First female driver to race in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East

Updated 13 November 2012
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First female driver to race in Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East

DUBAI: The Middle East’s most exciting and professional race series, the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East, creates its own chapter in the history of the series by having the first female racing driver ever.
Christina Nielsen, who has made a big impression in Europe, will take her debut position on the grid alongside seasoned professionals and promising regional drivers in the opening rounds of the fourth season at the Bahrain International Circuit on Nov. 16 and 17.
The 20 year-old, born in Rungsted, Denmark, is no stranger to racing having competed in the German Porsche Carrera Cup and this year’s VLN Endurance Racing Championship on the Nürburgring. But she will be in new territory once the flag drops to signal the start of the first race, as the first female driver to participate in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East.
Speaking ahead of testing in Bahrain, Nielsen said: “I am thrilled at the thought of racing in the Middle East. The circuits look fantastic and I’ve only heard good things on the quality of racing and the organization of the series. By getting seating time and be able to compete I’m following my dream. I’m a competitive person, and I wish to grow as a racing driver from this experience.
“With only a few days to testing and the opening rounds in Bahrain I can’t wait to get started. It will be a steep learning curve but one that will help enormously with my development as a driver. I am ready for the challenge.” “I maybe the only woman to drive in the championship, but for me when I put my helmet on I’m just another one of the drivers. I set my own targets to achieve and focus on my own goals,” Nielsen added.
The Danish racing talent grew up in motor racing. Her father Lars Eric Nielsen raced Porsches at Le Mans and has since passed his love of speed and competitive racing to his daughter. She decided on a career as a racing driver at the tender age of 13, when she experienced the “adrenaline kick of speeding” in go-karting.
Christina began her race career in 2006 with four years of karting, driving for the renowned Zanardi factory team, Chiese Corsa, with whom she qualified and competed in the World Championship. From there it was Formula Ford in 2010 and the Formula ADAC Masters series in 2011.
Walter Lechner, manager of the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East said: “The championship is a breeding ground for new talent independent of gender. We are happy to have made our own piece of race history by having the first female to compete in the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East. Hopefully Christina’s participation will inspire and encourage more females to take up motor racing either as a hobby or a career.” Lechner continues: “Christina is a brilliant driver with a proven pedigree and has clearly inherited her father’s love for racing. She recently competed in the Porsche Carrera Cup in Germany where she performed admirably so she will be ready for the challenge. I believe she will prove to be a worthy competitor.”
Nielson, explained she does not feel intimidated by the male-dominated sport and focuses solely on her own performances, hoping her entry into the series will be a platform for more female drivers joining the racing scene.
“More and more women are interested in motor sport, especially in Europe and America, and hopefully it will happen in the Middle East, too. All they need is encouragement and the chance to compete,” she added.
The exclusive one-make series, now entering its fourth season, features leading drivers and promising homegrown talent from the region. Twelve action-packed rounds across six weekends between Nov. 2012 and March 2013, will define an individual champion and a winning team. The Bahrain International Circuit is confirmed as a host for the opening and closing rounds of the prestigious championship.


Mohamed Salah named Premier League’s best player of the year at PFA awards

Updated 23 April 2018
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Mohamed Salah named Premier League’s best player of the year at PFA awards

  • Egyptian superstar currently has 30 Premier League goals this season
  • Salah beat the likes of De Bruyne and Kane to the award

LONDON: Mohamed Salah was crowned the Premier League’s Players’ Player of the Year on Sunday, with his incredible 41-goal debut season at Liverpool beating out strong competition from Manchester City’s Kevin de Bruyne.
“It’s a big honor. I’ve worked hard and I’m very happy to win it,” Salah said at the ceremony on Sunday evening.
Salah matched a Premier League record tally for a single season by scoring his 31st league goal of the campaign in a 2-2 draw at West Brom on Saturday.
“You’re comparing your name with some great names,” he said, on the prospect of breaking the record. “To break the Premier League record is something huge in England and all over in the world.
“There are still three games to go. I want to break this record.”
Salah has also netted seven times in eight Champions League games, including in both legs of Liverpool’s 5-1 quarter-final thrashing of City, to carry his side to a first semifinal for a decade.
De Bruyne showed why he had been many people’s early-season favorite for the prize with an incredible long-range strike for his 12th goal of the season to go with a league-high number of assists as champions City thrashed Swansea 5-0 on Sunday.
“From my point of view when you are analizing 10 months, there is no player better than him,” said City manager Pep Guardiola of the Belgian midfielder.
“Maybe there are numbers better but for me he was the best. But it is my opinion, the opinions of the players could be different. But in the end, in summer time he will be at home being champion.”
City did pick up a prize from the PFA gala in central London on Sunday, though, as Leroy Sane won the Young Player of the Year.
Sane, another City team-mate David Silva, De Bruyne, Manchester United goalkeeper David De Gea and Tottenham striker Harry Kane were the other five nominees for the main prize.