Ashley Freiberg

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Ashley Freiberg
NationalityUnited States American
BornAshley Lynn Freiberg
(1991-11-22) November 22, 1991 (age 27)
Homer Glen, Illinois
WeatherTech SportsCar Championship career
Debut season2016
Starts6
Championships0
Wins0
Podiums1
Poles0
Fastest laps0
Previous series
2014–2015, 2018
2017
2013
2010–2012
2008–2011
Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge
Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America
IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge
Star Mazda Championship
Skip Barber Racing

Ashley Lynn Freiberg (born November 22, 1991) is an American racing driver who is noted for her gender barrier breaking achievements in regional and national junior open-wheel racing, sports car and endurance auto racing series. In a career which has seen her struggle to obtain and keep sponsorship, she became the first woman to win a Skip Barber Racing championship title in 2010, following this up with the first outright victories for a female driver in the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge and the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge in 2013 and 2014, respectively.

Freiberg began karting at the age of thirteen after acting as a timing and scoring official at her local kart track and achieved early success by winning five championships before progressing to car racing in various Skip Barber series and Formula Mazda. She won twenty-five races along with her two series titles in 2010. Freiberg dropped out after winning four more races in 2011 due to funding issues and sought an alternative drive. She eventually drove for JDC Motorsports in the 2012 Star Mazda Championship, finishing ninth in points.

Freiberg moved to sports car racing in 2013 and into the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge before moving to the Contential Tire SportsCar Challenge for 2014 and 2015 where she took two outright victories. She debuted in the WeatherTech SportsCar Championship in 2016, finishing a best of second in class at the 12 Hours of Sebring, running a partial schedule in the Prototype Challenge and Grand Touring Daytona categories. Freiberg took class and outright podiums for DAC Motorsports in the 2017 Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America Championship.

Biography[edit]

Karting (2004–2008)[edit]

Freiberg's earliest racing experience came at the age of ten when both her brothers took up the hobby but she did not gave any thoughts girls could compete at that time.[1] However, after playing multiple sports,[2] she was later attracted to racing, when at the age of eleven, she acted as a timing and scoring official at her local kart track.[3] Freiberg made her go-karting debut at the age of thirteen and attended the Jim Hall Karting School in California in 2004.[4] The following week,[4] she took part in her competitive racing debut in a World Karting Association (WKA) event at Daytona International Speedway.[2] In her first season, Freiberg placed fourth overall in the regional Championship Enduro Series (CES), and was seventh overall in the national WKA points standings in 2005. In 2006, she took her maiden victories in regional and national karting series, and went undefeated in CES, with two championship titles. Additionally, Freiberg secured her first WKA championship title that year.[4] She later won two further karting championships over the next two years.[4]

Junior open-wheel racing (2007–2012)[edit]

Freiberg's achievements in karting led to her being enrolled in both the two and three-day Advanced Skip Barber Race Schools in Daytona to commence her foray into open-wheel racing.[4][5] and joined Lyn St. James's Women in the Winner’s Circle Driver Development Academy [6] She thus set herself the objective of reaching the IndyCar Series.[7] Freiberg finished fourth out of fifteen competitors in her debut Skip Barber race in 2007 after starting from third place. In 2008, she finished on the podium six times and scored a further nine top-five finishes during the Skip Barber Racing season. Freiberg came fourth in her debut Formula Mazda race that same year, and was later invited by Mazda Motorsports to compete in a Skip Barber National Championship, placing sixth out of seventeen drivers.[4] In 2009, she won the races held at Sebring International Raceway, Road America, Road Atlanta and Carolina Motorsports Park.[6] Freiberg also raced in the Skip Barber National Series that year, becoming the first woman to stand on the podium,[8] for sixth in the overall points standings.[4]

She won twenty-five races in the Skip Barber Series and won two series championships in 2010, making her the first woman to clinch an overall Barber Series championship, and was the first female winner of a Skip Barber National Series Race.[8] In addition, Freiberg was the first female driver to win a Skip Barber National Series feature race at the New Jersey Motorsports Park road course,[9] and became the first woman to clinch victories (four) in the Skip Barber Mazda MX-5 Sedan Championship.[8][10] She also placed fifth in a one-off Star Mazda Championship race at Autobahn Country Club.[11][12] Freiberg's results over the course of the season led to her receiving the Coach's Choice Award as "the best all-round driver in the series."[7] Furthermore, she was the second woman after Danica Patrick to earn a nomination for the Team USA Scholarship that year.[13]

