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May 02, 2014 - 06:01 AM
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Nielsen Rides Momentum of Two Top-Fives to Laguna Seca
Posted by: newsla on May 02, 2014 - 05:57 AM
Sports Cars
Nielsen Rides Momentum of Two Top-Fives to Laguna Seca


Christina Nielsen made a splash in her Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama debut in March at Sebring International Raceway with a pair of top-five finishes, and she plans on making more waves in the next series event May 3-4 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

 

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Nielsen will turn her first laps at the 11-turn, 2.238-mile road course in a Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car during practice Friday for the Continental Tire Monterey Grand Prix powered by Mazda.

"At Laguna Seca, the track is going to be completely new to me in this type of car, so I'm going to have to work very hard with the team to keep up with my competitors," Nielsen said. "I've previously driven on this track in a formula car, but I'm going to have to learn the nuances of the track in a Porsche 911, which is totally different."

Nielsen, a 22-year-old native of Aarhus, Denmark, is beginning to jell with her team NGT Motorsport, based out of Miami.

"So far NGT has been really helpful in utilizing data and video to help me improve my driving around the track," Nielsen said. "We know we might struggle getting up to speed right away since I'm new to the track in this type of car, but we're going to keep our spirits up and chip away at lap times until we're ready to qualify and race."

Nielsen is in her third year of racing Porsches, and each time she sits in the car she hones her racecraft in the unique cars.

"There is a big difference in the weight load and weight transfer in the Porsche compared to formula cars I used to drive," she said. "I love these cars, though, and feel very safe and comfortable in them. This car really molds you as a driver. It's great fun, and it might run in the family since my dad (Lars Erik Nielsen) used to race Porsches, too!"

After racing in Porsche Carrera Cup Germany and Porsche GT3 Middle East Challenge in 2012-13, Nielsen is relishing the opportunity to compete in the US with new and familiar faces.

"The culture and atmosphere is different racing in the U.S., but when you reach a high level in racing, you start seeing the same people at tracks no matter where you are in the world," Nielsen said. "People in Porsche GT3 Cup USA by Yokohama have embraced me with open arms, and I can't wait to see what I can learn from this talented group of drivers."

Nielsen will compete in two 45-minute timed races at 9 a.m. and 5:15 p.m. (PT) Sunday, May 4, at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca.

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