Michael Krumm, suffering with a terrible flu bug, qualified the number 22 Nissan Skyline in fifth position for the opening round of the 2001 JGTC. Michael set his time in the slower second session having posted the eleventh fastest time in the cooler morning session.
" We were unlucky today, on my qualifying attack in the morning session - which is always quicker in the cooler temperatures - I had a Turbo failure so we were only eleventh. We improved our time in the afternoon but as it was much hotter I could only get into fifth place " Michael commented Saturday evening.
From the start of the race Michael immediately challenged and fought his way to fourth position and battled with team - mate Comas for a number of laps. As the Nissan duo began to lap back markers this became third.
A safety car period just prior to Michael's planned pit stop saw the advantage that he had gained disappear as he headed for the pits to hand over to his co-driver. Tanaka returned to the track in third place and held position under pressure until the final two laps, when he slipped back to fourth, the highest placed Nissan Skyline.
"It would have been nice to get a podium in the first race, but fourth is OK, and we have some points and no weight penalty for round two. I have felt terrible all weekend with the flu and Tanaka drove very well today. He kept cool under pressure right until the end in his first race at this level so he did very well. Now I will rest for a few days and try to get well before the Nippon race next weekend" - Michael Krumm