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  • Writer's pictureRACERS

First ever all-female line up for Round 3 Racing at WRL event in Sebring

Shift Up Now partner Round 3 Racing will line-up its first all-female team at the final round of the WRL Eastern Championship at Sebring: sharing the championship leading #701 Porsche Cayman will be Loni Unser, Sabré Cook and Erin Vogel.

Photo credits: Fabian Lagunas/SRO

Round 3 Racing has historically featured talented female racers in its line ups - but now the American team will take its commitment even further, with its first ever all-female entry in the final round of the 2022 World Racing League powered by Hagerty Eastern Championship at Sebring International Raceway.

In a partnership with the groundbreaking female collective Shift Up Now - led by Indy500 star Pippa Mann - R3R will in fact field Loni Unser, Sabré Cook and Erin Vogel in the championship-leading #701 Cooper Tire Porsche Cayman next weekend - with also Sarah Montgomery and Hannah Grisham in other R3R entries in the same race.

After the announcement of Sabré Cook's return to racing after a year-long recovery from an injury, the addition of Erin Vogel to the team marks the tenth Shift Up Now athlete to have raced with Round 3 Racing since 2019 - an outstanding number for the team that is establishing itself as the standard in a championship that also has a proven record of female competitors.

The #701 line up will consist of three elite racing drivers, with resumés spanning from sports cars, single seaters and GT3: Loni Unser is the daughter of Johnny Unser and part of one of the most famous racing families in the sport. Nevertheless, Loni has soon made a name for herself, climbing the ladder of American sports cars in one of the most challenging and competitive propaedeutic series: the Mazda MX-5 Cup. 24-year-old Unser then stepped up to the Porsche Cayman platform with R3R in 2022.

Sabré Cook, 28 from Colorado, was one of the two Americans selected for the inaugural season of the all-female W Series championship in 2019. A consistent point scorer, Cook gained automatic entry in the second year of the championship in 2021, when she suffered an injury in the Austrian round at Red Bull Ring. While Sabré managed to end the season, she then had to undergo surgery and missed the entire 2022 racing season.

Cook - who is also part together with Unser, Montgomery and Aurora Straus of a selection program that will bring the first female entry in the Porsche Carrera Cup North America - is now making her racing comeback with R3R, and will be able to rely on the help of another world class female racer: Erin Vogel.

Vogel made her SRO debut in 2019, in a GT4 program that soon led her to the GT World Challenge America championship in 2021, for the first time at the wheel of GT3 machinery.

Her progression has been extraordinary and, teaming up with Michael Cooper, Vogel became the first woman to win in class in GT3 competitions globally, in a SRO championship.

Her Pro-Am victory at VIRginia International Raceway was followed by three more podiums and a pole position. In 2022, Vogel raced the Acura NSX GT3 Evo for the first time and, after a few races spent to adapt to the new machinery and its setup adjustments, she had a stronger second half of the season, marked by another ProAm podium at Watkins Glen.

Erin joined forces with Taylor Hagler - as well as regular teammate Michael Cooper - in the 2022 8 Hours of Indianapolis two weeks ago, which rounded out the GT World Challenge America's season - and she's now ready to tackle another endurance challenge together with Round 3 Racing.

"I'm really excited to be joining Round 3 Racing for the Sebring round of WRL," stated Vogel. "The whole team has been so welcoming, and I'm particularly excited to work with Loni Unser and Sabré Cook, two women for whom I have enormous respect for as drivers and as leaders. I'm confident that we're going to have a great weekend!"

A passionate advocate for women in motorsport, Erin Vogel is a perfect fit for R3R's environment and values.

"I've been following Erin in SRO for a few years, and I have been a big fan" - said Brad McCall, owner of R3R. "When I met her at VIR this year we struck up an immediate friendship."

"An opportunity arose to have her join us for the WRL event at Sebring and we both [Erin and R3R] jumped at the chance" - McCall continued. "Not only are we excited to have Erin bring her professionalism and experience to R3R, but we're thrilled that she will be a part of our all-female team in the #701 Porsche."

The #701 Cooper Tire entry comes off a podium finish at VIRginia International Raceway and leads the standings ahead of the final two 8-hour endurance races.

Practice and qualifying are scheduled for Friday 28th October, while Race 1 and 2 will get underway on Saturday 30th and Sunday 31st October.



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