Ashley Freiberg, in her first season of sports car racing ever, won the second race of the weekend at Watkins Glen. News release below. Story from the series' site here.
FREIBERG BECOMES FIRST FEMALE OVERALL NORTH AMERICAN GT3 CUP CHALLENGE WINNER
21-Year-Old Ashley Freiberg Makes History At Watkins Glen International
WATKINS GLEN, NY (June 30, 2013) - Watkins Glen International will be forever in the history books as IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama's Ashley Freiberg became the first woman to claim an overall GT3 Cup Challenge victory in North America with her win at The Glen after starting from the pole. The 21-year-old also broke the championship tie and now leads the series championship points battle by four points over Madison Snow.
The lone female in the field, Freiberg led flag-to-flag while also becoming the first female Platinum Cup winner as well. History has been with the EFFORT Racing driver multiple times, after also becoming the first woman to win an overall Skip Barber Championship (with 25 wins) and the first woman to win a BFGoodrich Skip Barber National Series race at New Jersey Motorsports Park as part of her past resume.
Freiberg, of Bondville, VT, posted the second-fastest time in qualifications, giving her the BBS pole position for Race #2 at Watkins Glen. She pulled away from the rest of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup cars with Snow and Angel Benitez Jr. before a yellow caution flag came out three minutes in. After the restart, Snow tried to keep up with Freiberg but she built a 1.4-second lead by Lap 9 that increased to a 6.4-second gap by Lap 16. She ultimately finished with a 10-second lead over the 26-car field. With her win, Freiberg is the second class winner in US GT3 Cup Challenge history, joining Melanie Snow who won her first Gold Cup race in 2009.
"Congratulations to Ashley on her inaugural win in the Porsche IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge," said Jens Walther, President & CEO, Porsche Motorsports North America. "The Series is a great platform for young driver talent and, clearly, Ashley has proven herself among the elite drivers in a very strong field. To come on the weekend of the Series' 100th race, seems very appropriate."
While Race #2 was all about history, Freiberg also raced on the 3.4-mile course on Saturday, placing second (after starting second) and at the time, matching her best career GT3 series result from Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in May. With her second-place result on Saturday, Freiberg also led her first career laps in the series. When the weekend was checkered, Freiberg brought her win total at Watkins Glen to six, following five wins within the Skip Barber Racing Series.
Freiberg returns to the track for rounds seven and eight of the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama at the Canadian Tire Motorsport Park for the 2013 Grand Prix of Mosport July 19-21. Practice is set to begin on Thurs., July 18, with qualifications on Fri., July 19 and ultimately the races the following two days.
In addition to EFFORT Racing, Freiberg's racing efforts are also supported by: TRUECAR and Bell Helmets.
About Ashley Freiberg:
Ashley Freiberg is a 21-year-old autoracing driver who competes in the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge by Yokohama, a developmental series that prepares drivers for a professional autoracing career in sportscars. In her first four races of the 2013 season, after transitioning from open-wheel racing, Freiberg leads the Series' Point's Championship with four top-five finishes, including a runner-up result at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca. Ashley has made history multiple times; becoming the first woman to win an overall Skip Barber Championship (with 25 wins) and the first woman to win a BFGoodrich Skip Barber National Series race at New Jersey Motorsports Park. She also became only the second female, other than Danica Patrick, to be nominated as a candidate for the prestigious Team USA Scholarship. She began racing at age 13, was named by Sports Illustrated as a "Face in the Crowd". For more information, please visit http://www.AshleyRacing.com.