IMSA Spotlight: Michael Christensen
Driver: No. 28 Alegra Motorsports Porsche 911 GT3 R
How did you get set up with Alegra Motorsports for the Rolex 24?
“It was a Porsche thing. All of the works drivers, we can be set up with a customer team depending on how they are working together with the customer teams and so on. Sometimes you can be asked if you want to drive there, and you can say yes or no.
“I had no plans to do the [GT Le Mans] car this year [at Daytona] so I thought if there’s a customer team, I want to drive. I told [Porsche] early that I want to drive the race if there’s any customer teams available.”
Was it extra gratifying to win the race as an underdog team?
“I didn’t think too much about that. To be honest, I tried to work with the guys, I tried to do a good job for myself too, and I hoped that we could end up somewhere nice.
“After qualifying I thought before qualifying if we could be in the top ten I would be really happy because I know if you’re in the top ten of 27 cars, you can fight for something.
“If it’s going to be good or great, it depends on the situation really. After qualifying, I thought we could fight for something.”
What does a win in the Rolex 24 do for you and your career?
“It’s definitely something I’ve been dreaming of. I really wanted to win this race. Last year [with the Porsche GTLM factory team], I thought that I was close at one stage. We were in the lead with with 30 minutes to go and the Corvettes just drove by and we finished third.
“That was like, it felt like we were doing well, and then we weren’t doing well at all. So it’s something I really wanted to win for some time now.”
What was it like racing in cold, wet conditions without tire warmers like you’re used to in WEC?
“It’s an extra feature, I would say. When you have tire warmers, you can manage the tires, of course. You can always manage the tires. But there’s more to it when it’s cold tires, I would say. Especially how the car behaves at night because it’s getting colder.
“You definitely struggle more in the night. It’s something that you have to have in mind and definitely a big part of the game.”
How much were you paying attention to the GTLM Porsche 911 RSR that you’ll be driving in WEC in its race debut?
“I was there all the time! Because there is a lot of waiting time here, I like to be close to the CORE [autosport] team when I’m here anyway as I raced with them in 2014. Since I have to race the car in the WEC a bit later this year, I felt it was really important, and it’s different from driver to driver of course, but I felt it was important for me to follow what they were doing.
“I’ve been part of the development process of the car since the first test until the end, and now it’s really in action so I want to be as close to it as I can.”