Katherine Legge and Christina Nielsen are targeting a full-season IMSA WeatherTech SportsCar Championship campaign following a “very last minute” deal with Team Hardpoint EBM for the Rolex 24 at Daytona.
Legge and Nielsen will join full-season drivers Rob Ferriol and Earl Bamber behind the wheel of the team’s No. 88 Porsche 911 GT3 R for the season-opener although are still determining their plans beyond next weekend’s race.
Sportscar365 understands that options include a second Hardpoint EBM-entered Porsche for the remainder of the season, although not yet finalized.
“[The Daytona program was] announced literally days ago,” said Legge. “I’m very excited to be back.
“Christina and I have been flying the flag for diversity in IMSA for a long time now.
“We were very fortunate to be given this opportunity with Team Hardpoint EBM in the Porsche. It’s a huge thanks to VB EnviroCare, my sponsor Richard Mille and the team, Michelin and the series.
“I think it’s important that we do the fly the flag and lead by example.
“Now we’re totally diverse. We’re the first car that’s two [females] and two [males]. It’s a really last-minute but really neat thing. Hopefully we’ll go on to have our own car after Daytona.”
When asked by Sportscar365 on their season-long prospects, Legge said it’s too early to say.
“We’re in the middle of figuring all those things out right now,” she said. “Because it was very last-minute — a massive thanks to VB EnviroCare for coming on board and supporting us.
“We’re working with them to figure out what the rest of the season looks like, whether that’s our own car with EBM or Team Hardpoint.
“We want to get Daytona done and then focus on the rest of it. Those discussions haven’t really started yet, apart from we want to do the rest of the year and we’re committed to it. And everyone else is committed to it. How we do the details will be decided later.”
Nielsen added: “We’re super grateful for Hardpoint/EBM having us as part of the team. So far what we’ve seen has been super positive.
“Wherever we get to continue, if it’s with them… I don’t know what’s going to happen at the moment. We’re working on it and we’re hopeful.
“We’ve been impressed with how Hardpoint and EBM operate so far. Continuing would be great, but for now it’s just all up in the air because there’s not a signature no a contract yet.
“Both me and Kat have got to keep our options open, but we are trying to stay together as a duo. We really want to show that diversity is important in this series.
“We are the only women racing in the WeatherTech Championship representing our gender and showing that women can compete on equal terms with men. I have a great friendship with her besides our working relationship. I would love to continue with her.”
Legge, Nielsen Have “Unfinished Business” in GTD
Both women are looking to put 2020 in the rear-view mirror after challenges on and off the track.
Nielsen and Legge were due to run a full season together in a Grasser Racing-prepared Lamborghini Huracan GT3 Evo until the GEAR Racing program collapsed following the Rolex 24.
Legge, meanwhile, was sidelined for the majority of the year after a European Le Mans Series pre-season testing accident at Paul Ricard left her with multiple leg fractures.
Next weekend’s Rolex 24 will mark her return to racing.
“Last year was not so good for either of us, in a way,” said Legge. “After the Acura Caterpillar car ended in 2019, in 2020 we started off thinking we’re going to have a great year with the Lamborghini. That obviously caught fire with Christina at the beginning of the year.
“Then COVID hit, and then I broke my legs. So last year was definitely one to forget for both of us. [There’s] a lot of unfinished business.
“We’re going into this with a plan to do more than just race.
“With Christina and her program, Accelerate and Change, and my work with the FIA Women in Motorsport, we’re really trying to expand on how do we get more women in racing in general? And how do we lead by example?
“The bigger picture is, everything last year got brought to a head with the term ‘diversity’.
“I think the bigger picture is, how do we use that for the greater good of leaving a legacy? What do we do when we’re finished racing? We really want to make an impact here.”