lundi 20 mars 2017
Third 12 Hours of Sebring podium for Christina Nielsen
Christina Nielsen and the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3 repeated their podium place result in the demanding IMSA WeatherTech Sebring 12 Hours endurance event on Saturday. In the end, Nielsen and co-drivers Alessandro Balzan and Matteo Cressoni earned a hard fought second place position.
The drivers and team unloaded for the race and worked very hard to find a good setup for the 488 GT3 that would allow the car to endure the unique track. It has not been entirely repaved in it’s time hosting the 65 year old event. This means that it has very bumpy sections all over the track. Christina and the Scuderia Corsa team have come to enjoy the challenge of this element.
Christina said, “For me this track is an example of what makes sports racing in North America special. All of the tracks have their own unique characteristics. With Sebring the surface is that unique element. I really enjoy the challenge of finding the limits while navigating the large bumps.”
The team spent practice on Thursday and Friday morning focused on race set up primarily. With this race setup information, Christina did a very good job to qualify the car in tenth position for the race.
Christina started the Ferrari on Saturday morning and was able to have a very good initial session in the car. She stayed in for two and a half fuel fill ups, and during this time she moved up into the middle of the top ten.
Of note there were two elements to the event that were unusual for US endurance racing. First, the weather was perfect for the entire 12 Hours. This is not the norm, especially at Sebring. In addition, this weather possibly contributed to very few full course cautions during the race.
As the 12 Hours continued, Christina, Alessandro, and Matteo rotated through the driver seat. All of the drivers pushed hard for position on the track to move up in the field. This was done in combination with great pit strategy and pit stops.
In Christina’s second long session in the Ferrari, she was able to again move forward in positions and was now running in second or first in the GTD class
As the race came to the final hour Alessandro Balzan had a good battle with the No. 33 for the victory. At the checkered flag, the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari returned to the Sebring podium in second place. This result is very good for the team in their focus toward another season long IMSA championship.
For Christina this marks her third straight podium result in the challenging Sebring 12 Hours. In addition, Christina has also had two prior Tequilla Patron Endurance round victories at Sebring.
Of the race Christina said, “It was really awesome to be back on the podium for the third year in a row at Sebring! We debuted the 488 here last year and it was a great car immediately. Other new cars have come into IMSA since then and the competition has become even stronger. So Scuderia Corsa did an amazing job this week with the Ferrari in preparing it.”
“Racing often is about grabbing an opportunity that is in front of you. We did our best to do that in this race. Ultimately from my point of view the Mercedes was the car to have for this weekend. So they were able to have the victory today. My team Scuderia Corsa and my co-drivers Alessandro and Matteo did an outstanding job as always. After the disappointing result at Daytona this result shows we still have some luck in the bag.”
Christina Nielsen Press Release