Next week will see Sumo Power GT make history in motorsport, when it becomes the first British team to compete in the FIA GT1 World Championship, 2010 being the inaugural year for this brand-new global GT race-series. The opening round of the ...
Next week will see Sumo Power GT make history in motorsport, when it becomes the first British team to compete in the FIA GT1 World Championship, 2010 being the inaugural year for this brand-new global GT race-series. The opening round of the ten-race calendar takes place at the spectacular Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi, where 24 cars, comprising 12 teams and six manufacturer brands, will line-up alongside each other for the very first time.
Racing in association with NISMO (Nissan Motorsports International co. Ltd.), the Sumo Power GT team will contest the season with its two impressive V8, 5.6 litre Nissan GT-Rs: car no. 23 driven by Michael Krumm and Peter Dumbreck and car no. 22 driven by Warren Hughes and Jamie Campbell-Walter. Having carried out its pre-season testing in France, Portugal, Spain and the UK, the team has been encouraged with the progress it has made and the way in which its whole operation has bonded together since Sumo Power GT was formed in January of this year.
The build-up to the race weekend commences with all cars participating in a 'Balance of Performance' test on Wednesday, where comparative lap times and speeds will be assessed. Weight penalties will then be applied accordingly, in advance of the qualifying sessions, to ensure closer and more exciting racing.
On Thursday scrutineering and documentation takes place, with the cars back on track on Friday for free practice at 13.00 and then pre-qualifying at 16.10, before the official one-hour qualifying session at 19.30.
Each of the ten events held in 2010 will feature two 60-minute races, one qualifying and one championship event. In the case of Abu Dhabi, both take place on Saturday, the first at 16.00 and the second at 19.45.
There will be a mandatory pit stop for tyre and driver change in each race between the 25th and 35th minute and success ballast will be added to the top four cars at the end of the weekend. Points will be awarded to the top-three finishers in the qualifying race and the top-eight in the championship race.
Opened in October 2009, the Yas Marina Circuit is also the venue for the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix. It is situated on Yas Island, around 30 minutes from the centre of the UAE capital. The track is 5.5 kilometres long and contains 21 corners, set in spectacular and contemporary surroundings, which include ultra-modern facilities, seating for over 50,000 people and a hotel that spans the track.
Allen Orchard - Team Manager:
"With the team only existing since January, things have progressed at an incredible pace and I can't believe that the first round is now upon us. However, I am delighted with the way the cars have performed in testing and with the way in which the team has come together. Although it is impossible to predict how competitive we will be until we see all 24 cars on the track, if the past few weeks are anything to go by then we should be in with a real chance of a good result."
Michael Krumm - Driver car 23:
"We have been able to make good progress during our tests in all kind of areas, so all-in-all everything looks positive for this weekend. Of course we are looking for a podium finish, but with this being the first event for the team I think we will be happy if we get both cars in the top-ten."
Peter Dumbreck - Driver car 23:
Personally I feel that we are in a good position following the pre-season tests. However, for everyone in the championship it won't be until we get to Yas Marina, the balance of performance criteria has been applied and everyone gives it 100%, that we will know how competitive each of the cars will be. It's going to be an interesting weekend."
Jamie Campbell-Walter - Driver car 22:
"I'm used to driving endurance races, so the one-hour format should make things exciting - especially as I think I am one of the few people on the grid that has experience of the Yas Marina circuit. However, there are a lot of good drivers in the series, so it will be tough, but that's what makes for close racing and a great championship!"
Warren Hughes - Driver car 22:
"With the deal to drive for Sumo Power GT coming together fairly late in the day, I wasn't able to do too much testing - although most drivers will say they wanted more pre-season seat time I'm sure. Therefore, I'm really looking forward to getting back in the Nissan this week and I think the race will be a great spectacle."
-source: sumo power