Autobahn: Ashley Freiberg debut event summary

ASHLEY FREIBERG IMPRESSIVE IN FIRST 2010 STAR MAZDA RACE Female Racer Takes Fifth In Autobahn Country Club Event JOLIET, Ill. (Aug. 1, 2010) -- Ashley Freiberg continued her impressive 2010 racing season last Saturday (July 31) by recording...

ASHLEY FREIBERG IMPRESSIVE IN FIRST 2010 STAR MAZDA RACE
Female Racer Takes Fifth In Autobahn Country Club Event

JOLIET, Ill. (Aug. 1, 2010) -- Ashley Freiberg continued her impressive 2010 racing season last Saturday (July 31) by recording a top-five finish in her first 2010 Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear competition on the 3.56-mile Autobahn Country Club road circuit.

The 18-year-old driver from nearby Homer Glen, Ill., moved from her Skip Barber National Series victory on July 18 at New Jersey Motorsports Park to the Joliet doubleheader event with the bigger Star Mazda open-wheel cars. And the larger cars didn't intimidate Freiberg.

With little practice due to several mechanical problems with her car, Freiberg showed her wet weather driving talent on Saturday by qualifying the CDE/AkzoNobel/ Charley Horse Restaurant machine in the rain for the ninth position in the 23-car field.

In the 45-minute main event, Freiberg fought her way from ninth to fifth at the checkered flag.

"I really didn't have any big expectations coming into the weekend," said Freiberg, who won the Barber Southern Regional title earlier this year. "I was hoping to get a top-ten finish this weekend. It was a learning experience for me. Then we had so much difficulty with the motor and the car. I didn't think we would be able to do much because of the lack of track time."

But Freiberg's smooth Saturday run in a new series was noticed by many Star Mazda regulars.

"The Saturday race was great for me as a new driver to the series," she said. "I met a lot of people and a number of people felt they could help me move into the Star Mazda Championship. Finishing in the top-five in Star Mazda is hard even if you are a regular. For me to do a one-off race and place fifth, it is a tremendous feeling. It was an awesome experience for me."

The second race of the doubleheader weekend was not as successful for Freiberg. Qualifying 17th, Ashley moved to 11th in the first three laps before she was knocked out of contention by another driver. She finished 19th.

"Getting knocked out of Sunday's race was very disappointing," Freiberg said.

"But overall it was a great weekend for me to compete at this level and it was a good learning experience. I can't wait to race in Star Mazda again."

Freiberg will return to Barber racing action next weekend in the Summer Series at Lime Rock Park before the next Barber National Series race on August 20 at Road America.

"I am racing for championships in the Barber races right now," Ashley said. "So I need to concentrate on those events coming up in August. But this weekend was very exciting. It was fun to race in front of my friends and family, too. They don't get to see race that often now."

-source: afPAR/tb

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Series Pro Mazda
Drivers Ashley Freiberg