Saturday, 25 November 2017

Ashley Freiberg



Ashley (centre) on the Sebring podium


Ashley Freiberg has competed in the prestigious Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring 12 Hour races. She is a racewinner in the IMSA GT Challenge series and the Continental Sportscar Challenge.


Ashley began her senior racing career in 2008, after several successful seasons in karting.
Initially, she progressed through the Skip Barber racing school ranks, and in 2009, she was the first female winner of a Skip Barber National Series event, in New Jersey.


Initially she specialised in single-seaters. She did her first Formula Star Mazda races in 2009, before winning another National Series race in a Formula Mazda, and then winning the 2010 Skip Barber Summer Series outright. She added to her win tally with another Summer Series race victory in 2011.


In 2012, she competed in Formula Star Mazda full-time, and was eleventh in the championship. Her best finish was sixth, at Baltimore.


After this, she switched to sportscar racing, and contested the 2013 IMSA GT Challenge, in a Porsche 997. In her first season, she won once at Watkins Glen, a first for a female driver, and was second twice, at the Glen and Monterey. She was ninth in the championship, after missing the last round.


In 2014, she made history again by winning the Continental Sportscar Challenge race at Daytona, supporting the 24 Hours, in a BMW M3 Coupe. Funding was an issue, but she did secure enough sponsorship to race again and took part in another four Challenge races. Her best finish was seventh, at Laguna Seca.


In 2015, she was a BMW North America Scholarship driver, and raced an M3 in the Continental Sportscar Challenge again. She won one race at Road Atlanta. This was one of three podium finishes: the others were a second at Watkins Glen and a third at Road America. Her co-driver was Trent Hindman.


In 2016, she competed in the Daytona 24 Hours and Sebring 12 Hours for Turner Motorsport, in a BMW M6. She was second in class at Sebring, and 23rd overall. Later in the season, she drove for the team again at Road Atlanta, and was ninth in the GTD class. In between, she tried out a prototype for Starworks Motorsport and contested another three rounds of the Weathertech Sportscar Championship. The car was an LMP2 and she secured two class finishes, at Long Beach and Laguna Seca. She was a temporary team-mate to class winners, Alexander Popow and Renger van der Zande.


She stuck with sportscars for 2017 and entered the Lamborghini Super Trofeo, contesting the Pro class with DAC Motorsport. This resulted in five podium finishes from eight races, the best of these being second at Watkins Glen, her lucky track. She was third overall, just behind her earlier team-mate, Trent Hindman. She had taken a chance with her entry and was not sure how her season would go. Early on, she described her plans as “going race by race”.


She is also making a name for herself in cyclocross.


(Image from www.ashleyfreibergracing.com)

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