Freiberg won four further races in 2011 before she had to withdraw from competitive racing over issues concerning her funding.[8][12] Consequently, she visited racing circuits and spoke to team owners who declared an interest in her through various channels because she could not afford to hire a publicist.[5][10] Towards the end of the year, Freiberg was contacted by an official from TrueStar's driver development program called Women Empowered Initiative who watched her compete in her Skip Barber championship season.[6][11] This led to her being signed with JDC Motorsports to compete in the full 2012 Star Mazda Championship, partnering Juan Piedrahita.[11][12] Although she entered the series with a mindset of finishing in the top-five or the podium, Freiberg frequently changed her expectations over the course of the season.[6] She took six top-ten finishes with her best result of the season being a sixth-place at the Grand Prix of Baltimore. At the year's end, Freiberg placed eleventh in the final points standings.[8][12]

Sports car and endurance racing (2013–present)[edit]

Although she desired to spend a further season in the Star Mazda Championship before making the switch to Indy Lights,[5] she researched the possibility of moving into sports car racing,[8] and competed for EFFORT Racing in the GT3 Cup Challenge for 2013.[14] At the season-opening round at Sebring, she finished within the overall top-five twice,[15] and came second outright in the first Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca race to tie the championship point lead.[12] On June 29, Freiberg became the first woman to win a North American GT3 Cup Challenge race outright by leading every lap of the at Watkins Glen International round, and was the first female Platinum Cup victor. She was also the second female class winner after Melanie Snow at the 2009 Sebring race. The victory allowed Freiberg to brake the tie with Madison Snow for the lead of the championship by four points.[16] The Watkins Glen race weekend was her penultimate races with EFFORT Racing as she parted ways with the team after a poor weekend at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park.[17] Frieberg was named a Faces in the Crowd by Sports Illustrated that year.[14]

She began competing on a race-by-race basis in the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge in 2014, sharing the No. 48 Fall-Line Motorsports BMW M3 Grand Sport (GS) car with Shelby Blackstock, as she struggled to find sponsorship to enable her to drive full-time.[18] Freiberg and Blackstock won the season-opening BMW Performance 200 outright after the No. 96 Turner Motorsport BMW M3 was disqualified for a technical infringement by the series' governing body, International Motor Sports Association (IMSA). This made her the first woman in series history to win a race overall at Daytona International Speedway.[17] Freiberg participated in four further races until her sponsorship money ran out while leading the GS category points standings.[8] She was named a BMW North America Scholarship Driver in 2015,[8] and rejoined Fall-Line Motorsports, partnering Trent Hindman in the No. 46 BMW M3 GS vehicle for the duration of the Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge season.[19] After struggling in the season's first three races, the duo took second at the rain-affected Watkins Glen round.[20] She earned a second podium with a third-place overall finish at Road America,[21] and ended the season with the outright victory at Road Atlanta.[22]

In December 2015, Turner Motorsport confirmed that Freiberg would co-drive its No. 96 BMW M3 Grand Touring Daytona (GTD) car in the 2016 WeatherTech SportsCar Championship North American Endurance Cup. The month after, she was announced as sharing the No. 88 Starworks Motorsport Oreca FLM09 Prototype Challenge (PC) car with Mark Kvamme for the sprint races.[23] Freiberg debuted at the season-opening 24 Hours of Daytona alongside Jens Klingmann, Bret Curtis and Marco Wittmann, finishing seventeenth in the GTD class and forty-eighth overall after multiple technical problems.[24] During the Daytona race weekend, she earned support from the FIA Women in Motorsport Commission, making her the first North American woman driver to receive recognition from motorsport's world governing body.[25] Two months later, Freiberg, Klingmann and Curtis improved at the 12 Hours of Sebring to finish a season-high second in the GTD class and twenty-third overall.[26] She and Kvamme came seventh in the PC class at Long Beach, and returned for Laguna Seca and Belle Isle, placing seventh and fifth in class, respectively.[27] After sitting out the summer, Freiberg returned to drive for Turner Motorsports alongside Klingmann and Curtis for the season-ending Petit Le Mans,[28] retiring shortly before the race's end and was classified tenth in class.[29]

