SANTA MONICA, Calif., March 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- TrueCar, Inc., an online automotive information and communications platform focused on creating a better car buying experience for dealers and consumers, officially launched its 'Women Empowered' racing initiative at the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, March 23-25.
Katherine Legge (Jay Penske/Dragon Racing, INDYCAR Series), Shannon McIntosh (Pabst Racing/USF2000 Series), Shea Holbrook (Shea Racing/Compass 360 Racing/Pirelli World Challenge Series), and Ashley Freiberg (JDC Motorsports/Star Mazda Series) took their place behind the wheel on the streets of St. Petersburg. Fellow TrueCar Racing teammates Emilee Tominovich (CJ Wilson Racing/Playboy Mazda MX-5 Cup Series) and Verena Mei (Team O'Neil/Rally America Series) were also on hand for appearances and support throughout the weekend.
Holbrook led the team in qualifying results, starting from P8 in her No. 67 TrueCar Pirelli World Challenge Touring Car Series Honda Civic Si.
"I actually feel the most confident I've ever felt in the race car which is an amazing feeling. There is a lot of support behind me," said Holbrook. "I've struggled with qualifying in the past but this year is different because I've had two proper test sessions before this race and it has definitely helped. Mentally it has helped the entire team because we've been working together. I'm proud of the team, I'm proud of myself; it's a really great start."
Freiberg qualified P12 in the Star Mazda Series, McIntosh started P21 in the USF2000 Series and Legge started P25 in the IZOD IndyCar Series after having contact with the wall on her fastest lap of qualifying.
Race #1 for the USF2000, Star Mazda and Pirelli World Challenge Series' held great results for all three women competing. McIntosh charged ahead 15 positions earning her the Tilton Hard Charger Award, an honor given to the driver who gains the most positions during the race. She advanced from P25 to her P10 finish. Freiberg moved up three track positions to finish P9 and Holbrook finished with a top-5 in her class.
Race #2 didn't yield the same results for McIntosh, Holbrook and Freiberg. McIntosh raced hard to come back from a 30 second penalty for a false start and ended up P16. Freiberg and Holbrook were both caught up in wrecks landing them in P19 and P12 respectively.
"I'm really happy with our weekend result. Although we didn't get quite what we were hoping for in the second race, I learned a few things that will help me moving forward," said McIntosh. "One thing I took out of the second race was that I can improve on my ability to adjust to new conditions as the race track had less grip after the rain in the morning. All in all, I couldn't be happier or more thankful for TrueCar and Pabst racing at my hometown race!"
Leading the Women Empowered initiative, Katherine Legge faced multiple challenges heading into her inaugural IZOD IndyCar Race, the Honda Grand Prix of St. Petersburg. She had to forfeit valuable seat time and testing when the delivery of the engine for her car was delayed and had completed less than a full day of testing prior to the race.
"We're on a slightly different program than everybody else. Obviously we haven't had any testing so we were testing pit stops [in warm-up]. Making sure all the electronics and everything was working on the car and trying to make sure we have strategies and fail safes for things just to try and make up a little bit for our lack of track time," said Legge.
Throughout the race, Legge battled engine management issues in her No. 6 TrueCar Lotus Dallara DW12 and had to eventually park her car off course due to overheating. Despite the issues, Legge has a positive outlook.
"From my side, I am happy. We didn't make any mistakes. The team did a really good job as well and didn't make any mistakes either. I am sure everyone will leave here and look at all the data and come back next weekend with a lot of issues resolved. So there are a lot of positives to take from this weekend into next weekend at Barber."
Legge heads to Barber Motorsports Park for the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama next weekend along with Freiberg competing in the Star Mazda Series race. Holbrook's next race is the Utah Grand Prix on April 27. McIntosh and Freiberg both race on May 26 in the 67th annual Night Before the 500 at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis.
About TrueCar, Inc. TrueCar, Inc. is an online automotive information and communications platform focused on creating a better car buying experience for dealers and consumers. Consumers want a hassle-free car buying experience and dealers want high-quality sales velocity. TrueCar helps achieve these goals by providing unbiased market information on new car transactions and by supplying an online communications platform through which dealers and consumers can communicate with each other. TrueCar's market-based information provides both consumers and dealers with an accurate and comprehensive understanding of what others actually paid recently for similar vehicles, both locally and nationally. TrueCar's communications platform then allows informed, ready-to-buy consumers to communicate directly with participating dealers. Some of the nation's largest and most well respected membership and service organizations rely on websites powered by TrueCar to help educate their members and customers who are in the automotive market. TrueCar is headquartered in Santa Monica, CA, and has offices in San Francisco, CA, and Austin, TX. After experiencing dramatic growth since 2006,TrueCar is developing a suite of products and services centered on radical clarity through the comprehensive analysis of market data and information. TrueCar's participating dealer partners have sold over 500,000 new vehicles to TrueCar users nationwide.