ROLLERCOASTERS AND BUMPER CARS The championship race of round seven of the FIA GT1 World Championship provided as much drama as yesterday's event but unfortunately it was the wrong kind of drama for the two Nissan GT-R teams. The weekend ...
ROLLERCOASTERS AND BUMPER CARS
The championship race of round seven of the FIA GT1 World Championship provided as much drama as yesterday's event but unfortunately it was the wrong kind of drama for the two Nissan GT-R teams. The weekend results though have lifted the Sumo Power GT team to third place in the Team's World Championship.
A repeat performance was out of reach for the No.23 Sumo Power GT Nissan GT-R today. After taking victory in yesterday's race, Peter Dumbreck lined up on the grid for today's event in pole position. He got a great start and held first place until the pit window opened and he came in to hand over to Michael Krumm for the run to the flag. The lead was lost in the pits when an air hose broke away from the air gun that is used for the tyre change. This put Krumm back by around 15 seconds but he fought back and hauled the No.23 car back up the order and finished in a very creditable fourth place.
The Portimao circuit in Portugal's Algarve region has been described as a rollercoaster ride due to its sweeping turns and elevation changes. For Jamie Campbell-Walter it was more like a bumper car ride today as he was hit at the start of the race and the resulting damage forced him to retire. It was a real shame for him and his team mate, Warren Hughes, as they worked hard during yesterday's qualifying race to secure ninth place on the grid today.
Karl Wendlinger had to start from the back of the grid after being taken out of yesterday's race. He got off to a flying start though and was right up into 14th place by lap seven. After a strong run by the Austrian and then by Henri Moser when he took over it was a shame to see the No.3 Nissan GT-R finish the race in the pits while the team checked out a vibration reported by Moser. The pace is picking up though for the Swiss Racing Team and the speed of No.3 today illustrated this.
Seiji Ara started the race in the No.4 Swiss Racing Team Nissan GT-R from eighth place on the grid. He was having a brilliant run, up to seventh place and going well before he had a spin at the last corner, followed by a drive through for causing a collision at the start. He recovered quickly to 19th place and after handing over to Max Nilsson at the pit stop the No.4 car finished in 18th position.
Peter Dumbreck: "I was fully focused at the start on getting away well and then building up a gap so I could bring the car home for Michael. I had the legs on Bertolini today and enjoyed the run. I thought to myself that all I had to do was get to the pit-stop, have a clean stop and then watch Michael pop up in the lead. I'm happy from my side that I did all I could and you could say that every cloud has a silver lining: we won't have a car full of success ballast for Navarra."
Michael Krumm: "I tried everything I could to recover after the pit stop and managed to pass a couple of cars along the way. Yesterday everything was perfect for us. GT1 racing is so close that one little thing is all it takes to lose the victory: the devil is in the detail as they say. I'm glad we won yesterday and it was good to see how much the team has improved through the season, which was demonstrated by their quick recovery in the pit stop. To finish fourth after all that is a good result."
Jamie Campbell-Walter: "I got hit in the rear left corner at the start, which then tipped me sideways into the path of another car and I got hit harder and that put me out of the race. You can't win a race at the first corner and I think it is wrong to be taken out like that through no fault of my own."
Karl Wendlinger: "I had a very good first lap and then I was able to pass three more cars on the track. After that I was blocked quite badly and then started to get drop off on the left rear tyre. It was great to be right in the action but of course a shame that we ultimately retired."
Seiji Ara: "The car felt a little unstable at the last corner the lap before I had the spin. The next time around I had no rear grip and couldn't hold it. The drive-through was due to a collision at the start. From my side I had contact on both sides so there was little I could do. I was having a great time running in seventh."