After spending months locating sponsors who would be willing to allow her to race,[8] she signed with DAC Motorsports to drive select races in the 2017 Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America Championship after she was contacted by the team in May that year.[30] Freiberg clinched two successive third-place pro class finishes at the Circuit of the Americas,[8] and followed this result by coming third overall at Watkins Glen.[31] This achievement made her the first woman to stand on the overall podium in any of Lamborghini's Super Trofeo series that are held across the globe.[31] For the 2018 season-opening Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge round, the BMW Endurance at Daytona, she was paired with Audi Sport TT Cup driver Gosia Rdest to form the first all-female team in the GS class.[32][33] The duo drove the No. 50 RHC-GMG Racing Audi R8 LMS GT4,[33] finishing twenty-third overall after Freiberg's advance towards the top five was halted by Austin Cindric who hit the car early in the race.[34] In December 2018, Freiberg shared a Shift Up Now-entered 2016 Mazda MX-5 with fellow drivers Pippa Mann, Sarah Montgomery, Amy Dilks, and Shea Holbrook in an all-female team for the 2018 25 Hours of Thunderhill.[35][36]

Personal life[edit]

Freiberg was born on November 22, 1991, and was raised in Homer Glen, Illinois.[4] She is the daughter of Chuck and Donna Freiberg.[37] Freiberg is a 2010 graduate of Lockport Township High School.[14] She rides a cyclo-cross throughout the year and hiking, rock climbing and skate skiing in the mountains of Vermont to aid in her training for auto racing events.[7][8]

Racing record[edit]

Star Mazda Championship[edit]

(key)

Year Team 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 Rank Points Ref
2012 JDC Motorsports STP
9
STP
19
BAR
11
BAR
11
IND
15
IOW
10
TOR
13
TOR
13
EDM
15
EDM
7
TRO
12
TRO
9
BAL
6
BAL
10
LAG
12
LAG
18
ATL
11
11th 162 [38]

24 Hours of Daytona[edit]

24 Hours of Daytona results
Year Class No. Team Car Co-drivers Laps Position Class Pos.
2016 GTD 96 United States Turner Motorsports BMW 4.4 L Turbo V8 Germany Jens Klingmann
United States Bret Curtis
Germany Marco Wittmann
628 16th 48th
Source:[39]

