Covering a Sports Champion’s Race Season: Christina Nielsen

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christina-nielsen-crespoThrough written reports and social media, I covered the majority of races for 2017 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship GTD Co-Champion, Christina Nielsen. I wrote her pre-and post-race reports to her specifications and handled her Twitter and Facebook accounts during race weekends.

With Only Three Races Left, Christina Nielsen Seeks To Extend Championship Lead at VIR 

LOS ANGELES (August 22, 2017) – With only three races left in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship season, Christina Nielsen’s primary focus is to maintain – or increase – her 15-point championship lead. This weekend, she and co-driver Alessandro Balzan will pilot the No. 63 Ferrari 488 GT3 for Scuderia Corsa at Virginia International Raceway.

The two drivers have taken the Ferrari team to the GTD class lead for the second consecutive year and are carrying a streak of eight top-10 finishes this season. The strategy in play is one that favors consistency over risk on each racetrack, which is paying off for Nielsen and the team. She and Balzan have steadily gained points each race and now have the luxury of focusing on extending the point gap between themselves and the runners-up.

At VIR, a series of tight turns and narrow straightaways awaits the field of 25 sportscar entrants. The grid is limited to only the GTD and GTLM classes for the race on this challenging track, offering a varied dynamic for the drivers this weekend. Nielsen is a fan of the circuit but has a keen eye on the obstacles it will present to her.

“This is definitely one of the cooler circuits we get to go to,” she said. “It’s one of those old-school race circuits where there’s not a lot of runoff space. It’s a very high-speed, flowy track. The conditions will be slippery because we’re driving in the warm August weather. What makes VIR very tricky is that you don’t have a lot of grip offline and it’s difficult for people to keep the car on the track. So, it’s very important to be precise and hit every brake point and apex as you get a feel for the track.”

Off of the track, Nielsen’s role as spokesperson and sports personality is growing as her story of being a champion driver unfolds. Telia Company AB, one of the 10 largest companies in the Nordic countries, tapped Nielsen to star in their latest commercial “Without Limits: The Story of Christina Nielsen.” Her printed autobiography was released in Denmark earlier this year, giving racing fans an intimate look at her path to success. As she sits atop the Championship points, Nielsen’s commercial viability presents the boundless potential for commercial partners looking to align with her for the 2018 season.

The two-hour, 40-minute Michelin GT Challenge begins on Sunday, August 27 at 1:35 p.m. ET. The 15-minute GTD qualifying session begins at 12:20 p.m. on Saturday. The race will be televised live on FS1 beginning at 1:30 p.m., with live audio coverage of all sessions available through IMSA Radio on IMSA.com and RadioLeMans.com. For social media updates from Nielsen, follow her on Instagram and Twitter @christinaracing and find her fan page on Facebook at facebook.com/ChristinaRacing.

Photo: Bob Chapman, Autosport Image.

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