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NIELSEN: Imola Debrief

Christina Nielsen files her latest Sportscar365 column following Imola…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Following my race weekend April 29-May 1 at Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, I headed back to Europe to run in the second round of the European Le Mans Series at Imola.

Laguna Seca was a huge success for me as I qualified second – a career best in the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship – and helped land the team its second consecutive podium finish as we finished second in the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa Ferrari 488 GT3.

This race performance pushed me and Scuderia Corsa teammate Alessandro Balzan to the lead in the GT Daytona class of the WeatherTech Championship.

After heading back to Europe, I was excited to bring our No. 60 Ferrari 458 GTE “home” to the Autodromo Enzo e Dino Ferrari, also known as Imola.

But, unfortunately, the results at Imola were not what I or my Formula Racing teammates wanted.

On Saturday morning, during our second practice session, I was involved in a crash after going through the second chicane, hitting the wall directly around 170 km/h.

The damage to the No. 60 Ferrari did not allow us to run in Sunday’s four-hour race.

The good news is the Ferrari will be ready for my Formula Racing teammates, Johnny and Mikkel, to test in about two weeks at Paul Ricard. I know we are all looking forward to testing.

I have a busy schedule coming up in June and am heading back to the States shortly as my next race in the WeatherTech Championship with Scuderia Corsa is June 3-4 in Detroit.

Hopping back and forth between Europe and the U.S. can be tough, and it definitely takes its toll. I really need to focus on my nutrition and workouts, which can be tough with my heavy travel schedule.

Switching back and forth between time zones, cars and teams can be exhausting, so my goals for this month are to really stay on top of my physical and mental preparation for my upcoming races.

The bright side of all of this travel means I get to spend time with my family and friends in Europe and the U.S., as well as spend time in my new home of Los Angeles.

Following Detroit, I’m flying back to Europe to make my debut at the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans. That race takes place June 18-19, so we have time to prepare once our car is repaired.

Everyone on the all-Danish team Formula Racing is looking forward to the challenge of the 24 Hours of Le Mans. It’s the greatest sports car race in the world, one that every driver wants to win.

Christina Nielsen (@ChristinaRacing) is the 2015 IMSA GT Daytona class championship runner-up finisher, driving for Scuderia Corsa in the 2016 IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship and Formula Racing in the European Le Mans Series.

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