12 Hours of Sebring[edit]

Year Team Co-Drivers Car Class Laps Pos. Class
Pos.
2016 United States Turner Motorsports Germany Jens Klingmann
United States Bret Curtis
BMW 4.4 L Turbo V8 GTD 229 23rd 2nd
Source:[39]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Stevens, Carrie (February 26, 2013). "Life in the Fast Lane with Racecar Driver Ashley Freiberg". Fitness. Archived from the original on September 16, 2013. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  2. ^ a b Johnson, Emma (February 25, 2015). "Business Lessons from 23-Year-Old Female Racecar Pioneer Ashley Freiberg". Forbes. p. 1. Archived from the original on June 25, 2015. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  3. ^ Pilcher, K. J. (June 22, 2012). "Freiberg attempting to make name for herself in open-wheel racing". The Gazette. Archived from the original on March 27, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h "Biography". The Official Ashley Freiberg Racing Website. Archived from the original on August 18, 2013. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  5. ^ a b c Barrs, Roy (July 7, 2012). "Ashley Freiberg, other aspiring racers forced to follow money". National Post. Archived from the original on January 26, 2018. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  6. ^ a b c d McNulty, Dean (July 2, 2012). "Freiberg is combo of fire and nice". Toronto Sun. Archived from the original on January 27, 2018. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  7. ^ a b c Reimann, Andrew (March 22, 2015). "Race Car Star Trying Cyclocross Interview with Ashley Freiberg–Issue 27 Sneak Peek". Cyclocross Magazine. Archived from the original on April 3, 2015. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  8. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k Madigan, Cherise (May 29, 2017). "Breaking barriers, seeking sponsors: Local racecar driver Ashley Freiberg". Bennington Banner. Archived from the original on May 29, 2017. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  9. ^ Blatter, Tom (July 28, 2010). "Ashley Freiberg Returns Home To Race In Star Mazda Series at the Autobahn". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on January 27, 2018. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  10. ^ a b Richardson, Tim (August 31, 2012). "Freiberg Proves Auto Racing Isn't Just A Boys' Club". Press Box. Archived from the original on January 27, 2018. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  11. ^ a b c "Freiberg Joins JDC MotorSports". Speed Sport. February 6, 2012. Archived from the original on January 27, 2018. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  12. ^ a b c d e "Q&A: Ashley Freiberg on GT3 progress". Racer. June 26, 2013. Archived from the original on January 26, 2018. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  13. ^ "18-Year-Old Racer Ashley Freibeg Nominated For Prestigious Award". The Auto Channel. August 28, 2010. Archived from the original on January 27, 2018. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  14. ^ a b c Fenwick, Alexandra (June 3, 2013). "Faces in the Crowd". Sports Illustrated. Archived from the original on January 26, 2018. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  15. ^ Ehrhardt, Rainier (February 7, 2014). "TUSC, Daytona - The amazing story of Ashley Freiberg". Automobile Club de l'Ouest. Archived from the original on January 27, 2018. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  16. ^ "Ashley Freiberg becomes first woman to claim overall GT3 win in North America". Autoweek. June 30, 2013. Archived from the original on January 26, 2018. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  17. ^ a b James, Brant (February 11, 2014). "Ashley Freiberg opens with win". ESPNW. Archived from the original on January 27, 2018. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  18. ^ King, Charlene (May 30, 2014). "Race Car Driver Ashley Freiberg is the Real Deal". BMW Blog. Archived from the original on June 4, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  19. ^ DiZinno, Tony (January 15, 2015). "Fall-Line Confirms Two-Car CTSC Lineup". SportsCar365. Archived from the original on March 24, 2015. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  20. ^ "Hindman and Freiberg back on the podium at Watkins Glen". motorsport.com. June 29, 2015. Archived from the original on January 27, 2018. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  21. ^ Cole Smith, Steven (August 8, 2015). "Porsche just misses Continental Tire Challenge sweep at Road America". Autoweek. Archived from the original on August 10, 2015. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  22. ^ Siebens, Nate (October 3, 2015). "Freiberg, Hindman Win CTSCC Finale At Road Atlanta". Race Week Illustrated. Archived from the original on June 6, 2017. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  23. ^ DiZinno, Tony (January 20, 2016). "Freiberg: "It All Should Be a Good Learning Experience for Me"". SportsCar365. Archived from the original on February 24, 2016. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  24. ^ "Turner Motorsport Post-Daytona report". International Motor Sports Association. February 2016. Archived from the original on January 27, 2018. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  25. ^ Allaway, Phil (February 17, 2016). "Beyond the Cockpit: Ashley Freiberg on Moving Up and a Split Sports Car Schedule". Frontstretch. Archived from the original on February 20, 2016. Retrieved January 26, 2018.
  26. ^ DiZinno, Tony (March 20, 2016). "Christina Nielsen, Ashley Freiberg go 1-2 in GTD at Sebrin". NBC Sports. Archived from the original on March 26, 2016. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  27. ^ "Ashley Freiberg – 2016 Weathertech SportsCar Championship Results". Racing-Reference. Archived from the original on January 27, 2018. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  28. ^ "IMSA: Turner adds Lawrence, Freiberg for Petit Le Mans". Racer. September 26, 2016. Archived from the original on September 27, 2016. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  29. ^ Malsher, David (October 2, 2016). "Shank leads Ligier-Honda 1-2 finish at Petit Le Mans". motorsport.com. Archived from the original on January 27, 2018. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  30. ^ Myrehn, Ryan (May 17, 2017). "Freiberg Going "Race by Race" After Strong Lamborghini ST Debut". SportsCar365. Archived from the original on July 4, 2017. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
  31. ^ a b "Riccardo Agostini and Trent Hindman Win From Pole in Second Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America Race at Watkins Glen International" (Press release). PR Newswire. July 3, 2017. Archived from the original on July 7, 2017. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  32. ^ Hyatt, Kyle (January 24, 2018). "Audi's female-driven team set to race new R8 LMS GT4 at Daytona". CNET. Archived from the original on January 24, 2018. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  33. ^ a b Dagys, John (January 24, 2018). "First All-Female CTSC Lineup Set for Audi GT4 Debut". SportsCar365. Archived from the original on January 25, 2018. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  34. ^ Kubiak, Tomasz (January 26, 2018). "Rdest i Freiberg pechowo w Daytonie" (in Polish). ŚwiatWyścigów. Archived from the original on February 9, 2018. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  35. ^ "Mann, Freiberg, Holbrook to pilot all-female Thunderhill entry". Racer. October 3, 2018. Archived from the original on October 20, 2018. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  36. ^ Moody, Allen (November 26, 2018). "Female racers rolling into Thunderhill". Highlands News-Sun. Archived from the original on May 5, 2019. Retrieved December 1, 2018.
  37. ^ "SBRS: Ashley Freiberg news 2010-07-09". motorsport.com. July 9, 2010. Archived from the original on February 9, 2018. Retrieved February 9, 2018.
  38. ^ "2012 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear: Provisional Points Through Round Seventeen – Overall Championship" (PDF). Pro Mazda Championship. Archived (PDF) from the original on January 27, 2018. Retrieved January 27, 2018.
  39. ^ a b "Complete Archive of Ashley Freiberg". Racing Sports Cars. Archived from the original on January 27, 2018. Retrieved January 27, 2018.

External links[edit]