Interlagos: Sumo Power GT championship race report

Solid sixth place finish for Sumo Power GT Following an excellent start from second on the grid, driving Nissan GT-R number 23 Peter Dumbreck and Michael Krumm ended today's Championship Race, round nine of the FIA GT1 World Championship ...

Solid sixth place finish for Sumo Power GT

Following an excellent start from second on the grid, driving Nissan GT-R number 23 Peter Dumbreck and Michael Krumm ended today's Championship Race, round nine of the FIA GT1 World Championship at Interlagos, in sixth place. Team-mates Jamie Campbell-Walter and Warren Hughes topped off what turned out to be a frustrating weekend for the car 22 pairing, when they had to retire just over half-way through the race with an unidentified vibration.

After Krumm and Dumbreck secured the ninth podium finish of the season for the Sumo Power GT team, having crossed the line second in yesterday's Qualifying race, hopes were high for a tenth top-three placing in today's race. And, following a 14th place finish, a points-scoring result was also being targeted for Hughes and Campbell-Walter in car 22.

Starting from P2, Dumbreck - who was first to drive car 23 - held position perfectly as the field blasted past the green lights and through the Senna 'S', which forms the first two corners of the Interlagos track. He then continued to do a great job holding off the cars that followed, although it allowed pole-placed Tomas Enge to pull away by the end of the first lap. However, Dumbreck was soon able to reel in the Aston Martin driver to within 0.5 of a second, with the pace of the two cars evenly matched throughout the first half of the race.

A grid position of 14 meant that Campbell-Walter's strategy at the start was one of caution, as the usual outcome of a mid-field position more often than not results in contact. Successfully keeping out of trouble, his plan perhaps worked too well and, after dropping two places on the first lap, Campbell-Walter uncharacteristically dropped another two by the end of lap four.

He later reported that the car appeared to feel different from that of its previous outing, which also did not help his efforts. Unable to redress the situation, Campbell-Walter dropped to 20th by the time he came into the pits for the compulsory tyre and driver change half-way through the race.

Following an impressively quick turn-round by his crew, Hughes exited the pits in 18th and tried to improve his the position. Unfortunately, six laps later and now in 17th place, he felt a vibration coming from somewhere in the car and, not knowing what it was, his engineer called him back to the pits at the end of lap 23.

Dumbreck's swap with Krumm took place after lap 16 and, although the pit-stop procedure went well, something delayed Krumm as he went to leave, the subsequent time-loss resulting in car 23 returning to the track in fifth. Try as he might throughout his stint, Krumm could not make up the deficit and, what was worse, a Ford GT pushed its way past on the final lap with such force that it pitched the Sumo Power GT Nissan momentarily off the track.

Fortunately, Krumm was able to continue and crossed the line to post another top-ten finish for the team. Not quite the result that was hoped for, but it means that the team is now even more determined to finish the season on a high in next weekend's tenth and final round of the FIA GT1 World Championship, at San Luis in Argentina.

With the Maserati of the two Brazilian drivers Enrique Bernoldi and Xandi Neagro winning the race in their home country, Vitaphone extended its lead in the Teams' Championship to 189 points.

Today's result puts Sumo Power GT fourth in the Teams' standings with 130 points, behind Young Driver AMR on 137 points and closer to second-placed Reiter Lamborghini, who have 142. And, with 57 points still up for grabs in next weekend's two races, five teams are still in with a chance of claiming second place - including Sumo Power GT.

Team quotes

Peter Dumbreck - Driver Car 23
"I was happy with the start, even though someone hit me from behind in the first corner. The car felt good and therefore I was confident I could stay with the leader and was able to close up just before the pit stop. It's just a shame things didn't go so well from then on. I knew today was going to be tough, but I didn't think it would be that tough."

Michael Krumm - Driver Car 23
"Even though the team changed the tyres in good time, I was slow getting out of the pits and although the car was competitive I just couldn't make up the lost time. We had a near-perfect run yesterday and finished second, so we know what we have to do to make things better for next weekend."

Jamie Campbell-Walter - Driver Car 22
"With another race next weekend it was important to keep out of trouble, especially with a mid-field start position. The trouble was I kept being pushed wide. Also, the car didn't feel quite as I thought it should and therefore I didn't have the confidence to push any harder."

Warren Hughes - Driver Car 22
"Not finishing a race is always a disappointment, but some things you can't do anything about. I'm sure the guys will get our car fixed and we can have a better time of it in Argentina."

Nigel Stepney - Team Manager
"I have to say that today's result is disappointing, as it's not what we had hoped for or expected at this circuit. However, car 23 had a front-running pace and we know where the time loss occurred. We also have to analyse what's happened to car 22 and get it sorted for next weekend."

James Rumsey - Team Principal
"Today's results were not what we were hoping for but, from the team's point of view, it wasn't for the lack of trying. It's now all down to the final round and, without having to carry any success ballast, we must do better in Argentina."

-source: sumo power gt

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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Enrique Bernoldi , Tomas Enge , Michael Krumm , Peter Dumbreck , Jamie Campbell-Walter , Warren Hughes
Teams Nissan Motorsports