Star Mazda - Freiberg Scores Second Top-10 At Iowa
Newton, Jun. 24, 2012: In only her second oval race ever, Ashley Freiberg (pronounced FRY-BURG) driver of the number 91 TrueCar Star Mazda for team JDC MotorSports came out of Round Six of the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear at the Iowa Speedway with a respective 10th place finish.
Previously this season in the first race of the year at St. Petersburg, Fla., the two-time Skip Barber Series Champion finished 9th overall out of a 21 car field, but since then has been racing at very high speed tracks where she has been learning about the power of wings and downforce.“Coming from a background of go karts and Skip Barber, I have been struggling a bit this year with getting used to trusting downforce,” said Ashley. “The last few races we have been to have all required this new skill, and it has definitely been a learning curve for me. Especially coming to a track like Iowa where we average 145 mph around this place, trusting my new wings really comes into play!”
Although she had limited practice due to electrical problems in one session, and rain in another, Ashley was happy with the progression she made over the two days, and how the hard work over the last few weekends has been starting to pay off.
By the end of the last practice, Ashley’s lap times were quicker and closer to the front of the field. “I was feeling really good going into qualifying because I had fixed some of my bad habits and went much faster,” but when it was her time to qualify, she misjudged the grip of the track due to a light sprinkle of rain and ended up 14th.
Then it was race-time, and Ashley was determined to show the improvements she had made, and was ready to gain as many positions as possible. At the start she immediately moved up to 13th, passed another for 12th, and had a great battle going on for 11th.
“I definitely had the speed by myself, but the second I was close to [11th place] and in ‘dirty air’, I just couldn’t maintain my momentum to get around him,” said the first woman to ever win a Skip Barber National Series race. “It was definitely a great learning experience, it really forced me to think, strategize, and try new things.”
The 100 lap race was ended about 10 laps short due to weather conditions, but by the end Ashley gained two more positions to finishing 10th overall.
“Ovals are definitely a ‘different animal’ than road courses. The demand for your mental focus is very strong as well as your physical abilities,” said the 20 year old from Vermont. “Overall I am satisfied with how the event went. I learned so much, improved on my driving skills, my team worked hard, I worked hard, and the support from my sponsors and fans was incredible as always.”
Ashley will be hitting the track for Rounds 7 and 8 of the Star Mazda Championship in the Grand Prix of Toronto July 7th and 8th. “I am pretty excited to get back to street and road courses with the new skills I have attained from the last two ovals. Plus turning right is little more of what I am used to, so I can’t wait to get back out there!”