Christina Nielsen and Alessandro Balzan will return as co-drivers to Scuderia Corsa to defend their GT Daytona class title in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship.
The 2016 season was a banner year for Scuderia Corsa, with the California-based team winning the GTD championship, the Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup, Pirelli World Challenge GTA title, as well as GTE-Am class victory at the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
With Nielsen and Balzan’s return, they will be aiming for the team’s fourth IMSA championship since 2013.
“I am really looking forward to being back with Scuderia Corsa,” said Nielsen. It’s been an absolute dream season in 2016 with them. I have no reason at all not to believe that they will be one of the favorites for taking the championship again in 2017.
“I think as a driver, after going through different championships and teams over the last couple of years, I am really looking forward to going back to Daytona this January with this group.
“We all know each other and we can continue the work we have done so far and improve from there.
“I think it’s a more calm environment – you don’t have to start over and get to know everyone in the beginning of the year. We are already comfortable with each other, the routine is there, everything is working well.”
On their way to the IMSA championships, Nielsen and Balzan captured two class victories and five additional podium finishes. As well, it was Balzan’s second championship with the team, and he is now anxious to compete for a third.
“I’m really happy that 2017 will be my fourth season with Scuderia Corsa,” said Balzan. “I’m really proud to be a part of this team and to drive the No. 63 Ferrari 488 GT3 again with Christina. We will have a lot of new competitors and this is giving me all the energy I need to come back stronger and more focused!”
For Scuderia Corsa team owner, returning with his championship-winning program intact was his top priority.
“After the type of season we had, you of course want to keep this winning combination of drivers and team together,” said Mattioli. “With Christina and Alessandro, our team has a high level of chemistry that would be very hard to replicate.
“They have a good time and build each other up, but they maintain a team-first attitude and work together to solve problems when we encounter them. I am very proud of the job that Christina and Alessandro did in 2016 and I am looking forward to seeing what they can accomplish in 2017.”