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.”