The next stop in a busy summer racing schedule for Danish driver Christina Nielsen is Connecticut’s Northeast Grand Prix. The quick, technically challenging track at Lime Rock Park will host the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship race on July 21. Nielsen will race Wright Motorsports’ No. 58 Porsche Consulting/Porsche Digital Porsche 911 GT3 R in a field of 18 sportscars. She has good memories of this location, because it was at this track she scored her first podium in North America.
Lime Rock is unique. Its very short lap times — less than one minute at this level of sportscar racing — present a challenge that drivers either love or loathe. Nielsen welcomes the test of skill this 1.5-mile track offers. “A lot of drivers don’t like Lime Rock, but I actually really like it,” she explained. “It is a very small track, but considering its length, I actually think it is extremely technical. It’s not an easy track to drive because it is so short. A lot of times the cars have very close lap times and there aren’t a lot of places to overtake. This makes the competition fierce, and makes qualifying super important.”
Given Nielsen’s recent experience racing at the 24 Hours of Le Mans for her third year in a row, there’s a huge contrast between the nearly 8.5-mile circuit in France and the quick Lime Rock Park road course.
“This weekend will be challenging because the lap times are so short,” Nielsen continued. “If you race for an hour at Le Mans, you do a couple of laps and the time goes by super fast. At Lime Rock, however, you go in circles, and it’s less than a minute per lap, so it’s really a circuit that challenges you mentally. Normally, it’s also really warm there this time of year. I’d say it’s a handful for the drivers.”
Nielsen has seen success at Lime Rock before, most recently in IMSA’s GTD class in 2015. Her return to this track with the Porsche won’t be her first opportunity to stand on the podium with the German marque, though. “It’s the first track in America where I scored a podium when I was racing in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA, so that’s another reason I really like it,” Nielsen said.
GTD-class qualifying is from 9:35 to 9:50 a.m. Eastern on July 21. The two-hour, 40-minute race begins at 3:10 p.m. that afternoon. Follow Nielsen’s social updates on twitter.com/christinaracing, instagram.com/christinaracing and facebook.com/christinaracing.
Source. Christina Nielsen/Photo: Al Arena, Ignite Media