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Christensen Eager for “Hard and Fair Racing” in PWC Debut

Michael Christensen looking forward to close sprint racing in Pirelli World Challenge debut…

Photo: Porsche

Michael Christensen says he’s looking forward to trying close, all-out sprint racing when he makes his Pirelli World Challenge debut with Alegra Motorsports next month.

The Porsche factory driver will return to Alegra for the full season, joined by Spencer Pumpelly for the SprintX races, alongside his FIA World Endurance Championship program.

After primarily racing in WEC and the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship over recent seasons, the Dane is eager to try his hand at the closer sprint race format.

“I think it should be good,” he told Sportscar365. “Obviously, the last few years, Porsche has been competitive, and I hope the same is going to happen this year.

“When you’re competitive, it’s obviously more fun. It’s hard racing and that’s something that I like. I like hard and fair racing.

“You have that in WEC but it’s very far between each fight, and it’s not every lap that you have a fight with someone.

“This could potentially happen in Pirelli World Challenge so I’m looking forward to that and it should be fun.”

While the series is new to him, Christensen knows Alegra well after competing with the team in five WeatherTech Championship races last year, which included winning the Rolex 24 at Daytona.

This was alongside his WEC program as part of Porsche’s GTE-Pro lineup and appearances at several other European events including the Total 24 Hours of Spa and Nürburgring 24.

With experience on both sides of the pond, the Dane admits he prefers many aspects of North American sports car racing over the European scene. 

“There are some differences, here and there, mainly with the tracks and rules in the IMSA series, at least,” Christensen said.

“I enjoy both, but I enjoy the atmosphere at the racetracks in the U.S. It’s more relaxed and usually it’s good weather!

“The layouts of the tracks are more old-school and I really enjoy old-school racetracks. When there’s a driver mistake, there’s a consequence, and that shows the talent and the class of the drivers a bit better.

“When I come to Pirelli World Challenge, I’ll see how the rules are and how tough you can be with the racing, which is something I’ll have to find out, of course.

“I’ve not been racing there yet but it looks like it’s quite alright and fair.”

Having worked with the team on multiple occasions last season, the 27-year-old already knows Alegra and Pumpelly well and is excited to be working with the Florida-based operation once again.

“I worked with them for the first time in the Roar last year, and it was good,” Christensen explained. “I didn’t do the full season and we had some ups and downs when I was there, but they’re easy-going.

“[I] already started working [with Spencer] in Daytona last year. He was on the pit wall, doing the strategy for Alegra, and also, we raced together in Sebring.

“We’ll have to dial in what we need, in terms of setup and whatever, but the main thing there is just to be open and honest with each other.

“He’s experienced and I feel that I’ve got some years now under my belt, so I think we should be good there. The engineers know Spencer well, so it should be all good.”

Jake Kilshaw is a UK-based journalist who is Sportscar365's European Editor and also Managing Editor for e-racing365. He is a student of Politics and International Relations. Contact Jake

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. David Chaste

    February 19, 2018 at 6:35 pm

    A bit of pressure to match Patrick Long’s run. Pat is no longer as fast as he used to be, but his experience served him well in this series.

  2. thomas

    February 20, 2018 at 7:42 am

    It’s interesting that pretty much every driver from Europe who signs a contract to race in the States is excited by “old school racetracks.” Frankly even somewhere dreary like Utah Motorsport Campus is more interesting than Adria, Oschersleben or a whole bunch of others

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