27-year-old Christina Nielsen is one of the stars of North American motorsport. In 2016 and 2017, she won the GTD class of the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship. This year, she is competing for the first time in a Mercedes-AMG GT3. After her debut in the 12h Bathurst, Christina will compete next weekend for STRAKKA Racing together with Dominik Baumann (AUT) and Adam Christodoulou (GBR) at the California 8 Hours of Laguna Seca, the second round of the Intercontinental GT Challenge (IGTC).
Christina, you drove the Mercedes-AMG GT3 for the first time in the 12h Bathurst a few weeks ago. What was your first impression of the car like?
Christina Nielsen: I was really impressed with the car in high-speed corners which is a dominating characteristic of Bathurst. It was very smooth and gave the driver confidence. Overall, it was a very well-balanced car that is also good on the tyres. So for a track like Laguna where we normally see a big drop in tyres, I think it will be a good car.
Now you are off to the California 8 Hours. You know the track of Laguna Seca from the IMSA very well and are very famous in the USA. How will you make use of this ‘home advantage’? What are your expectations?
Christina Nielsen: Since I am based in California, I guess this will sort of be my ‘home track’. It is a beautiful area with an iconic race track, so what is there not to like? I have good memories there from podiums in 2016 and 2017. Going to a track I am quite familiar with will allow me to put more focus on getting to know the team and building that relationship.
We will see you driving a Mercedes-AMG GT3 in all five races of the Intercontinental GT Challenge. Which race do you look forward to the most?
Christina Nielsen: It is a pretty spectacular race series with some destinations I have never been to before. South Africa is one that I am really excited about, but in general, I am looking forward to all of them.