Nielsen & Legge get ready for 2021 Daytona 24H after ROAR test
Christina Nielsen and Katherine Legge get ready for the endurance classic 24 Hours of Daytona after an unlucky Pole Award qualifying race.
Danish GT ace Christina Nielsen made her return to the premier North American sportscar championship IMSA after a one-year hiatus in 2020 and got back behind the wheel of a GTD car in last Sunday's Motul Pole Award 100 event, the qualifying race valid for the upcoming 24H of Daytona.
Nielsen, a double-title winning driver in IMSA, will be joined by another very experienced female driver for the 24H race, Katherine Legge. But it was driver-owner Earl Bamber to share the #88 Team Hardpoint EBM Porsche with Christina for the 90-minute qualifying race that ended the ROAR Before the 24H three-day collective test.
The Dane took over the Porsche 911 GT3 GTD car at the green flag from the 10th position, while the race was early interrupted by a double caution.
Christina resumed her run from seventh but, as she was fighting for P6, she made slight contact with the #19 Grasser Racing Lamborghini and spun her #88 GT3 Porsche into the tyre barrier, damaging the front-end of the car. When the yellow flag came out, Nielsen was able to return to pit road.
The team pit stop crew made a brillant job by temporaly fixing the issues and allowed Earl Bamber to rejoin the field with a three laps gap to the GT-D class rivals.
In the second part of the Motor Pole Award race, Bamber recovered two positions despite the delay and ended the challenging race in 14th position.
This will thus result in a seventh row start in next weekend's 24H of Daytona where, with a bit more luck. Nielsen, Bamber and Legge - also joined by team co-owner Rob Ferriol as a fourth team mamber, will target a remarkable comeback.
"I think we started with a pretty solid car from the beginning”, Nielsen said.
“We’ve been testing a few things, and might have gone a little bit too edgy in the final one."
"The nice thing is that our feedback is the same. It’s nice when the drivers are looking for the same car, because sometimes driver style means a little bit different preference for the car setup. Everyone seems to be on the same page."
"I’m glad we got to try it now and I feel like we’re nice and prepared for the setup and handling for the actual race weekend. IMSA races are competitive from the first lap, but I’m happy to be back and hoping for a better result next week.” she concluded.
"Our team is new, as is our driver squad." - echoed 2015 Le Mans 24H winner Bamber. "If we can continue to make progress in the practice sessions, I think our chances look good.”
The Daytona 24 Hours - inaugural round of the 2021 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship - will go green on January 30th at 3.40 pm local time (9.40 pm CET).