Star Mazda - Freiberg Overcomes Adversity In Canada To Produce Solid Finishes
Edmonton, Jul. 24, 2012: From the streets of Toronto, Ontario to the airport runways of Edmonton, Alberta, Ashley Freiberg TrueCar Racing driver of the #91 Star Mazda fought hard to a 7th place finish this weekend at the Edmonton Indy race, the second of the three Canadian race weekends in the Star Mazda Championship presented by Goodyear.
Although the 20 year-old from Vermont walked away with her best result of the 2012 season, she just can’t seem to escape the streak of drama and bad luck she has been having this year.From the start of the weekend, Freiberg immediately was an impressive 7th quickest out of a 19 car field. “It was very rewarding to see that my hard work and preparation was showing from the start,” said the Virgin sponsored driver. “JDC MotorSports gave me a great car right off the bat.” As track conditions changed, the car handling reacted to it, which unfortunately qualified her 14th for race one. “It was disappointing, but we had an idea of what we needed for the race.”
Race one was a race of constantly changing track conditions, with rain falling in some corners and other corners staying dry, and a full downpour during the last few laps. By staying smart and adaptable, Freiberg worked her way past nine cars up to 5th place, when a caution came out due to the track getting completely soaked by rain. “The end of the race was going to be two lap sprint to the end,” said the two time Skip Barber Champion. “The track was flooded, so all I planned on doing was surviving through turn one.” The green flag waves and the spray of the cars in front of her made it impossible to see. Driving by instinct, she went to the brakes conservatively in turn one, when a car sliding completely sideways right in front of her appeared and left her with nowhere to go but straight into his side pod. The damage was bad enough to end her race there in 15th. “After watching the in-car video, there was absolutely nothing I could have done better. I drove a great race, we were running strong and what happened at the end was out of my control.”
Luckily her lap time from the race was fast enough to put her in the 8th spot on the starting grid for Sunday’s race. “At this point all I wanted was to finish a race without any road blocks or drama,” said the Team USA Scholarship candidate. “But right from the start I had problems with my ‘no-lift-shift,’ making it much less efficient to upshift on the straights and very challenging to get a run on anyone for a pass.” Holding her position, a car from behind dived inside her in a corner that was nearly impossible to get a pass done, sliding hard into the side of her, knocking her right front wheel out of balance. “As frustrating as it was, I put my head down and thought to myself ‘OK, how do I make the best of this?’ I had to be smart, not make mistakes, and hold people off until the end.” Through all of this, Freiberg finished a solid 7th place.
Getting hit from all angles by her competitors in six out of ten races has only made her stronger, and more determined than ever. “Every time I go out on track, I literally feel like I am at war. I have to be calm, smart, methodical, mentally strong, and determined to prove that I deserve to be running toward the front. At this point I have built a pretty thick skin, and nothing can or will stop me from running in the front this season. I will get there.”
“Overall I feel really happy with the weekend. I think both myself and the team are working really hard, and making progress and getting faster each time out on track. I have to thank TrueCar, Virgin, Bell Helmets, JDC Motorsport, my coach Mike Zimicki, and all of my fans for your tremendous support!”