Kelly Moss Racing announces 4 invited drivers to shootout selection
Porsche Carrera Cup North America team Kelly Moss Racing has announced the four female drivers that will take part in the 2-day shootout test, competing for a 2023 race seat in the championship winning team.
Kelly Moss team announced last week that it will select its next Porsche Carrera Cup North America driver racing driver via a shootout selection dedicated to female drivers, with four racers being invited to Putnam Park Raceway, Indiana, USA, for a two-day assessment test.
The jury panel will include an icon and pioneer for women in motorsport – 1992 Indy500 Rookie of the Year as well as Daytona 24H ands Sebring 12H winner Lyn St James, alongside Porsche Carrera Cup NA race winner Riley Dickinson, team owners Victoria Thomas and Andy Kilcoyne, as well as team's management and engineering personnel.
“We chose to invite women who have shown they can compete at the level necessary" – stated co-owner Victoria Thomas, a strong advocate for women in the sport. "We feel the Kelly Moss pedigree, with 35 National Championships under our belt, truly gives the support necessary to break the barrier of the first female owned team / female pro driver championship in motorsports history."
The four candidates have now been revealed, having been chosen from an initial pool of 12 profiles: Sabré Cook, Loni Unser, Sarah Montgomery and Aurora Straus will be the four drivers to be assessed at the end of this month.
Cook, 28, from Colorado, is best known for having competed in two seasons of the all-female single-seater championship W Series, where she was the only American in 2021.
After a remarkable career in karting, Cook moved up to single-seaters, racing in selected rounds of the F4 US and USF 2000 before being selected for the inaugural season of W Series.
In 2019, Sabré was a consistent point scorer and stepped on the podium in the reverse-grid race at Assen; having finished 12th in the standings, Cook gained automatic entry to the following season. After a less fortunate 2021 season, though, Cook suffered an injury in the Austrian round at Red Bull Ring. While the American managed to end the season, she then had to undergo surgery and missed the entire 2022 racing season.
Cook had recently announced her return to racing, in the final two rounds of the World Racing League, at the wheel of a Porsche Cayman GT4.
Furthermore, Cook joined TPC Racing in a one-off participation in the Porsche Sprint Challenge North America at Circuit of the Americas, where she soon proved a quick adaptation to Porsche machinery.
Also a Shift Up Now athlete, Sarah Montgomery, 28, is also currently racing in the World Racing League, where she drives the Round 3 Racing's BMW M4 GT4.
Montgomery started professional racing in 2014, where she was in the top-10 in points in the spec-Mazda MX5 Cup.
She would move to the Pirelli World Challenge in 2017, driving for Shea Holbrook's Shea Racing team and, in 2019, Sarah became the first woman to step on the podium in the highly competitive Global Mazda MX-5 Cup Series. Montgomery has been racing in the multi-class endurance championship WRL since 2020, where she claimed four pole positions and collected victory at the final round of the season.
In 2021, Montgomery would also win the 24 hour race at Sebring at the wheel of a Porsche GT4 car.
The third Shift Up Now selected athlete, Loni Unser, is also currently racing in World Racing League for Round 3 Racing. Daughter of Johnny Unser and part of one of the royal families of American motor racing, Loni has carved her way through the ranks of sports cars: after a season in the very propaedeutic Mazda MX-5 Cup, 24-year-old Unser stepped up to the Porsche Cayman platform.
Aurora Straus, 24, also started her professional motor racing journey at the wheel of spec Mazda MX-5 cars in 2015, before venturing into the 2016 Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge and then Pirelli World Challenge Sprint-X series in 2018, in a BMW M4 GT4 operated by ST Racing.
Straus – who also holds a double major in English literature and mechanical engineering – has since then contested partial campaigns in IMSA Michelin Pilot Challenge in GT4 machinery. In 2021, she was part of an all-female Richard Mille-backed operation in GT4 America, where she teamed up with two-time IMSA GTD champion Christina Nielsen at the wheel of a Porsche 718 Cayman GT4 Clubsport.
In the two-day assessment test at Putnam Park Raceway, the candidates will be evaluated on and off the track, with selection criteria including performance, communication with engineers, understanding of car dynamics, media skills.
Kelly Moss team will therefore line up the first ever female driver in the history of Porsche Carrera Cup North America.