NISSAN WINS PORTUGUESE THRILLER Nissan won the battle of the brands in Portugal this afternoon when Michael Krumm and Peter Dumbreck drove the No.23 Sumo Power GT Nissan GT-R to victory at Portimao. Strong drives from the duo in qualifying meant...
NISSAN WINS PORTUGUESE THRILLER
Nissan won the battle of the brands in Portugal this afternoon when Michael Krumm and Peter Dumbreck drove the No.23 Sumo Power GT Nissan GT-R to victory at Portimao. Strong drives from the duo in qualifying meant that they started today's race from second place on the grid. Their drive to victory was the highlight of one of the most thrilling FIA GT1 World Championship races of the season so far that saw a three-car fight between Nissan, Corvette and Maserati. A great move by Peter Dumbreck on the leading Corvette, with just seven minutes of the race remaining, took the No.23 Nissan GT-R into the lead and onto the victory.
Their Sumo Power team-mates Warren Hughes and Jamie Campbell-Walter recovered brilliantly from a problem in qualifying that saw them start from the back of the grid. They finished the race in ninth place, which sets them up for a good run in tomorrow's championship race.
The two Swiss Racing Team Nissan GT-Rs showed further improvements today. Seiji Ara and Max Nilsson finished the race just outside the top ten in 11th place. They qualified in 15th after a fantastic showing from Ara in which he bagged the fifth fastest time in the first of the three qualifying sessions this morning.
Karl Wendlinger and Henri Moser also showed a greater turn of pace today. Moser started the race from 19th and made good progress before handed over to Wendlinger during the mandatory pit stop. Unfortunately for the Austrian he was hit by a Ford GT during his run which ended the race for the No.3 Nissan GT-R.
Michael Krumm: "I promised this morning that it would be an exciting race! It was important for me to get a clean start and get through the first few corners unscathed. Everything has gone perfectly from qualifying this morning until now. It was a great driver from Peter and a great job from the team. We were in a tight three-car battle for much of the race and I think the tyre wear affected us all which made it exciting racing."
Peter Dumbreck: "I had a hard time with (Andrea) Bertolini behind me and the Corvette in front. I was very aware that I was on TV so I kept it clean and took my time! My tyres only started to go off two laps before the end so I was able to push. Andrea was close to me at the start of my stint as his tyres were warmer but I bided my time and got on with passing the Corvette. We need another clean start tomorrow and to take as many points as possible again. At the minimum we want the top three and of course it would be even better to get the win."
Warren Hughes: "I'm well chuffed considering the weekend we have had so far. I had a plan for lap one and it worked; I was able to pass a lot of cars in the first three corners. I then went from one fight to the next. The two Fords jumped me towards the end of my stint but I got them back before I pitted. The car is very consistent and stable now so the changes we made have worked. I think overall we have made a very good recovery and set ourselves up for a good result tomorrow."
Henri Moser: "Despite the fact that we had a fair bit of oversteer today we had the same pace as the No.4 car that finished in 11th so I think that is where we are at. As Karl was taken out we will have to start from the back of the grid tomorrow. It's going to be tough but we have two new sets of tyres to play with."
Seiji Ara: "I managed to overtake some cars during my run but not enough of them! We had a lot of understeer at the last high speed corner but the Nissan GT-R is very strong on the straights here. We're going in the right direction but we still have a lot of work to do."