After an intense, 100-minute sportscar race, Wright Motorsports took 11th place at the Detroit Grand Prix. Christina Nielsen drove the opening stint at the Belle Isle street course, taking the No. 58 Porsche Consulting/Porsche Digital Porsche 911 GT3 R as high as sixth position before the checkered flag waved. She and co-driver Pat Long performed beautifully at the fourth of 11 GTD-class IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship races this season and brought the car home without a scratch, though the final result was not as high as they had hoped for.
In the opening minutes of the race, Nielsen was in two very close battles, often challenging her competitors within 0.2 seconds of their respective cars. The mixed-class race meant there were often other cars creating traffic, which made it even more difficult to overtake as the race wore on. Overall, Nielsen’s performance in her stint, which was a little more than an hour long, offered her and the team lessons to learn from, but she hopes to move past this result.
“Detroit is normally one of the highlights of the year for me,” Nielsen said after the race. “Unfortunately, the highlight fades when you don’t finish with a good result. It takes a lot of work, both from the engineer and the driver, to come to a place where you feel like you’re really in control and comfortable when you’re racing between concrete walls. Towards the end, when the tires and the fuel went down a little bit and things started to feel better, the balance of the car turned around and became very nice, and I finally felt that control. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that way before the end of the stint. We were hoping for a yellow, but it didn’t play out like we wanted it to. I still feel like there were things we learned that will be useful for when we go to the next track, Watkins Glen. But, I’m now focused on the official Le Mans test which takes place on Sunday.”
Immediately after the race, Nielsen will fly directly to France with a handful of other IMSA competitors to participate in a 24 Hours of Le Mans test day on Sunday, June 3. There, the Danish driver will work with Italian sportscar team Ebimotors and her co-drivers Fabio Babini (Italy) and Erik Maris (France) in the Porsche 911 RSR. This will be Nielsen’s third consecutive participation in the global event, and the trio of drivers will compete in the legendary 24-hour race in the GTE-Am class on June 16 and 17.
Source. Christina Nielsen Racing/Photo. Al Arena Ignite Media