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May 25, 2014 - 01:42 PM
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Nielsen Earns First Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA By Yokohama Podium
Posted by: newsla on May 25, 2014 - 01:38 PM
Sports Cars
Nielsen Earns First Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA By Yokohama Podium At Lime Rock Park

Christina Nielsen earned her first Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama podium finish Saturday at Lime Rock Park.


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Nielsen qualified third for Race 1 on the seven-turn, 1.5-mile road course and overtook Michael Schein on the first lap of the 45-minute timed race.

"I knew I had a good chance in the beginning if I got a good start," she said. "Once I was on the inside of (Michael) Schein, I didn't give anything away, and I took over that second position, and I held it all the way home."

Nielsen next set her sights on leader and eventual race winner Angel Benitez Jr.

"Angel (Benitez) wasn't that much quicker than me," Nielsen said. "He might have had a few laps where he was a little quicker, but other than that we were equal. I was the most consistent driver throughout the race, time-wise, which is very important."

Nielsen navigated her way through lapped traffic in the No. 25 NGT Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car and went three-wide with Sloan Urry and Michael Lewis on the final lap to defend her second-place position.

"Basically what made this track difficult was the overlappers (lapped traffic)," Nielsen said. "We were overtaking them a lot. It was a close call on the last lap in the first corner. I'm happy to have my first podium."

Benitez praised Nielsen for the challenge she provided throughout the race.

"It was a good race," Benitez said. "She made me work the whole way."

During two practice sessions before the race and qualifications, Nielsen was up to speed quickly in her No. 25 Platinum Cup Porsche.

"There are elements that I learned from the other tracks that I just put into place here, and it worked," Nielsen said. "It's more than I expected. I didn't expect to be within the top that quickly. But already in the first practice, we were P3. I've been P3 the entire weekend, and now I finished P2."

The second race scheduled for Saturday at Lime Rock Park was abandoned due to standing water, consistent heavy rainfall and a local curfew.

"I understand the decision series officials made," Nielsen said. "Of course, I'm disappointed we didn't get to race, especially because we had good speed this weekend. You can't influence every aspect of racing, however, and this is one of those aspects."

Nielsen will return to action with the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama and NGT Motorsport June 26-29 at Watkins Glen International. To stay current on Nielsen, follow @christinaniels6 on Twitter and like her Facebook page.

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