Ask anyone in the paddock: Up and coming race car driver Ashley Freiberg is fast. She’s been turning heads since her early success in the Skip Barber Racing Series. After that, there was a first place finish in the IMSA GT3 Cup Challenge at Watkins Glen last year, and most recently, a victory in the CTSCC season opener at Daytona in January.
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Different series, different cars – it doesn’t seem to matter. Freiberg’s ability to quickly ‘read’ and understand the capabilities of a race car is the stuff of legend. However, even with such a promising start, it has been difficult for her to secure sponsorships and partners.
Currently, the 22-year-old races the #48 BMW M3 with Fall-Line Motorsports in the IMSA Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge with co-driver Shelby Blackstock (Reba McEntire’s son). Since the beginning of the year, Freiberg has been seeking sponsors to help fund her sport. So far, Fall-Line Motorsports has pieced together a program for her on a race by race basis – but the clock is ticking to find some pro-level backing to match her pro-level success.
Freiberg is recognized by her peers and mentors as a natural talent, a hard worker, and determined to learn from the ground up to be a top competitor. Not looking for an easy route to success, she understands that it is necessary to experience every level and acquire as much track time as possible to be a winner. The young racer doesn’t want to rush the basics and is willing to move through every stage to hone her skills properly.
Three-time Indy car champion Bobby Rahal is a fan, commenting “I’ve been following Ashley for a few years now and am pleased with her progress as a driver. Having been successful in open wheel cars and now GT cars, she has the talent, determination, and commitment necessary to be a regular winner on the track. Off the track, Ashley knows full well the importance of representing her sponsors in the manner they wish and that is as critical as her on-track performance.”
Further, Freiberg welcomes the opportunity to be a role model and recognizes the value of giving back to the community. She has joined the rest of the Fall-Line Motorsport team in strongly opposing the dangers of texting while driving, and is also the first female athlete to be a member of Lady GaGa’s ‘Born This Way Foundation,’ helping to empower youth and inspire bravery. Her BMW M3 race car carries messages supporting both efforts. “I want to be a good example for young people everywhere – find your passion, dream big, and work hard to reach your goals. It can happen,” says Freiberg.
Fall-Line Motorsports Team Manager, Mike Harvey, says “Ashley commands attention – even with limited experience, she has high potential to win. It’s exciting to see her talent develop and skills evolve, but it’s a tough economy out there and without sponsors it’ll be a challenge to secure a full-time ride for the rest of this season.” But overcoming tough challenges is something that Ashley Freiberg knows all about.
[Photo Credit: Mags McKay, CKCommunications]