Nielsen, who won her back-to-back titles with Scuderia Corsa, switched from Ferrari to Porsche machinery this year, teaming up with Patrick Long. They had yet to score a podium finish all season until Sunday’s Road America event, where the car won from pole position – its second pole in two races.
A unique strategy of two driver changes – the second being well timed before a full-course yellow – meant Long had to overcome the points-leading Lamborghini Huracan of Bryan Sellers and Madison Snow to win, which he did so.
“Long time coming,” said Nielsen, the class’s reigning champion. “We’ve really been wanting to put together the perfect execution for the weekend. To end up in first place with our first podium of the season was absolutely amazing.
“Patrick did a great job with the pole and a perfect stint. It feels so rewarding; we didn’t have a perfect race until now. There were highlights, things that were improving, things getting better, but it wasn’t all together. And this was finally the weekend where it all came together.
“This was a testament to the team and how well they did. The car was amazing to drive, the strategy, the pitstops – everything was perfect.
“With the season we’ve had, it makes it all worth it and gives hope for the rest of the season.”
Long added: “Christina did a great job in her stint, the boys nailed it in the pits. I’m very happy and relieved.
“We took advantage of excellent pitstops and strategy. We had a great balance in the car. When you get out of car and you realize you’re barely sweating you know it’s on rails. We worked really hard.”