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  • Writer's pictureLIAM REDFORD

Ashley Freiberg returns to the podium at Barber Motorsports Park

In another strong weekend in Porsche Sprint Challenge North America, Ashley Freiberg has continued to adapt well to the 992 Porsche Cup car and, in a tightly contested class, an impressive start to race two earned her a step on the podium.


Ashley Freiberg, Porsche Cup Sprint Challenge North America, MDK Motorsports, Porsche 992 GT3 Cup, 2024 Barber Motorsports Park
Photo credits: Kyle Schwab / Porsche North America

Ashley Freiberg maintained her excellent start to the Porsche Sprint Challenge North America season by stepping onto the podium at Barber Motorsports Park. In a tightly contested 992 class, Frieberg qualified third before finishing fourth in race one and third in race two. It was a composed performance to end the weekend from Ashley who had to control multiple safety car restarts to ensure her place on the rostrum.


Freiberg made a superb start to her campaign in the 992 class of the Porsche Sprint Challenge North America, scoring a podium finish at Sebring International Raceway. The MDK Motorsports driver was a consistent frontrunner at the season opener and Ashley was targeting further progress in Alabama. After finishing on the rostrum in both races at Barber Motorsports Park in the 991 class in 2023, Freiberg was confident that she could replicate this result in a highly competitive 992 class field.


Two practice sessions on Friday enabled Frieberg to get herself up to speed, while gaining valuable mileage ahead of the competitive action to follow. It was a superb start to the weekend for the MDK Motorsports driver who finished first practice in second position, less than a tenth of a second away from the fastest time. Again setting the second quickest time in practice two, Freiberg had given herself a strong base heading into qualifying.


Barber Motorsports Park is renown for being a difficult circuit to overtake at and therefore qualifying on Saturday morning would be pivotal. However, with limited tyres for the weekend, drivers would have to maximise their performance early in the session to set a fast time. It was another positive session for Ashley who set the third fastest time on a 1:24.752, missing out on second by less than one tenth of a second.


Lining up in third position for the opening race of the weekend, Freiberg made a good start and settled into the final podium spot behind Efrin Castro and race leader Jared Thomas. While Thomas pulled out one second a lap from the chasing trio, Ashley applied pressure to Castro while ensuring Paul Bocuse remained behind. As the drivers battled for the podium spots, this allowed Scott Blind to latch onto this fight with Freiberg showing intent to make a move for second.


As the race reached the halfway point, Blind had been dropped by the group of three drivers with Bocuse showing greater intent to find a way past Freiberg. On lap 17, Ashley lost a position to her rival but initially remained in close contention to capitalise on any mistakes from her competitors. As Bocuse set personal best times ahead, Freiberg began to fall away from her MDK Motorsports teammate as he caught up to the rear of Castro for second. Ashley continued to set consistent lap times in the closing stages to collect valuable points with a fourth-place result in the opening race at Barber Motorsports Park.


Ashley Freiberg, Porsche Cup Sprint Challenge North America, MDK Motorsports, Porsche 992 GT3 Cup, 2024 Barber Motorsports Park
Photo credits: Kyle Schwab / Porsche North America

Targeting a podium finish in race of the weekend, Freiberg would line up from fourth on the grid in her MDK Motorsports prepared machine. Ashley made an excellent start and negotiated the tricky opening sector superbly to overtake Efrin Castro and moved into third position. Her progress was then halted by a safety car on lap two, with Paul Bocuse the next target ahead.


Following a lengthy period behind the safety car, the race was restarted with 22 minutes remaining. Freiberg’s restart was excellent as she remained in close contention with Bocuse, while opening out a small margin over Castro. Remaining within one second of her rival as the halfway mark was reached, Ashley was looking well-placed for a podium result. On lap 11, John Gilliland found the turn one gravel trap and this led to a second safety car period of the race.


The race resumed with ten-minutes on the clock and once again it was a smart restart from Freiberg who looked increasingly racy behind teammate Bocuse. On the first lap of the restart, Jake Pedersen’s car rolled which required a further intervention and lengthy recovery process. As a result, the race finished behind the safety car with Ashley finishing the second race of the weekend in third position.


It was another strong weekend in Porsche Sprint Challenge North America for Freiberg who has continued to adapt well to the 992 specification Porsche Cup car. Small margins separated the podium contenders throughout the weekend, with Ashley’s impressive start to race two earning her a step on the podium. Freiberg will now be looking ahead to the next round of the championship which takes place at Circuit of the Americas on the weekend of 25th/26th May.

Ashley Freiberg, Porsche Cup Sprint Challenge North America, MDK Motorsports, Porsche 992 GT3 Cup, 2024 Barber Motorsports Park
Photo credits: Kyle Schwab / Porsche North America

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