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Looking to start the Porsche Sprint Challenge USA West by Yokohama season off strong, Black Sheep Racing and Laura Ely did just that earning a win and a pair of podium results at the Spring Mountain Motorsports Ranch. Kicking off a new season of competition this past weekend, Ely piloted her #209 Black Sheep Racing Porsche to both a class and overall victory during race one and followed that up with another podium result in race two.

“I wanted to kick off the year with a solid event and did just that with a pair of podium results,” explained the 64-year-old Ely. “It is good to be the hunted this early in the season and not the hunter, but we know that this is only the first event, and we need to keep the momentum going forward.”

After numerous podium finishes in 2023, Ely kicked off her 2024 season with a fifth-place result in qualifying in damp conditions on Saturday morning but was elevated to third after some post-session penalties to fellow competitors. With race one scheduled for later in the day on Saturday, Mother Nature had other thoughts as a deluge in the desert prompted officials to delay the first wheel-to-wheel racing of the season to Sunday morning.

Returning to the track on Easter Sunday, it was a double header day with race one taking the green flag at 8:40am with a quick turnaround and race two going green just after noon. Starting on the inside of row two for race one, Ely went on the attack early making up one spot on the start and took the lead in corner ten on the opening lap. Leading from that point forward, Ely came under pressure late in the race but managed to hold on for both her first win of the season taking the top position in the 992 Masters class, but also the overall victory.

Ely added, “That is how I wanted to start the season. I have so many people to thank for helping me continue and having this success but more than ever, I owe it to everyone involved at Black Sheep Racing and their continued effort to strive for success.”

Race two would provide Ely and Black Sheep Racing to double up on the day but they had to settle for the second step on the podium. With the win out of reach, Ely made the smart decision to race for points and not damage her equipment with a long race season ahead.

With a win in race one and a second in race two, Laura Ely leaves the first Porsche Sprint Challenge USA West by Yokohama event of the season with the point lead as she shifts her focus to the Utah Motorsports Campus over the May 10-12 weekend.

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Photo Credit: RTD Media

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