Ashley Freiberg and Gosia Rdest are set to become the first-ever all-female driver pairing in Continental Tire SportsCar Challenge, as the duo take on this week’s season-opener at Daytona in an Audi R8 LMS GT4 car.
Freiberg and Rdest have been confirmed in one of RHC-GMG Racing’s Audi GT4 cars for Friday’s BMW Endurance Challenge, which will carry support from car owner Daren Jorgensen and Audi Tire Center.
It will mark the third all-female driver lineup to compete in modern day IMSA competition, the most recent coming last year in Lamborghini Super Trofeo North America, where Pippa Mann and Shea Holbrook teamed up at the Road America weekend.
Prior to that, Melanie Snow and Andrea Robertson shared the wheel of a Ford GT in the American Le Mans Series in 2011.
Freiberg became the first woman to win an overall race at Daytona and in Continental Tire Challenge in 2014.
“Women are far and few between in motorsports, so the opportunity to join an all-women team with Audi is really exciting,” she said.
“My gender doesn’t make a difference when I’m behind the wheel. I still have to do a good job and drive the car hard; the data and lap times don’t lie.
“I think we’ll be a strong team, not because we’re female but because we’re drivers that are ready to do the job well.”
An all-female lineup under the Audi flag has been in the works since the inception of the Audi Sport customer racing program in 2012, according to Tristan Herbert, senior manager of Motorsport and Customer Racing.
“It’s only fitting that we continue this progress at the competition level within customer racing,” he said.
“We chose these drivers because they’re talented, professional and lay down impressive lap times in the front of the field.”
Polish racer Rdest, meanwhile, is coming off three seasons of the Audi TT Cup and recently claimed class honors in the Hankook 24 Hours of Dubai, at the wheel of an Audi GT4 car entered by Phoenix Racing.
“I feel very privileged and honored to drive progress for women in motorsports,” Rdest said.
“I have always thought it’s not the gender but the passion, endurance and hard work that are the mainstay of any winner.”
A total of four Audi GT4 cars are set for Friday’s four-hour race, which will serve as the car’s North American competition debut.