qualifying. After a solid, dry first practice session, heavy rain affected track grip significantly for the second. Once both sessions concluded, Cook was feeling confident about qualifying.

On Saturday morning, despite heavy rain in the forecast, the Montreal street circuit remained dry for qualifying. Early in the session, before most drivers in the 35-car field had a chance to complete a flying lap, a red flag came out for a large accident.

With 14 minutes remaining, the session went green again. As the field simultaneously left the pits, jockeying for position ensued as drivers tried to find enough space in traffic for qualifying laps. Cook found her space and set her best lap of the weekend on her new Yokohama tires with approximately ten minutes left in the session, putting her in P11 for the start of race one. Her second-fastest lap was also good enough for eleventh on the grid for race two.

For Cook, a Hagerty-sponsored Athlete supported by Mobil1, this was her best qualifying in Porsche Carrera Cup so far.

Later that evening, race one began at 5:55pm EDT. Despite rain approaching on the radar, all cars opted for dry tires to start the race due to the dry race track. However, just two laps into the 40-minute competition, the rain showed up and chaos ensued. Caught up in the melee, Cook spun and dropped in the overall order before the safety car came out.

The race was red-flagged to give teams an opportunity to change to wet tires. When race control tried to resume the race behind the safety car, conditions were deemed too poor to go back to green-flag racing. Ultimately, the race was called and Cook finished P15 in class.

On Sunday morning, race two began at 9:40am EDT and this time, there was no mistaking what Mother Nature had in store. Rain continued to fall on an extremely wet track as the cars lined up on the grid. Under race control’s direction, instead of a single-file, safety car start, the field would attempt a full, side-by-side start after the two pace car laps.

As cars accelerated at the green flag, a massive cloud of spray from the front of the field made visibility exceptionally difficult for the back half. Conditions were treacherous and slick, with patches of standing water on the track.

Over the first two laps, the cars around Cook were missing brake points, sliding wide and spinning. Despite the turmoil, she was able to avoid incident, making smart decisions and moving up into the top ten.

During the second lap, contact on her left rear corner from a car attempting to pass, spun the No. 37. Cook managed to not hit anything and only lose minimal track position. When she got going again, she was still just inside the top 15.

The safety car came out briefly to pick up debris from another incident, then the field came to a restart with 25 laps remaining in the race. Conditions hadn’t improved and visibility continued to be an issue for a majority of the field behind the leaders.

Cook had a strong restart and immediately set about gaining lost ground. She moved up to P13 in the first few corners, and was back inside the top ten by the end of the lap. As she made a pass for P8, with her sights set on continuing to advance further, another huge incident brought out the safety car.

Despite the driver of that car being safe, the damage to the track wall from the contact was significant. As a result, the race ended early behind the safety car, with Cook earning a P8 spot.

“What a mix of a weekend,” she said. “I’m pleased with my best qualifying to date in Porsche Carrera Cup North America, and feeling strong about our recovery to P8 in race two. The MDK Team and I are working well together, and I’m excited to continue our progress at Watkins Glen next week!”

Cook and Porsche Carrera Cup North America are headed to Watkins Glen International race track for round four of the championship on June 20-22, 2024.

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