Christina Nielsen is a racing driver from Denmark who became the first female racer to win IMSA Sportscar Championship. And she did it twice, in 2016 and 2017, winning the GTD class in a Scuderia Corsa Ferrari.
A daughter of a racing driver
Born in January 1992 in Hørsholm, Denmark, as a daughter of racing driver Lars-Erik Nielsen, Christina made her first racing steps in 2007, entering karting competitions. He progressed to bigger single-seaters in 2010, participating in the Danish Formula Ford Championship and finishing 9th in the points. She also appeared as a guest driver in the Formula Ford Benelux and ADAC Formel Masters.
In 2010, she competed full season in the ADAC Formel Masters with Krafft Walzen team, joining ma-con Motorsport in one round. She didn't score wins or podiums, finishing 24th in the points.
Christina Nielsen with her father
Racing with Porsches since 2012
In 2012, Christina entered the Porsche Carrera Cup Germany, driving the #91 car for Farnbacher ESET Racing. She was a B-class winner two times, finishing fifth in the B-class standings at the end of the season. In the off-season, she participated in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East.
In 2013, Nielsen stayed in a Porsche but joined Farnbacher Racing in the ADAC GT Masters, sharing the #5 Porsche 997 GT3 R with six different co-drivers (Allan Simonsen, Marco Seefried, Sean Edwards, Anthony Beltoise, Nick Tandy Kuba Giermaziak). She was far from the top, finishing 35th in the overall standings, but won the Gentlemen classification.
Christina Nielsen in 2012
North American debut at 2013 Petit Le Mans
In 2013, Nielsen also made a debut at 24 Hours of Nurburgring, not finishing the race in Farnbacher's Porsche, but also made a debut in North American GT racing, joining NGT Motorsport at Petit Le Mans in October. She was sharing the #31 Porsche 997 GT3 Cup with Nicolas Armindo and Angel Andres Benitez, finishing seventh in GTC class.
In the off-season, Nielsen participated again in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East and then, in 2014, she moved his career to North America.
Christina Nielsen raced with NGT Motorsport in 2013 and 2014
Daytona 24h and Sebring 12h debut in 2014
In 2014, Nielsen participated full season with NGT Motorsport in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge USA, finishing sixth in Platinum Cup classification, but also joined the team in endurance races of the IMSA United SportsCar Championship.
At Daytona 24 Hours, she was sharing the #30 Porsche 911 GT America with Kuba Giermaziak, Henrique Cisneros and Nicki Thiim, finishing 9th in GTD class. At Sebring 12 Hours, they didn't finish the race. At Watkins Glen 6 Hours Nielsen and Giermaziak finished 6th in class.
Later in the season, Nielsen joined French team IMSA Performance Matmut in three rounds of the European Le Mans Series.
Moving to TRG-Aston Martin Racing
In August 2014, Nielsen recorded one-off participation in the Pirelli World Challenge with TRG-Aston Martin Racing, driving an Aston Martin Vantage GT3 at Sonoma.
Two months later, she joined TRG-AMR at Petit Le Mans, the last round of the 2014 IMSA Championship season. Sharing a car with James Davison and David Block, she finished 12th in GTD class.
Her name is Nielsen. Christina Nielsen
2015 - podium at Sebring, second place in the championship
In 2015, Nielsen spent a full season with TRG-AMR's #007 Aston Martin Vantage GT3 in the IMSA SportsCar Championship, finishing the season as a vice-champion in GTD class, two points behind champions Townsend Bell and Bill Sweedler, who were driving for Scuderia Corsa. Nielsen had four co-drivers during a season (James Davison, Brandon Davis, Kuno Wittmer and Christopher Nyggard), finishing on a podium five times, including second place at Sebring 12 Hours.
Besides racing in the IMSA Championship, she was also driving Aston Martin Vantage in the Pirelli World Challenge and in the Aston Martin Le Mans Festival, where she finished second in GT3 class.
Christina Nielsen joined Scuderia Corsa in 2016
Triumphant ending of the 2016 IMSA Championship season
For the 2016 IMSA SportsCar Championship season, Nielsen joined championship-winning team Scuderia Corsa to drive the #63 Ferrari 458 GT3 alongside Alessandro Balzan. During a season, they switched to Ferrari 488 GT3.
After finishing sixth at Daytona 24 Hours, they scored two GTD class wins at Sebring 12 Hours and Watkins Glen 6 Hours, with Jeff Segal as the third driver. Nielsen and Balzan added five more podiums to win the GTD class title.
Le Mans 24h debut in a Ferrari
In 2016, Nielsen also spent a season with Danish team Formula Racing in the European Le Mans Series, driving the #60 Ferrari 458 Italia GTC together with Johnny Laursen and Mikkel Mac. She participated in four races, not scoring wins or podiums.
In June 2016, Nielsen made her debut at 24 Hours of Le Mans. The #60 crew finished 35th overall and sixth in GTE Am class.
Alessandro Balzan and Christina Nielsen - champions again in 2017
2017 – one more championship title for Nielsen-Balzan duo
In 2017, Christina Nielsen and Alessandro Balzan managed to defend their IMSA GTD title in the #63 Ferrari 488 GT3, scoring six podiums and just one victory, at Laguna Seca. Nielsen was on a podium at Sebring for the third year in a row, finishing second in class together with Alessandro Balzan and Matteo Cressoni.
In June 2017, Nielsen returned to Circuit de la Sarthe, driving the #65 Ferrari 488 GTE for Scuderia Corsa. Her partners were Alessandro Balzan and Bret Curtis. They were 44th overall and 14th in GTE Am class.
Christina Nielsen rejoins Porsche for 2018 season
Return to Porsche in 2018, move to Acura in 2019
For the 2018 IMSA SportsCar Championship season, Christina Nielsen returns to Porsche, becoming a member of Porsche Motorsport factory line-up. She spent a season in the #58 Porsche 911 GT3 R of Wright Motorsports, sharing a car with Patrick Long. Their only win was at Road America and they finished seventh in the final classification.
Christina also raced at Le Mans, driving a Porsche 911 RSR for Ebimotors in GTE Am class. She, Fabio Babini and Erik Maris finished 31st overall and 6th in class.
In 2019, Christina was racing with Acura in the IMSA Championship, driving the #57 Acura NSX GT3 for Meyer Shank Racing in eight championship rounds. Without wins or podiums, she finished 14th in the GTD classification. She also raced with Strakka Racing's Mercedes in the Intercontinental GT Challenge, taking two ProAm class victories at Suzuka and Kyalami.