Christina Nielsen, TRG-AMR stand on precipice of IMSA GT Daytona title

Nielsen at Detroit. Photo: Getty Images

Christina Nielsen hasn’t won a race yet in the 2015 TUDOR United SportsCar Championship season, yet stands one race away from the GT Daytona championship that would set several historical marks in the process.

Nielsen, 23, leads the GTD class by just one point over Christopher Haase and Dion von Moltke heading into this weekend’s Petit Le Mans Powered by Mazda at Road Atlanta.

She co-drives with Kuno Wittmer, a midseason replacement for James Davison, and Brandon Davis in the No. 007 TRG-AMR Aston Martin V12 Vantage GT3.

If she holds onto the title – the easiest way to do so is by finishing ahead of the Haase/von Moltke/Bryce Miller No. 48 Paul Miller Racing Audi R8 LMS and No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 458 Italia of Townsend Bell, Bill Sweedler and a third driver to be named later – she’ll be the first female driver to win a major North American sports car championship. Additionally, it would mark the first time Aston Martin does so as well, for the Kevin Buckler-led TRG-AMR squad.

“We are heading into the final race with only a one point advantage over our competitors so now the pressure is on us to finish ahead of the Ferrari and Audi at Road Atlanta to close out this championship,” Nielsen said in a team release.

“We are still entering the race as the class leaders and as drivers, this is what we dream of — a chance to win a championship in the last race of the season when everything is on the line. It’s exciting and a little nerve-wracking all at the same time. When I started with the team back in Daytona, I never believed we would be going into the last race in this position. The entire team has done such an amazing job to get us here and now we have to deliver.”

Wittmer, the team’s lead pro driver, came on board at Watkins Glen and has served as an invaluable asset for Nielsen since joining.

He won last year’s TUDOR Championship GT Le Mans title with SRT Motorsports, which withdrew its factory Viper GTS-R program at the end of the season.

“There is no playing it safe now as we have three cars separated by only four points,” Wittmer said. “Of course we have to be smart to save the car for the end of the race, but need to be on the podium and we know what is at stake.

“This is an amazing opportunity for all of us and the TRG-AMR squad have just been exceptional throughout the season and here we are…in a position to win it all. As a driver you just can’t ask for more.”

Motocross: Chase Sexton to miss Hangtown after midweek practice crash

Sexton Hangtown practice crash
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Chase Sexton announced on Instagram he will sit out this weekend’s Pro Motocross race at Hangtown in Rancho Cordova, California after a practice crash on Tuesday left him with a concussion.

Sexton’s crash on Tuesday happened during a test session at Fox Raceway.

“Bummed to make this post but I’ll be sitting out this weekend,” Sexton said. “As you guys saw I had a big one during qualifying at Pala, then another one on Tuesday this week that banged me up pretty good. Nothing broken just need a few days to get back to 100%.”

Despite his crash in the first qualification session in Pala, California, Sexton mounted up for both motos and finished second in each race behind his teammate Jett Lawrence, who was making his Motocross debut and won with a pair of first-place finishes. Sexton padded his SuperMotocross points’ lead over the injured Eli Tomac, who is still second in the combined Supercross and Motocross standings despite missing the SX finale at Salt Lake City and the outdoor opener with a ruptured Achilles tendon.

Sexton has an advantage of 78 points over Cooper Webb and cannot give up his SMX lead by missing this round.

At stake, however, is the risk of losing ground to Lawrence in the Pro Motocross championship. Sexton currently trails his teammate by six points and is liable to lose significant ground this weekend.

In addition to his concussion, Sexton has also been diagnosed with mononucleosis and the combination of the two conditions caused the team to make the difficult decision to keep him out of the lineup at Hangtown.

“I’m super-bummed to miss this weekend’s race,” Sexton said in a press release. “I feel like I rode well at Pala, and I was really looking forward to Hangtown because it’s a good track for me. Unfortunately, I was already pretty banged up from my qualifying crash on Saturday, and now with mono and Tuesday’s concussion on top of it, I want to do the right thing and hopefully be back on the track soon.”

A return date for Sexton has not yet been announced.

Other 2023 Injury News

450 riders
Eli Tomac, Achilles tendon | It was just a freak deal
Justin Barcia,
collarbone and shoulder
Jason Anderson, vertebrae
Christian Craig, elbow
Marvin Musquin, wrist
Malcolm Stewart, knee | Signs two-year extension
Aaron Plessinger, hip | returned at Salt Lake City
Dylan Ferrandis, concussion | Will not return until Motocross
Cooper Webb,
concussion | returned at Pala

250 riders
Nate Thrasher, hip
Stilez Robertson, leg
Cameron McAdoo, shoulder
Seth Hammaker, arm and wrist
Austin Forkner, knee | Injury isn’t the hardest part
Jo Shimoda, collarbone | returned at Atlanta
Jalek Swoll, arm | returned at Pala