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Chloe Chambers impresses in debut IMSA Mustang Challenge races at Mid-Ohio

Chloe Chambers made a notable entry into the IMSA Mustang Challenge series during its first-ever race weekend and, despite technical challenges and minimal track time, Chambers demonstrated once again her racing prowess and talent behind the wheel with a stellar recovery from the back of the field to seventh overall.

Chloe Chambers, IMSA Mustang Challenge, 2024 Mi-Ohio Sports Car Course
Photo credits: Chloe Chambers

Chloe Chambers made a notable entry into the IMSA Mustang Challenge series during its first-ever race weekend, held at the Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course. Despite technical challenges and minimal track time, Chambers demonstrated once again her racing prowess and talent behind the wheel of any racecar she has the chance to bring to its limits.

The first season of the Mustang Challenge, sanctioned by IMSA and operated by the Ford Performance Racing School, has in fact launched with a remarkable weekend, underscoring Ford's commitment to motorsports. The series features the new Mustang Dark Horse R, a vehicle designed to bridge the gap between the Dark Horse and the Mustang GT4, thus completing the range of factory-built race cars for the high-performance brand.

The Mustang Dark Horse R, generating over 500 horsepower, is engineered in partnership with experienced racing team Multimatic Motorsports. The new series boasted a field of 27 cars at round 1, featuring some of the most promising sports car prospects in the United States. The inaugural schedule includes five rounds on iconic North American circuits, starting at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course in Lexington, in support of select IMSA events.

The Mustang Challenge caters to a broad spectrum of racing drivers, from those climbing the ranks of sports car competitions to seasoned racers up to FIA Silver rated - and has attracted notable teams from the North American racing scene.

One of the standout entrants in the inaugural event was Chloe Chambers, who drove the #1 Amerasian Fragrance Competition Motorsports Mustang. Chambers, an F1 Academy star representing MoneyGram Haas F1 Team in the all-female championship promoted by F1, is no stranger to sports cars. She competed in last year's Porsche Sprint Challenge North America championship, achieving eight podium finishes out of 12 races, seven wins, and three pole positions in the Cayman GT4 class.

While Chambers returned to single-seaters in 2024 for F1 Academy, she has kept her options open in GT racing: she made a one-off appearance in the Porsche Sprint Challenge North America at Barber Motorsports Park earlier in April, claiming a stellar double victory.

Her debut at the wheel of the Mustang Dark Horse R came with no previous experience of the car, and therefore the opening weekend would represent quite a challenge for the US American driver. But Chambers certainly doesn't shy away from a challenge.

Chloe faced a rocky start of the weekend, encountering technical issues that effectively sidelined her during the first practice session. However, she made significant strides in the second practice, quickly getting up to speed with the unfamiliar race car.

Qualifying saw Chambers immediately enter the top ten with her first timed laps. On her final run, she secured an impressive P8, just nine-tenths off the pole position. This performance was remarkable given her limited track time during the weekend and immediately established her as one of the potential front runners.

Starting from eighth in the first race, Chambers initially fell to P9, holding eighth in her class. Unfortunately, her race came to an early end on lap two when she was hit by another car, resulting in rear suspension damage that forced her to retire.

Race 2 on Sunday presented a more promising scenario for Chambers. Despite a chaotic start, where she was pushed off the track and had to navigate through the grass to avoid a pile-up, she found herself in P16 overall and P11 in class after the first lap.

Undeterred, Chambers continued to push forward. After the race resumed, she passed Farley on lap five, moving up to P10 in class and P15 overall. She continued her charge, overtaking three DHL-class cars on lap six and setting her sights on Bach, although he was nearly ten seconds ahead.

A caution period with 30 minutes to go, triggered by the stranded cars of Bach and Cicero, allowed Chambers to close the gap and restart from P8 in class. Amid further chaos and another safety car period, she skillfully navigated through the pack, climbing to seventh with eight minutes remaining.

Despite running out of time to advance further, Chambers finished seventh overall and in class, showcasing her determination and skill with minimal mileage in the Ford Mustang.

"Had a ton of fun hustling the Ford Mustang Dark Horse R around Mid-Ohio this weekend, finishing P7 after some heavy contact at the start", Chambers commented. "Can’t wait for the next time out in this beast!"

Chloe Chambers’ debut in the IMSA Mustang Challenge series highlighted her talent and adaptability; overcoming initial setbacks and displaying impressive racecraft, she left a strong impression and set the stage for future successes in the series.



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