Written by Shawnee Blocker
The Dropup Agency team partners with Paul Mata, owner of NTE Sport (formally known as M1 Racing), to help promote diversity in motorsports. With professional race car drivers, Ashley Freiberg, Ryan Nash and Don Yount, the NTE Sport team strapped into a McLaren 570GT4 to race in the Michelin Pilot Challenge at Road Atlanta last weekend. While the results weren’t exactly what they were hoping for, they are certainly making some noise in the industry.
Having not raced in over two and a half years, Freiberg steps back on the grid with determination to achieve her goal of one day winning the greatest race in motorsports; the 24 Hours of Le Mans race at the Circuit de la Sarthe in Le Mans, France. Though it has been awhile since her last race season, but Freiberg has no shortage of accolades.
As the first woman to win an overall Skip Barber Series Championship, first woman to win a Skip Barber National Series race, first woman to win a Skip Barber MX-5 Cup race, first woman to win a Porsche GT3 Cup race in North America, first woman to win an overall race at the Daytona International Speedway, first woman to win a Continental Tire Sportscar Challenge race, first woman to globally to podium a Lamborghini Super Trofeo race and finished 2nd in her first attempt at the 12 Hours of Sebring, Ashley is on a mission to make a global impact by introducing more women to motorsports.
To me, racing is about inspiring others who have a dream, a goal or aspiration to make a difference in this world. It is about following your heart, working hard, and never giving up; especially when the odds are against you. I hope to inspire more women to get involved with motorsports, but I also want to show anyone, anywhere that if you have a dream and you relentlessly go after it, you can achieve anything you set your mind to.– Ashley Freiberg, Professional Race Car Driver
With help from the International Motor Sports Association (IMSA), NTE Sport was introduced to Ryan Nash, an African American Race Car Driver based out of North Bergen, New Jersey. Ryan has been fascinated with speed and racing since the age of five and throughout his formative years, developed a passion for motorsports. He has a driven spirit akin to his idol Ayrton Senna, who won three Formula 1 World Championships, coupled with a desire to compete, reminiscent of the iconic Mario Andretti and Lewis Hamilton, a four-time Formula World Champion. After being out of a race car for over a year, Ryan is focused on taking advantage of this unique opportunity to learn from his highly experienced teammates, Freiberg and Yount.
I’m very blessed and grateful to be driving a race car again. It’s been a little over a year since I was last in a race car so I’m really eager to get back on the track. This time around things are different since I’m in a faster car and making a step-up to the Grand Sport class in the IMPC, but it is important for me to be a part of helping add diversity to the industry by introducing and inspiring other minorities to enter the world of motorsports.– Ryan Nash, Race Car Driver
With several unplanned setbacks the team faced (including a penalty for not meeting the minimum weight requirement), a wheel pin broke on lap 88, leaving NTE Sport unable to finish the race. However, Mata says this won’t be the last time you’ll see Freiberg, Nash and Yount on the track. “We’re focused on making the necessary changes, having more practice sessions as a team and getting back out there to try again. ” (Paul Mata, Race Team Owner)
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Originally published Sep 10, 2020 2:16:00 PM