24 year-old IMSA breakout talent, Christina Nielsen, is poised to make sports car racing history Sept. 29-Oct. 1 during Petit Le Mans at Road Atlanta. The GT Daytona (GTD) racer is on the brink of winning the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship class title.
If Nielsen completes her required minimum of three of the 10 hours of the final event of the season in the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3, she will become the first female driver to win a major North American sports car racing championship, including IMSA, GRAND-AM and ALMS.
The 10-hour event on Road Atlanta’s 12-turn, 2.54-mile course, located in Braselton, Georgia, begins at 11:10 a.m. (ET) Saturday, Oct. 1.
“Petit is definitely my favorite event of the entire year, but I think it’s also the event that I’m most nervous about,” Nielsen said. “I know I was last year because we were in contention to win the championship, and we’re going into the same position this year. We do have a much bigger lead this year, which makes me a little bit more calm.”
“I know we still need to bring it home,” Nielsen said. “We always want to finish on a good note. My dad (former Danish driver Lars-Erik Nielsen) used to say, ‘You’re never better than your last race,’ because people always remember the last race. It’s always great to do well at the end of the season. Road Atlanta is my favorite track. It’s the first track I ever raced on in America. It scared me, and I remembering thinking, ‘Is every track like this here?’ I’ve grown to love it, though; it has an amazing flow and setup. Plus I think a 10-hour race will be a great length for our team.”
Schedule (all times local, ET):
Thursday, Sept. 29 –
- Practice 1: 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
- Practice 2: 3:25-4:25 p.m.
- Practice 3: 7:30-9 p.m.
Friday, Sept. 30 –
- Practice 4: 10:15-11:15 a.m.
- Qualifying: 3:30-3:45 p.m.
Saturday, Oct. 1 –
- Warm-up: 8:40 – 9 a.m.;
- WeatherTech Championship race: 11:10 a.m. – 9:10 p.m.