Nielsen and Buurman join Griffith in strong Pro-Am combination

LONG-TIME Liqui-Moly Bathurst 12 Hour contender Mark Griffith has confirmed two stars of the international GT racing scene will join him in this year’s event. 

Griffith’s Team Nineteen Corp with Black Falcon Mercedes AMG GT3 entry will field endurance aces Christina Nielsen and Yelmer Buurman this year in what is another strong addition to the contenders for Pro-Am class honors this year.

“Christina and Yelmer are both professional drivers in their field and great additions to the team,” Griffith said.

“I’m looking forward to working with them and putting on a good show this year. If things go to plan then we should be able to contend for a Pro-Am win and, like with any race at Bathurst, who knows where we will end up outright if we have a good day.”

26-year-old Nielsen, from Denmark, is a regular in the IMSA WeatherTech Sports Car series in the United States, and became the first female driver to win a championship in the series in 2016. She also won the 2017 title, also driving a Ferrari for Scuderia Corsa.

She also has three starts in the LeMans 24 Hours to her credit. Prior to competing in the United States’ top Sports Car series, Nielsen raced in multiple Carrera Cup championships throughout Europe as well as the ADAC GT Masters series in Germany.

“I’m excited to have the opportunity and the new challenge to race with AMG in the Intercontinental GT Challenge and at a track like Bathurst,” Nielsen said.

“It’s particularly special to race there because of the close connection Bathurst has with Allan Simonsen, who was a great friend and mentor for my racing career before he passed away.”

Fellow Danish driver Simonsen was a former lap record holder at Mount Panorama and a star of the race in it’s formative years as a GT enduro. The Allan Simonsen pole award is named in his honor.

31-year-old Dutchman Yelmer Buurman will join Nielsen and Griffith this year, also making his first start at Mount Panorama.

Following a successful junior career in open-wheel racing, Buurman has since become a highly regarded GT and Sports Car pilot, racing in global GT3 racing with Black Falcon since the 2014 season.

With Black Falcon, he partnered with Maro Engel and Luca Stolz to win the 2018 Blancpain GT Series Endurance Cup, leading a 1-2-3 sweep for Mercedes-AMG teams.

Griffith is a 12-Hour and Australian GT racing regular, and will make his sixth 12-Hour start this year. Last year, he combined with John Martin, David Reynolds and Liam Talbot to finish 15th outright in the race.

He finished 14th outright and second in the Invitational class in 2016 when driving a MARC Cars Australia entry.

Team Nineteen will also field a pair of Ginetta entries in the GT4 class this year, with drivers to be announced soon.