Shift Up Now Athlete Sabre Cook earned sixth- and ninth-place finishes in the Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup North America at the Miami Grand Prix on May 6-7, 2023.
The third race weekend on the series’ schedule featured rounds five and six of competition, as well as racing alongside the 2023 Formula 1 Crypto.com Miami Grand Prix.
Driving the No. 37 992 Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car for Kellymoss Racing, Cook had two practice sessions on Friday to prepare for qualifying the following morning. Having never raced on this track, she was anxious to get on track.
Unfortunately, she didn’t get to turn laps in practice one due to circumstances outside her control. Later that day, during the second, 30-minute practice, Cook was able to get some quality laps in. She had to bed the brakes for the first few laps and was happy with the initial pace.
Qualifying conditions on Saturday morning were dry and hot for the 13-minute session. The No. 37 initially went out on new tires for a first qualifying run, then Cook later came in for a second set of new tires. Despite her pace being impeded by traffic on her flying laps, and passing three cars on her fastest one, she qualified P18 for the first race.
Race one was 40 minutes of competition on the dry, very hot Miami track. Starting P18, Cook got a good start and was P16 after the first lap. By lap seven, she had advanced to P14. After a full-course caution on lap eight, she fought through a messy restart and advanced to P10.
Another full-course caution and hectic restart caused lots of collisions. Contact to the right-rear of Cook’s car nearly caused her to spin at the exit of turn one, but she managed to survive the chaos and advanced to P7.
On the final lap, she was fighting for P6 and narrowly missed it, crossing the finish line in P7. After a post-race penalty was assessed to another competitor, Cook was awarded P6.
The second, 40-minute race took place on Sunday under cooler conditions. A light rain fell as the field waited on the grid for the formation lap, but only continued until the end of the first lap.
Cook started P14. She had a decent start and held position for the first lap, then settled in, fighting her way forward over the next few laps to P12.
On lap 10, Cook was maintaining a strong pace, however she overheated the tires chasing down the pack in front of her before a full-course caution came out for a crash in turn 16. She used this opportunity to cool her tires back down and prepare for another re-start.
During another chaotic restart, Cook charged forward to P10. Unfortunately, the damage to her overheated tires caused understeer that she had to manage for the remainder of the race.
She fought hard with two other competitors for who would finish in the P9, P10 and P11 positions. In the end, she crossed the finish line in tenth place. Another post-race penalty assessed to a competitor gave her an official P9 finish.
“What an incredible weekend,” Cook remarked. “Kellymoss and I couldn’t be happier with the progress made this weekend. It feels so encouraging to see the results of all the hard work come to fruition a little more each race weekend.
“Thank you, as always, to my partners for fueling this opportunity, and all my supporters and fans for being so encouraging and delighting in the progress made. Porsche Motorsports North America did a fantastic job at securing such a cool event like Miami GP for Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup to compete at.
“I’m putting my head down as always to continue the work and bring this momentum into the next race event at Watkins Glen in June!”
The next event on the Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup North America schedule is at Watkins Glen International Raceway. Rounds seven and eight will take place during IMSA’s “6 Hours of the Glen” weekend on June 22-25, 2023.