Legge and Nielsen to contest full IMSA season with Richard Mille Hardpoint EBM
The Legge-Nielsen squad is back: they teamed up for the Daytona 24 Hours and, thanks to the support of Richard Mille, will now enter the full IMSA campaign at Team Hardpoint EBM.
One year after their last racing appearance, IMSA veterans Katherine Legge and Christina Nielsen teamed up again for this year's edition of the Daytona 24 Hours, as they joined Team Hardpoint EBM. At the wheel of the #88 Porsche 911 GT3 R, Legge, Nielsen and drivers-owners Earl Bamber and Rob Ferriol drove the Enviro Care/Richard Mille entry to 10th place in the GTD class after a very solid recovery from a troubles qualifying race.
The hard work, though, continued well after the 24 Hours race for the two experienced drivers, who were left without a seat due to their single-race deal.
Nielsen was then signed to Murillo Racing in the SRO-sanctioned GT4 America championship, where she joined fellow female racer Aurora Straus for the 2021 campaign.
At the same time, Legge was back in Europe, where she announced whe had joined the European Le Mans Series program with Iron Lynx, in the FIA Women in Motorsport-supported Iron Dames project.
But the target remained a full IMSA campaign for Danish racer Christina Nielsen and British ace Katherine Legge. With the support of Swiss luxury watchmaker Richard Mille – a brand that has been heavily involved in the fight for a more gender-equal motorsport industry lately – Nielsen and Legge announced on March 8th that they will in fact return to Team Hardpoint EBM from the Sebring round, in order to contest the full IMSA schedule.
The two drivers will compete in the #88 Richard Mille Porsche 911 GT3 R – in a stunning black and white livery – while Team Hardpoint founder Rob Ferriol and EBM owner Earl Bamber will team up in the #99 GridRival Porsche.
“I’m looking forward to what will be a different setup with Katherine and I joining forces in our own car and being teammates to Rob and Earl,” Nielsen said.
“I’m grateful to the partners we have on board, especially Richard Mille, and to Team Hardpoint EBM and Porsche. I know we’ll have everyone working as a united effort to hopefully achieve some good results.”
Nielsen is two-time IMSA GTD class champion and became the first ever woman to win a major sportscar title in North America in 2016. She would repeat her championship-winning efforts one year later, claiming 7 podium finishes out of the 12 rounds.
The Dane is not new to all-female crews: she has in fact teamed up with Legge and Bia Figueiredo in the 2019 IMSA season; the duo also was set to contest the 2020 season with GEAR Racing, before the project was called off.
Katherine Legge – a driver whose professional resumé needs no introduction, including stints in Cart, Indycar, Formula E, DTM, IMSA, NASCAR and a test drive in Formula 1 in 2005 – also has four IMSA race victories to her name and a vice-Champion title in 2018.
Having missed the chance to make her ELMS debut in 2020 due to a serious testing crash in the Richard Mille Racing LMP2 prototype, the Brit has fully recovered and will tackle a busy year, both in Europe and Stateside.
“I’m really excited to be joining Team Hardpoint EBM again, especially with Richard Mille as a partner,” she said. “I’m really proud to represent both Richard Mille and Team Hardpoint EBM and team with my friend Christina. I think we’ll be a force to be reckoned with. I’m very grateful to be given that opportunity and have to thank VB Enviro Care for helping us to get the program started at Daytona.”
“We couldn’t be happier to have Katherine and Christina back under the Team Hardpoint EBM banner,” added Rob Ferriol. “The team really gelled at Daytona and they both fit in right away with our crew. We’re looking forward to the challenge of running two cars and representing Porsche and all of our partners throughout the 2021 season, beginning at Sebring.”
The deal – announced on International Women's Day – represents another important step for women in motorsport, as it places two of the top athletes at the high end of an elite international championship.