Danish star Christina Nielsen has her sights firmly set on a podium finish as the region’s most professional racing series rolls into Dubai this weekend. Backing Nielsen to reach her goal are some of Middle Eastern motorsport’s biggest names who have been outspoken in their praise of the region’s only female racing driver.
Nielsen’s second season in the competition has been a challenging one with overall standards in the competition a step up from the previous year. After struggling in the opening round in Bahrain, the Dane recorded her best result of the season in Round 2 in Dubai. Now the return of the series to the UAE signals a fresh opportunity for the youngster who has set clear goals in how she defines her success.
Speaking ahead of the Round 5 in Dubai Christina Nielsen said, “The season has been tough so far and we’ve not reached a point which we can say we are happy with. A couple of times we have put ourselves in some good places and created opportunities but luck has not been on our side. For sure we are racing against some tough competition and it’s getting better, a lot better. For me though I feel I am developing with each race and I really enjoy working with my team so overall the series is a huge positive for me.
Currently 7th in the standings Nielson work to do if she is to reach her goal of finishing in the top 5 of the competition. However with four races still to come and 100 points up for grabs the opportunity for progression up the driver’s standings is very much alive.
Asked what would be a satisfactory result in Dubai she promptly replied, “Podium of course. We have been working hard and as a team have been looking to the last few races for our best results. I think we have a chance in Dubai especially, although the track is different I feel confident and genuinely excited about it.”
Series newcomer Nasser Al Attiyah has been quick to show his admiration of Nielsen’s growing reputation. Asked if he expected to be driving against a female in the competition he replied, “Yes of course, there’s no reason why not. I have been following the competition from afar and Christina always struck me as a true competitor. Now from experience I can confirm that she is a force to be reckoned with on the track. I believe she is an inspiration and a pioneer. I hope there can be more like her soon as she is leading motorsport in the direction it should be going; to be inclusive of more women drivers.”
Also backing Nielsen in her quest for further glory has been her team manager Abdulmajeed Ashkanani. Nielsen recently joined forces with second ranked Zaid Ashkanani to create Team Buzaid in order to challenge in the team category. Speaking ahead of the Dubai race Abdulmajeed Ashkanani said, “Christina’s talent is undeniable and she is a fantastic character to have in the competition. Working with her has only been positive and this weekend I am hoping to see her up on the podium with Zaid to secure maximum team points.”
Two-time former champion Abdulaziz AlFaisal has been vocal in his support of Nielsen as she continues to improve and claims a series victory could be a target for the Dane. The experienced Saudi Falcons star had plenty to offer in terms of advice for further development, “There’s no doubting Christina has the pace to pose a challenge but she maybe just lacks a little bit of experience which would help her go that extra bit further. She has been unlucky this season getting stuck in a few scraps in the middle of the pack but it is clear to see she continues to learn. She is a passionate driver who wears her heart on her sleeve and if next year I believe she could very well be a contender for the title.”
Showing the way in the team title Dubai based Al Nabooda (314) are well in control leading rivals the Saudi Falcons (263) and Skydive Dubai Falcons (234).
The Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge returns on 14th and 15th February for Round 5 at the Dubai Autodrome.
For the full race schedule, driver profiles or latest news on GT Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East please visit the official website: www.gt3cupchallenge-me.com
or follow series’ news at www.facebook.com/porscheGT3CCME or on Twitter @PorscheGT3CCME.
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