Sabré Cook closes in on first top-10 in Porsche Carrera Cup NA
"I’m proud that we get one step better each time we’re on track" – Sabré Cook continued to impress at only her second outing in Porsche Carrera Cup NA, topping her best result so far and significantly closing in on her first top ten.
Sabré Cook returned to Porsche Carrera Cup North America and once again impressed with a brilliant performance that almost ended with the American rookie securing her first top ten, at her first appearance at the Long Beach street circuit.
Cook, 28, is the recipient of the first Porsche Deluxe Female Driver Development Program, a scholarship created by Porsche Motorsport North America and Deluxe Corporation to provide female drivers with further support on the Porsche Motorsport pyramid.
The former W Series driver is contesting her first full-season in GT racing after securing the seat at top team Kellymoss through an all-female shootout at the end of last year. Cook was returning behind the wheel after a year-long stop following an injury picked up in the 2021 W Series season that required surgery and a long recovery.
After joining such a competitive championship, Sabré Cook focused on learning the machinery at Sebring, season opener of the Porsche Carrera Cup North America last month. Already in her first outing, though, she impressed for the quick progression and secured a top-15 at debut in a 41 car field.
"I’m really happy with the foundation that was built to continue to progress the rest of the season", Sabré told us after the weekend.
"Kellymoss is giving me tools and support in every way to be successful and I’m so thankful to my partners for being a part of such an exciting start to the season.”
Supporting the Indycar Grand Prix of Long Beach as well as the IMSA race, Porsche Carrera Cup NA headed to the streets of Long Beach - one of the most iconic street circuits in the world and home of some of the most historic races in the sport.
A circuit that is hard to master and with no room for error - especially in a field of over 35 cars and while finding the limit of the car.
But Sabré Cook once again showed her talent in the two Californian races, proving to belong to the top-end of the field. She started to build speed progressively in practice, despite a red flag in FP1 reduced her track time. On an old set of tyres in FP2, she gained confidence on the track and then qualified in P18 for the first race of the weekend on Saturday afternoon.
Round 1 dominator Riley Dickinson had claimed pole position on Friday at Long Beach, followed by Tom Sargent (McElrea Racing #17) and Ryan Yardley (Topp Racing #78). With two post-qualifying penalties, Cook lined up in P16 and eyed more progression after a promising first day.
The 35 Porsche 992 GT3 Cup cars got away cleanly at the start; Sabré Cook managed to gain two positions despite a scrap with De La Torre - before the safety car was deployed when John Goetz ended his race over the fountain at turn 2.
Dickinson led the restart with 23 minutes left on the clock; Cook found herself in a three-car battle with Clarke and Nepveu. Hart - who had been moved to the back of the starting grid for a technical infringement, was also climbing up the order and found a way past Cook on lap 11.
Tom Sergant was back to second - after McCann had passed him on the first lap just before the neutralization - with a great pass at turn 8. A huge head-on crash with 8 minutes to go between Jason Hart and Michael McCarthy brought out another safety car: the driver of the #7 Kellymoss Porsche had spun at turn 8, before being collected by Hart. Both drivers were unhurt. Sabré Cook was able to avoid the accident and moved up to 13th, with the race ultimately ending under safety car.
Riley Dickinson continued his winning-streak, ahead of Sargent and McCann; Cook was then promoted to P12 after a penalty for Travis Wiley, who had not served a drive through.
With 12th place, the Colorado-native topped her best result in the series to date - as she gets closer to her first top ten finish at each outing in the car.
Tom Sargent lined up on pole position for the second race, which followed the Indycar Grand Prix of Long Beach on Sunday. Alongside him, Riley Dickinson was eyeing his fourth win out of four races in the Porsche one-make series. Having shown again good progress, Sabré Cook took the start from 14th place, right in the midfield of the Pro class.
On a frantic first lap, McCann, Wiley, Uretsky all were involved in incidents; McCann hit the wall and was off at turn 1, while Uretsky and Wiley got spun around. Sabré Cook was flawless in avoiding the contacts and moved up to tenth place over the first lap, as Sargent led Martin and Dickerson.
The race was placed under full course yellow after yet another incident - this time involving the #2 Kellymoss Porsche of Sean Varwig off in the run off at turn 9.
The race went back to green with 28 minutes to go and Will Martin forced his way past Sargent at turn 1. Cook held on to tenth; while she initially lost one place to Choksey, she could leapfrog Merrill on lap 9. Thomas Nepveu then hit the wall at turn 8, triggering another safety car on lap 11.
Cook perfectly managed the restart and started to put pressure on Choksey. Ahead, Sargent and Martin traded positions at turn 1, with Sargent just about avoiding the wall.
When De La Torre lost a tyre, the debris was sent onto the racing line by another car and, with limited visibility while just behind the car ahead, Cook was unlucky to hit the debris.
While she initially continued, the impact with the tyre had damaged the front splitter and one of the radiators. As the engine started to overheat, Cook eventually had to retire with 7 minutes to go, while solidly in ninth place.
Dickinson came under pressure from Llibre and allowed the top two to pull away; Martin and Sargent were on the absolute limit but a last lap mistake by Sargent meant that Will Martin gained a few crucial tenths to cross the line in first place, winning his first race of the season.
Despite a DNF, Sabré Cook had by far her best race so far in Porsche Carrera Cup North America, always battling with the group of front-runners. While a top ten would have been the deserved result at Long Beach, it's easy to foresee the young Kellymoss driver making more progress in the coming rounds.
“It was such an incredible blessing and experience to race at Long Beach for the first time,” said Cook. “I learned so much and was very pleased with the progress through the weekend."
“The entire Kellymoss team has been so supportive and I’m proud that we get one step better each time we’re on track. It was a disappointment to not clinch my first top-ten finish due to contact with the debris, but regardless there are lots of positives to take from the weekend."
“I cannot thank Deluxe, Kellymoss, PenFed, Prototek, Hagerty, Prometheus, Shift Up Now and Porsche Motorsports North America for their support so far this season. Can’t wait to carry this momentum and progress into the next race at Miami!”
Next up on the calendar will be another street circuit - the Miami International Autodrome, where Porsche Carrera Cup NA will support the Miami F1 Grand Prix. It will be a return to the F1 supporting paddock for Cook, having raced full time in W Series in 2021. She now sits 18th in the drivers' standings.