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Katherine Legge, Christina Nielsen join Team Hardpoint EBM for Rolex 24

Legge Nielsen Rolex 24

BOWMANVILLE, ONTARIO - JULY 05: Katherine Legge, of Great Britain, prepares to drive before practice for the Mobil 1 Sportscar Grand Prix IMSA WeatherTech Series race at Canadian Tire Motorsport Park, on July 5, 2019 in Bowmanville, Ontario. (Photo by Brian Cleary/Getty Images)

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Katherine Legge and Christina Nielsen will compete in the No. 88 Team Hardpoint EBM Porsche 911 GT3 R for the Rolex 24 Hours of Daytona. Legge and Nielsen fill out a roster that includes full time drivers and co-owners Earl Bamber and Rob Ferriol.

In 2016 Nielsen became the first female to win a major North American sports car championship. Along with Alessandro Balzan, the pair took the WeatherTech Championship GT Daytona (GTD). Nielsen repeated the feat the following season.

Nielsen has four victories in the season with her latest coming behind the wheel of the a Porsche 911 GT3 R in 2018 at Road America. The Wright Motorsports entry finished 18th overall with Patrick Long as a co-driver.

Nielsen also won twice in 2016, at Sebring and Watkins Glen, and once in 2017 at Laguna Seca. Those three victories came in a Ferrari 488 GT3.

“I am thrilled to be joining Team Hardpoint EBM and being with a group of people who have so much experience with Porsche,” said Nielsen in a release. “I look forward to driving the new generation of the GT3R, since the last time I sat in a Porsche was in the previous model.

“Daytona is still one of the races in the IMSA WeatherTech Championship where everything hasn’t worked out perfectly over the 24 hours, so I am still very much on the hunt for that podium and that watch.”

Nielsen’s lone 2020 WeatherTech Championship appearance came in the Rolex 24, when she and Legge were part of the GTD team that finished 16th in class.

Legge also has four IMSA WeatherTech victories to her credit with her most recent being in the 2018 race at Laguna Seca. She finished 16th overall with Alvaro Parente as a co-driver in a Michael Shank Acura NSX GT3.

Legge missed most of last season after sustaining serious leg injuries in a crash while testing in a European Le Mans Series car in France.

“I am excited on so many levels to get our season kicked off with Team Hardpoint EBM,” Legge said. “Last year was one to forget for me, but my legs are 100 percent race ready and I am chomping at the bit to get back in a race car. I am very grateful to the team and to Porsche for this opportunity, and for helping in my quest to showcase female talent.

Team Hardpoint was launched in the offseason between the 2020 and 2021 seasons.

Bamber has six wins to his credit, including last year’s race at Laguna Seca.

Ferriol drove in nine races last season, but missed the Rolex 24. Ferriol will compete in his second WeatherTech Championship season.

“So much has been written and said about Daytona over the course of its history, to be able to debut Team Hardpoint EBM at this storied event is just an amazing and humbling opportunity,” co-owner Ferriol said. “We’ve been hard at work since the checkers dropped not long ago at Sebring, bringing together two organizations to create what we hope will be a lasting presence in the IMSA paddock for years to come.

“We’ve put together a wonderful team for the 24 Hours, both on and off the track. It’s no secret that Earl, Katherine and Christina have all had success in IMSA, but to be able to bring all that experience together into one entry, and then join them on track as a driver, is the icing on the cake. I can’t think of a better way to start 2021.”