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Aug 11, 2014 - 06:54 AM
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Rough Ride At Road America for Christina Nielsen
Posted by: newsla on Aug 11, 2014 - 06:53 AM
Sports Cars
Rough Ride At Road America for Christina Nielsen


A fifth-place finish in the second of three Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama races was the high point of Christina Nielsen's weekend at Road America's historic 4.048-mile road course.

 

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Round 11's 45-minute sprint took off Saturday evening, followed by Round 12 Sunday morning. The International Motor Sports Association (IMSA) development series field raced its final laps on Sunday evening - a make-up race from Lime Rock Park, which was rained out in late May.

"I think we had a rough start," Nielsen said. "We had multiple problems with me and the car. Some of the issues we didn't figure out until after qualifying, so it took a bit of my confidence. It was a bit tough because we are running pretty high in the championship and we should normally be in the top-5."

Nielsen, driving the No. 25 NGT Motorsport Porsche 911 GT3 Cup car, started seventh on the grid in Round 11 before mayhem left her 24th.

"Saturday's race was one big chaos," Nielsen said. "Everything that could go wrong I think went wrong for everyone. It was a crazy race. Unfortunately I tapped Colin Thompson on the second restart and broke my cooler.

"I got jumpstarted on the first restart of the race, so I was being extra cautious when we went green the second time. I looked in the mirror for a second and when I looked back Colin was braking and there was nothing more to do. That's how racing is sometimes. You have to have your eyes everywhere and it's just not always possible."

Round 12 of racing action on the 14-turn legendary circuit Sunday morning was smoother sailing for Nielsen, who started fourth and dropped just one spot to finish fifth when the checkered flag flew.

"I went from fourth to third at the start," Nielsen said. "I took Colin Thompson on the outside in Corner 1, but I had a few difficulties holding it afterwards. I flattened my left front tire which made it even a bigger challenge because a lot of the high speed corners you put your weight on the left front wheel/left side, so that didn't make it any easier; but we still finished in the top-5. My goal for every race is to finish in the top-5 but of course a podium finish is always nice."

The second part of Sunday's double-header ended in similar fashion to the start of the weekend for Nielsen's NGT Motorsport team.

After starting fifth on the grid for Lime Rock Park's make-up race, the Aarhus, Denmark-native Nielsen experienced mechanical problems that resulted in an early retirement to pit lane.

"My pace was really good in the race," Nielsen said. "We were fighting a lot in the top but suddenly I was going down the back straight and the car started to shake a bit over the front. When I had to brake the car couldn't because the suspension broke out of the blue. So another DNF (Did Not Finish) unfortunately."

Christina Nielsen and the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA by Yokohama drivers will be back in racing action at Circuit of the Americas on Sept. 18-19.

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