Double victory for Chloe Chambers on Porsche Sprint Challenge debut
"The weekend really couldn’t have gone any better" - With a double pole position and double victory at her Porsche Sprint Challenge NA debut, Chloe Chambers showed was she's capable of at Barber Motorsports Park.
Chloe Chambers enjoyed a dominant opening weekend in the Porsche Sprint Challenge North America as she took a double victory in the Cayman class at Barber Motorsports Park. Marking her first race weekend as a Porsche Junior driver, Chloe drove superbly to claim pole position for both races before leading every lap of the weekend on route to claiming two victories.
This weekend marked Chloe’s debut in the Porsche Sprint Challenge North America following two seasons of single seater racing. Most recently driving for Jenner Racing in the 2022 W Series Championship, Chambers achieved a best finish of 10th, coming at her home race in Miami. Over the winter, she competed in the Formula Regional Oceania Championship where she scored a historic victory at Taupo, in an event which also featured her first pole position, making her the first female driver to score a pole position and a victory in the series.
Chloe’s performances did not go unnoticed and led her to being selected as an official Porsche Junior Driver for the 2023 season. Supported by Monoflo International, Chambers signed with TPC racing, an experienced team in Porsche and Lamborghini single-make championships. During 2022, she also competed in select World Racing League events in the Porsche Cayman GT4, a multi-class endurance series in which she shared the car with multiple drivers. Therefore, this weekend marked her GT sprint racing debut and required a shift in mindset in comparison to the endurance events she was more familiar with in the car.
The weekend begun with two free practice sessions on Friday, with the main focus being to gain experience of the track and develop car setup for the weekend. Chloe made a promising start and clocked the fourth fastest time overall, placing third in the Cayman Pro-Am category. The second session saw Chambers set the fastest lap time in impressive fashion, setting multiple lap times which were good enough for the top spot.
Qualifying was held on Saturday morning and would a further challenge for Chloe to extract the maximum from a new set of tyres. Immediately she was on the pace and backed up her speed from second practice to take pole position by over three tenths of a second. It was an excellent performance where Chambers once again set multiple lap times fast enough for top spot.
"The weekend really couldn’t have gone any better", Chambers told us. "On Friday, the car and I were fast so we went into Saturday with lots of confidence. I qualified on pole for both races this weekend which is very important on a track like Barber."
Saturday afternoon brought the first race of the weekend with Chloe leading the field to the green flag alongside Nicholas Maloy. The pair enjoyed a close battle in the opening stages, with Chloe doing a superb job to hold the lead at the end of lap one. The top-3 drivers immediately broke away from the field with Chambers leading Maloy and Paul Bocuse. As the two drivers behind fought for position, Chloe was able to build a small advantage as Bocuse moved into second place.
The second half of the race was characterised by a brilliant defensive drive as Chloe protected her lead from a charging Boscue, cutting the gap to just two tenths of a second on lap 15. Setting a personal best time on lap 23, Chloe managed the race superbly, negotiating lapped traffic in the closing stages to win her first ever Porsche Sprint Challenge North America Cayman class race.
"I hadn’t driven a race distance yet on the Yokohama tires so race 1 was all about trying to maintain my lead and also manage the tires", Chambers commented.
"I was out under a lot of pressure in race 1 but was able to make few mistakes to take the win! It was great to have gotten that first win on my debut race and the team and I knew we had even more speed left in the car.
Once again starting from pole position, race two posed a further challenge for Chloe with overnight rain meaning a slightly damp track facing the drivers. Similarly to race one, Chambers enjoyed a thrilling first lap battle with Maloy, running side-by-side for the first half of the lap before Chloe came out on top, holding an eight tenths of a second lead at the end of lap one. She soon set about extending the lead, with the gap standing at over two seconds by the conclusion of lap six.
Her pace was such that the two leaders had gapped third place Bocuse, ensuring it was a two-car race at the halfway point. Chloe showed no signs of relenting the lead in the closing stages, setting what was the fastest lap of the whole weekend on lap 22. Closing the race out with great composure, Chambers took her second race victory in as many days to mark a flawless start to her season as a Porsche Junior driver.
It was a perfect weekend for Chloe at Barber Motorsports Park, taking double pole position before converting into two race-winning performances. Her poise in controlling both races and withstanding pressure from two of her closest competitors showed excellent adaptation to the Porsche Cayman at a circuit she had little experience racing at.
"Race 2 went even better since I was able to build about a two second gap and hold that throughout the race. A weekend sweep on debut was all I could’ve asked for", the young American said.
"The TPC Racing team worked brilliantly with cat setup and calling the race on the radio for me. I have to thank Monoflo International for their endless support. I also want to thank all my other sponsors and supporters, and all the fans!"
All eyes will now be focused on Virginia International Raceway which will host the next round of Porsche Sprint Challenge North America on the weekend of 3rd/4th June.