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  • Writer's pictureRACERS

Sabré Cook makes promising debut in Porsche Carrera Cup NA

"I’m really happy with the foundation that was built to continue to progress the rest of the season" – at her first race in the Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup North America, Sabré Cook had two strong races at Sebring, battling in the top-15 out of a 41 car field, in a highly promising debut for the first ever female driver of the series.

Photo credits: Porsche North America

Sabré Cook continues to be a groundbreaking figure for women in motorsport and, making her debut in the Porsche Carrera Cup North America, the young driver/engineer impressed with a series of strong results that built the foundations for the remainder of her rookie season. The former W Series driver was forced to entirely sit out the 2022 racing season as she recovered from a serious injury that required surgery. After a long recovery, she climbed back in the car towards the end of the season, entering the WRL endurance round at Sebring, where she won in class both races in a Porsche Cayman GT4. Cook, 28, was then selected for the Kellymoss racing team's all-female shootout, which awarded the winning driver with a seat in Porsche Carrera Cup North America, in the championship-winning team. Among the three finalists, Cook emerged as the winner and joined the Kellymoss organization for her rookie campaign at the wheel of the Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car – becoming the first ever woman to enter the series. Cook was then named the inaugural recipient of the Porsche Deluxe Female Driver Development Program – a scholarship resulted from the joint effort by Porsche Motorsport North America and Deluxe Corporation to provide female drivers with further support on the Porsche Motorsport pyramid. The Colorado-native would therefore drive the #37 Deluxe Porsche 911 GT3 Cup race car in the one-make series, starting from the season opener at Sebring International Raceway. “Being the first recipient of the Kellymoss scholarship is such an incredible opportunity", said Sabré. "To have Porsche and Deluxe as main supporters of that program, I feel really prepared to take advantage of this opportunity that lies before me in 2023.” While she was no complete stranger to the Porsche championships – she had contested a one-off event in 2021 in the Porsche Sprint Challenge North America, claiming a podium finish at COTA – her first participation in the Carrera Cup was a learning round that nevertheless already showed plenty of potential.

Photo credits: Porsche North America

At her first qualifying session in the series, Cook was P18 and P16 out of a 41 car field, which highlighted Cook's strong start with a promising room for improvement. In practice, in fact, Cook had minimal track time due to adverse weather.

Race 1

Kellymoss' teammate Riley Dickinson started from pole position and soon converted pole into the race lead, clear of Jason Hart, Will Martin and Tom Sargent.

In the #37 Deluxe-sponsored Porsche, Cook was down to P20 on the first lap but immediately climbed back to 18th overall, 17th in the Pro class. Merritt lost a front wheel, but he could limp back to the pits and the track remained green - also after a contact between Rzadzinski and Pedersen.

After the first couple of laps, Dickinson displayed again great pace and started to pull away, slowly opening a gap of over 6 seconds. Behind him, a big battle for second saw Sargent passing Martin on lap 13.

Up to P17 overall, Sabré Cook ran a clean first half of the race in the extremely tight midfield. Cook closed in on the cars ahead with 10 minutes to go, before she gained a couple more positions in the closing stages.

After 20 laps around the iconic Sebring racetrack, Dickinson took a lights-to-flag victory, 8 seconds ahead of Sargent and Martin. In a tight field, Sabré Cook attacked Nepveu on the final lap but couldn't find a way past the McElrea Racing car, and thus completed her first race in Porsche Carrera Cup North America in a very positive P15 overall.

A post-race penalty for Jimmy Llibre meant that Sabré Cook was promoted to 14th place.

Photo credits: Porsche North America
Race 2

Riley Dickenson had another strong start in Race 2, as he tried to break away from the rest of the pack, chased by Sargent and Hart. From 16th on the grid, Cook completed the first lap in P17. A big battle for fourth, fifth and sixth followed, with MDK Motorsports' teammates Llibre and Choksey swapping positions. A local yellow was brought out by a spin by Noble, who was then collected by Goetz at the final corner. In P19, Sabré Cook was closely battling with Wiley – in a spectacularly close midfield. With 14 minutes to go, two multiple-car contacts involved Halcome, Bellomo, Mueller and De la Torre – but all cars could continue. Sabré Cook made a move stick on Wiley and advanced to 17th place on lap 13; the Kellymoss driver soon opened a gap and tried to catch up with McCann. Sabré managed to get ahead, moving up to P14; a contact with De la Torre at Turn 7, though, would end up in a 10 second time penalty for Cook.

"I’m trying to learn when to be aggressive, and how to race with very different tools", explained Shift Up Now athlete Sabré Cook. "I’m also stepping into a stacked field, and this is a difficult car to learn and drive fast, so the team has been great in trying to make sure I’m being patient with myself and my progress." After another lonely race in the lead, Dickinson swept the weekend with another win, ahead of Sargent and Hart. The real excitement though was in the midfield, with several cars in a few seconds. 14th across the line, Sabré Cook was classified in an equally strong 16th place, to round out her first ever weekend in Porsche Carrera Cup North America. “My Porsche Deluxe Carrera Cup North America debut this past week at Sebring was definitely challenging, but 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.”

After the first double-header, Sabré Cook sits 16th in the championship standings. Next up will be the Grand Prix of Long Beach on the iconic Californian street circuit, on April 14-16.



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