THE LAST TANGO OF 2010 All too soon the first season of the FIA GT1 World Championship has reached its tenth and final round and the teams are heading south to Argentina for this weekend's event. All of the equipment and cars were packed up at...
THE LAST TANGO OF 2010
All too soon the first season of the FIA GT1 World Championship has reached its tenth and final round and the teams are heading south to Argentina for this weekend's event. All of the equipment and cars were packed up at Interlagos on Sunday night and is now on the road to San Luis where it will be unloaded later this week.
The Sumo Power GT team has a big job ahead of it in San Luis. After dropping to fourth in the team's championship standings in Brazil, the team will be looking to get both of it's Nissan GT-Rs in the points in order to haul them up the rankings where a second place finish is still possible. After a non-finish in the championship race at Interlagos, Warren Hughes and Jamie Campbell-Walter want to complete the season on a high in San Luis. Like many of the GT1 drivers they haven't ever raced on the San Luis track.
"I've seen some in-car footage from San Luis and it looks interesting to say the least!" said Hughes. "It looks more like a street circuit as it's lined with concrete barriers. Precision is going to count for a lot there as if you make one mistake it's game over. With both races being on Sunday there really is no room for error as the teams can't do all-nighters to mend broken cars so we have to make sure we keep it on the black stuff. The track layout certainly looks exciting; there are lots of gradient changes, some slow corners and some fast, sweeping corners, so I'm looking forward to it a lot."
The No.23 Sumo Power Nissan GT-R took a second place finish in the Brazilian qualifying race and now the drivers want a top finish in the championship race too. Both Peter Dumbreck and Michael Krumm have been practicing the San Luis track on a simulator in preparation for this event.
"I've never been to San Luis but I have been getting in a bit of practice on a race simulator," said Dumbreck. "The first thing you notice is the lack of run-off areas. So many tracks now, especially in Europe, are F1-based so they have big run-off areas. I think as I driver you always push that little bit harder if you know there is room for error. With all the walls at San Luis I think it will be more like the Nordschleife: one mistake and you're in the wall! I think that even though Michael and I haven't raced there it will only take us a few laps to get up to speed. The circuit layout looks really good; it has a lot of fast corners so it should be a good track for us."
Karl Wendlinger and Henri Moser got the No.3 Swiss Racing Team Nissan GT-R working well for the main race in Brazil and they will be hoping to get the balance right from the off at San Luis.
"I haven't been to San Luis before; in fact I've only seen it on television as I commentated on the 2008 FIA GT race there for German TV," said Wendlinger. "It certainly looks challenging as there is no run-off. If you go off the racing line there you are in trouble as off line it is very slippery. I remember Marcel Fassler was leading there in 2008, went off the line to lap a GT2 car, and ended up in the wall! It looks like a good track though with a really good mixture of fast turns, slow corners and long straights. I look forward to getting out there and trying it out.
Seiji Ara and Max Nilsson also showed a good turn of pace in the No.4 Nissan GT-R. Like their Swiss Racing team-mates they have had a good look at the circuit configuration and know the key is going to be to stay away from the concrete walls!
"I do not have a clear image of the San Luis, but I am quite sure one mistake would cost you everything there," said Ara. "But I really like street circuits like Macau so I think I will also really enjoy driving at San Luis. The Argentina race will be the final race of the championship so I will show all that I have learned through this year. That is what we need for a better start for next year as well."
The San Luis race meeting gets underway on Saturday with both races taking place on Sunday. As usual the on-track action can be viewed live on GT1World.com.