IMSA’S OTHER CHAMPIONS
FINAL GTD POINTS
1st Townsend Bell/ 281pts
2nd Christina Nielsen 279
3rd Christopher Haase/ 277
Dion von Moltke
FINAL PC POINTS
1st Jon Bennett/ 318pts
2nd Mike Guasch/ 313
3rd Chris Cumming/ 301
AHEAD WHEN IT MATTERS
Christina Nielsen made the GTD running, but Scuderia Corsa was there to grab it at the end.
One point is all that separated TRG-AMR’s
Christina Nielsen from those chasing the
Dane to the season finale at Petit Le Mans.
A mid-season change in teammates to
2014 GTLM Drivers’ Champion Kuno
Wittmer launched Nielsen toward history,
yet it was a group of salty veterans who
mastered the rulebook – and the tricky
conditions – at IMSA’s championship closer
to swing the title in their favor. By two points.
“We didn’t lead the points at any stage
of the season, except for when the last race
was over and done,” says Townsend Bell,
who shared the No. 63 Scuderia Corsa
Ferrari F458 Italia with Bill Sweedler to
snatch GT Daytona glory from TRG-AMR.
“I look back at the season and think
about all of the ways we could have been
GT DAYTONA CLASS
PROTOTYPE CHALLENGE CLASS
better; the job we did this year won’t get
the job done next year, that’s for sure.”
Scuderia Corsa’s artful use of pro ace
Jeff Segal at the finale was also a major
factor in the final standings.
“Jeff was rated as a Silver (pro-am),
which is the same as Bill, and we followed
the rulebook to the letter, and it said Bill
only needed to do one lap,” Bell says.
“I’m not sure what else to say. The rules
were there for everyone to use to their
advantage, and some found more
advantage than others.”
The surprising rise of Nielsen as a
championship contender coincided with
Wittmer coming onboard at Watkins Glen.
“On a professional level, I went from
the GTLM Championship to looking for a
IMSA Porsche GT3
Cup USA and the
ADAC GT Masters.
CORE’S DRIVE FOR FIVE
Third at Sebring
(MAIN) and a win at
VIR were standouts
for the GT Daytona
title-winning No. 63
Ferrari 458 Italia.
CORE autosport managed to break a
streak and extend a streak on the way
to its fifth consecutive PC Teams’ title.
Winless dating back to Watkins Glen in
2014, team owner/driver Jon Bennett
and co-driver Colin Braun persevered
through a 379-day dry spell until the
No. 54 ORECA FLM09-Chevrolet finally
vanquished the field at Mosport.
A second win at COTA helped Bennett
and Braun to repeat as Drivers’
Champions, but not as much as the
North Carolina-based team’s impeccable
consistency – six podiums from 10 rounds,
and no other finishes lower than fourth.
Meanwhile, PR1/Mathiasen Motorsports
was king of the NAEC, scoring unforgettable
PC wins in the Rolex 24 at Daytona,
12 Hours of Sebring and Petit Le Mans.
new home,” says the French-Canadian.
“I just wanted to stay active. Christina was
doing good, and I thought I could bring a
little more to the table with coaching.”
In Nielsen, he saw a young driver who
had the raw talent to succeed, and with
the chance to work with a championship-
winning pro, she flourished into one of the
TUDOR Championships most compelling
storylines from 2015.
Fourth in PC at Petit Le Mans (BELOW)
concluded a remarkably consistent
title-winning season for CORE autosport.