Ashley Freiberg enters SCCA Formula Atlantic Race at VIR Ashley Freiberg, a 17 from Homer Glen ILjunior at Lockport High Schoolhad the opportunity for some (high level) practice prior to the Skip Barber National Race weekend, April 23--26....
Ashley Freiberg enters SCCA Formula Atlantic Race at VIR
Ashley Freiberg, a 17 from Homer Glen ILjunior at Lockport High Schoolhad the opportunity for some (high level) practice prior to the Skip Barber National Race weekend, April 23--26. Ashley attended the SCCA Oak Tree Double National Race at the Virginia International Raceway in Alton, Virginia with team GDT in a Pro Star Mazda. Ashley is planning to race in the Star Mazda Series next season, so this test has served many answers. Ashley has learned a great deal this week and we know this experience her will help her along the way. Going into this race Ashley had no expectations on were she will end up because of the variety of different race cars in this class, the goal was simply to get more seat time and make the most out of it as well.
Ashley arrived at the track Thursday morning and the team and crew were ready to get to work. They had to make quite a few adjustments to the car to fit Ashley, the position of the pedals, weights, and more. In Ashley's first session she was only able to get four laps under green because of multiple red flags. In fact, there wasn't one session without a red flag, which allowed her group to get in only 17 laps under green for the entire practice day. By the end of the first day, Ashley was able to lay down a lap time of 1:51:4. The current Star Mazda Series drivers that had been at VIR testing the week before were laying lap times of low 1:50's and high 1:48's, so Ashley was not far off.
On Friday morning Ashley had only two sessions, a practice and a qualifying session. The first practice, once again, was red flagged. So she ended up using that round as a warm-up session. For qualifying, it became more of a hunt for a lap with no traffic than anything else. "Because I was grouped with cars that had a very wide range of speed, both much faster and much slower, and on top of that with drivers with a very wide range of talent, it was very difficult to find a free lap," said Ashley. She did happen to get one clean open lap, where she pulled a lap time of 1:49:9. Ashley ended up qualifying 4th out of 57 cars and finished 5th in the race.
"I love driving this car! And it was really exciting for me to know that I am capable of pulling lap times within a second of the Star Mazda pro drivers in my second time testing in the car."
Ashley's race was Saturday morning April 18th; she couldn't wait to get into this unbelievable race car. "This is so unbelievably fast compared to some of the cars I have driven Ashley said" It's really cool, the feeling of the arrow down force gives you the confidence to drive the car much harder/faster through turns, you can brake way later because of the added down force also. With the results from her two tests in this car, Ashley has been given the "boost" and now has a better understanding on what she needs to focus on. "I am driven, I work hard...period, and I will make it to THE NEXT LEVEL. I am confident that I will be very competitive by the time April of 2010 rolls around." Ashley said.
Team GDT has been great with me. The Engineer and crew were very pleased with the results from this weekend." Bob Markley and lead Mechanic Paul Mata have given me great support and confidence. Everyone was great at Team GDT, I had a blast, the car was awesome and I can't wait for an opportunity like this to come again. I would also like to give a big thank you to JW Roberts for this awesome opportunity.
This Wednesday, Ashley will be leaving once again to VIR to race in the BF Goodrich Skip Barber National Series presented by MAZDA. "It should be interesting getting back into the Skip Barber Race car, this car is a great learning tool and I know I will always have a lot to learn" Ashley's races will be on Saturday and Sunday, April 25-26, as support races to the Rolex Series.