Victory for Freiberg at Circuit of the Americas

May 29, 2024

Shift Up Now Athlete Ashley Freiberg brought home her first 992 Porsche Cup Car victory in the Porsche Sprint Challenge North America by Yokohama at Circuit of the Americas (COTA) on May 24-26, 2024.

Driving the No. 222 Mobil1 Racing entry in the GT3 class, Freiberg spent Thursday and Friday battling an issue with the car. Her MDK Motorsports team pulled the 992 Porsche Cup Car apart entirely before qualifying as they worked to diagnose - and solve - the issue.

Freiberg’s first flying lap on Yokohama tires proved their hard work paid off when she immediately jumped to the top of the time sheets. At the end of the session, another driver edged her out of the pole position by only a few tenths of a second, so she was set to start the first sprint race on the outside of the front row.

At the start of the first race - scheduled for 35 minutes plus one lap - Freiberg had a good start. When the leader got a small jump, the P3 driver went with him. But within another lap, Freiberg capitalized on the mistakes of the cars ahead and moved back to P2. She then settled in, trying to advance to the lead while defending her spot while being pressured from the P3 competitor.

By the halfway point, Freiberg was setting her personal-best laps of the race and chasing down the leader. With 10 minutes to go, she set up the pass on the long COTA back straight and into turn 12. On her first attempt, she was side-by-side with the leader through turns 13 and 14, but had to slot back into P2. But a couple laps later, she attempted the pass again and made it stick, leading the field into turn 13, then establishing a gap. By the time the checkered flag fell for Freiberg’s first overall Porsche Sprint Challenge win - and first win in the 992 chassis, she had a 2.4-second lead.

On Sunday, the opportunity for a repeat victory ended for Freiberg before it even began. An unfortunate mechanical error caused her to return to the pits. Although it was a quick fix, the Illinois native was nearly four laps down by the time she got back out on track.

“What a roller coaster weekend,” said Freiberg. “Racing can certainly have the highest of highs and lowest of lows, but I’ve always said that is what makes the victories so sweet. Winning on Saturday was absolutely thrilling and honestly, so unexpected. As a team we were all so focused on the job and executing as well as we could, and it really paid off in incredible ways. Jared [Thomas], a two-time MX-5 Cup champ, has been dominant this season, so to be the first driver to be able to battle with him and come home with the win is just so exciting.

“I have to thank my crew, my sponsors, MDK Motorsports, Yokohama Tire, Mobil1, Porsche Motorsport North America, Shift Up Now and Dream Giveaway. And my family, my husband, my friends and all the supporters behind the scenes for giving be this opportunity to succeed. It really takes a village, and I know how hard everyone works for me. I’m just so grateful.

“Sunday was really heartbreaking. On the pace lap, as soon as I left pit lane my car started to shut down, and my heart just sank. Sadly there was nothing I could do, but I’m grateful for my crew for getting me going again to earn some points for the season. We will focus forward on
VIR now!”

Next up, Freiberg will head to VIRginia International Raceway for round four of the Porsche Sprint Challenge North America by Yokohama on June 14-16, 2024.

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