Katherine Legge & Christina Nielsen back together for 2021 Daytona 24H
IMSA veterans Katherine Legge and Christina Nielsen join Team Hardpoint EBM and will share for the third time a seat at the 24 Hours of Daytona, as they return to the racetrack after almost a full year. For Legge it will be her racing return after her 2020 injury.
One year after their last entry at the Rolex 24 Hours at Daytona, IMSA double-champion Christina Nielsen and motorsport veteran Katherine Legge will be back on track sharing a GTD entry at the spectacular Rolex Daytona 24 Hours, as Team Hardpoint EBM announced today a 4-driver lineup including team's co-owners and drivers Rob Ferriol and Earl Bamberat the wheel of the #88 Porsche 911 GT3 R.
Legge and Nielsen, two of the most highly-regarded female drivers in motor racing, will join the two full-time drivers for the season opener at Daytona International Speedway, which will be contested on 29-30th January 2021.
The Brit and the Dane already shared driving duties at Daytona twice: in 2019, as they contested the full IMSA campaign with Heinricher's Racing all-female crew in the Acura NSX GT3 challenger, and in 2019 as part of the all-female project GEAR Racing, which unfortunately folded after the endurance classic in January 2020.
Legge - a motor racing star with starts in Formula E, DTM, IMSA and a test in Formula 1 to her name - will return to the racetrack after her 2020 testing crash at Le Castellet, France, where a leg injury forced her out of the European Le Mans Series campaign in the LMP2 squad Richard Mille Racing.
Katherine's return to the IMSA paddock comes after four career victories and a vice-champion title in the GTD class in 2018, including a runner-up spot at the Daytona 24 Hours - her best finish to date in 8 starts.
“I am excited on so many levels to get our season kicked off with Team Hardpoint EBM,” Legge said. “Last year was one to forget for me, but my legs are 100-percent race ready and I am chomping at the bit to get back in a race car."
"I am very grateful to the team and to Porsche for this opportunity, and for helping in my quest to showcase female talent. I believe we will be the first ever equally diverse team to have competed at Daytona 24. I’m looking forward to working with Rob and Earl, and learning how to wheel a Porsche, as it will be my first time with the marque. A huge thanks to our partners VB Enviro Care, Richard Mille, and to Porsche. We are going to do big things this year and I couldn’t be more excited to partner with them.”
Christina Nielsen made headlines in 2016 when she became the first woman to win a major professional sportscar championship in North America, as she claimed the IMSA GTD title in Scuderia Corsa's Ferrari 488 GT3, an achievement that she would later repeat one year later.
Unlike Legge, Nielsen has already competed in IMSA on Porsche GT3 machinery as well, also claiming victory at the 2018 Road America event.
After GEAR Racing's retirement from the 2020 season, Nielsen was left without a seat for the whole year, despite making a one-off guest entry in the Scandinavian Porsche Carrera Cup.
“I am thrilled to be joining Team Hardpoint EBM and being with a group of people who have so much experience with Porsche,” Nielsen added.
“I look forward to driving the new generation of the GT3 R, since the last time I sat in a Porsche was in the previous model. I am grateful for partners like VB Enviro Care, Richard Mille, and Porsche who have given us the opportunity to showcase that Motorsport truly is an equal playing field for men and women."
"Daytona is still one of the races in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship where everything hasn't worked out perfectly over the 24 hours, so I am still very much on the hunt for that podium and that watch!”
Luxury watchmaker and long-time supporter for women in motorsport Richard Mille will be joined by VB Enviro Care - a company committed to creating a healthier quality of life through its 20 years of disinfection experience.
The event will get underway with the usual three-day test of the Roar Before the Rolex 24, which cultimates with the one hour and 40 minute qualifying race that will set the starting grid for next weekend's 24-hour marathon.