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NIELSEN: Spa Debrief

Christina Nielsen files her latest Sportscar365 column…

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

Photo: Vision Sport Agency

I’ve been incredibly busy with the IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship series the past two months, but I was also really looking forward to going back to racing with the European Le Mans Series at Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps with Formula Racing.

It’s one of the most iconic tracks in the world and I really think it’s one of the best tracks we have in Europe.

The last time I raced at Spa was in ADAC GT Masters with my old teammate Allan Simonsen in 2013. That was a great memory with him and I’ll cherish that time with him.

After placing third in the Lone Star Le Mans race at the Circuit of the Americas just over a week ago, I was happy to be able to go back to Denmark and see my family and friends for a few days before Spa.

While I was home in Denmark, I received the Danish Automobile Sports Union (DASU) Colding Trophy.

Having my name on the trophy, along with some very respected drivers, was a major honor for me. I am also the first woman to ever receive it, which I’m very proud of.

It’s good for people to see that even though racing is traditionally dominated by men, women can also excel at this sport.

Unfortunately, at Spa, we had an incident early in the race that we could never recover from.

During the first stint, our Ferrari made contact with another car and both cars ended up in the gravel. This caused a yellow flag for 10 minutes. We were also assessed a stop-and-go penalty.

Our team mechanics did a great job fixing the car and I was able to quickly get into the car for the second stint, followed by Mikkel Mac, who finished the race.

We ended up in seventh place. It was a very challenging weekend and we have a lot to learn from it. I have to accept it and move on, as my next big challenge is the WeatherTech Championship finale at Petit Le Mans with Scuderia Corsa.

Following my race at Spa, I flew straight to Atlanta for Petit. We are currently leading the GTD class by 32 points. We really have our heads in the game and I’m looking forward to Petit as Road Atlanta is my favorite track.

COTA marked Scuderia Corsa’s sixth podium finish this year, which is a personal record for me.

Last year, I stood on the podium five times and placed second in the GTD standings. This year, I’m hungry for that first-place finish.

I have to complete at least three of the 10 hours of the event to win the Driver Championship.

But there’s no time to relax afterwards, as Scuderia Corsa is also in the running for the IMSA Tequila Patron North American Endurance Cup. We are in second place by just two points and this upcoming race will determine the winner.

Our third teammate, Jeff Segal, will be joining Alessandro Balzan and me behind the wheel of our Ferrari 488 GT3 at Petit. The three of us won two of the three previous endurance races this season – the 12 Hours of Sebring in mid-March and the Six Hours of the Glen in early July.

Balzan, Segal and I have two victories this season and we have one shot at becoming the team with the most wins. If we win Petit, that would be the big one!

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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