Round three of the 2016 European Le Mans Series saw Christina Nielsen and her Formula Racing teammates finish the four-hour encounter at the Red Bull Ring circuit in 24th position overall in the 38-car field but a disappointing seventh in the hotly-contested GTE field.
Substantial contact from a Le Mans Prototype (LMP) 3 car during Nielsen’s first stint on the 4.3-kilometer (2.688-mile) circuit could easily have put the No. 60 Ferrari 458 out of the race, but the professional Danish racer was unbowed and pushed to put the car ahead of other rivals and leave her teammates in a strong position to make further progress up the order.
While the on-track result wasn’t what any of us had hoped for, there were some real positives from the race. The first was that the whole crew really pulled together. The Formula Racing mechanics turned the car around really well at every pit stop. While the car just didn’t seem to have the pace today, it certainly wasn’t for the effort from the guys in the pit box.
The second was a very personal positive. I said coming into the Red Bull Ring race that I’d previously found the physical aspects of this circuit quite challenging. It’s now clear that the level and intensity of my racing and preparation in the IMSA WeatherTech Sportscar Championship is having a really positive impact on my physical conditioning.
My effort on Sunday was a double stint where we also double-stinted the Dunlop tires. It’s always more of a challenge, but in all honesty, I found it easier than ever before. It was a very tough race all around, but I leave here very encouraged that I’m ready for whatever the remainder of the season throws at me.
Nielsen now heads back to the United States to compete in her next IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship race, the Northeast Grand Prix on July 22-23 at Lime Rock Park in Lakeville, Connecticut.
Christina Nielsen Press Release
Photo: Formula Racing / Gary Parravani