Portimao: Series qualifying race report

Nissan GT-R wins thrilling Qualifying Race The Sumo Power Nissan GT-R No.23 of Michael Krumm and Peter Dumbreck took the spoils in a spectacular Qualifying Race at Portimao. It was a maiden win for the German-British partnership in a race ...

Nissan GT-R wins thrilling Qualifying Race

The Sumo Power Nissan GT-R No.23 of Michael Krumm and Peter Dumbreck took the spoils in a spectacular Qualifying Race at Portimao.

It was a maiden win for the German-British partnership in a race that showcased the very best of the close combat of GT1.

The Nissan won a tense three-way battle at the head of the field with the Vitaphone Maserati No.1 of Michael Bartels and Andrea Bertolini second.

Long-time race leader and polesitters Marc Hennerici and Alex Margaritas in the Phoenix Corvette No.13 claimed third place.

Fourth was Darren Turner and Tomas Enge in the Young Driver Aston Martin No.7, while Richard Westbrook and Thomas Mutsch produced a stunning drive in the Matech Competition Ford GT No.5 to grab fifth place from a starting position of 21st on the grid.

Portimao Qualifying Race: What the drivers say ...

Michael Krumm, Sumo Power Nissan GT-R No.23

"It was exciting and once we got clean through the first few corners we had the same fight going on for the whole race, which was realy exciting, including the pit stops. For us everything went perfect today. The start was OK, but the pit stop was fantastic and Peter's drive was fantastic."

Peter Dumbreck, Sumo Power Nissan GT-R No.23

"I was very aware that we were on screen, so I was being very very clean and both of us being very fair. The last thing that I wanted was to put him into a half spin and jeopordise my second place. I kept it clean and took my time. I could see that he (Marc Hennerici) was having a bit more trouble than me with his tyres. Mine really kicked in in the last couple of laps.

"I was struggling with the rear. But up until then the car was fantastic and I could hold Andrea (Bertolini). He came out a lap earlier than me so his tyres were warmer, so I had a couple of laps where I think it was quite close but then I realised I was catching Marc and from there I just tried to keep my head down and Andrea was coming with me, there was no fighting, we just tried to catch the car ahead."

Michael Bartels, Vitpaphone Maserati No.1

"I was surprised about the Lamborghini's once again (at the start), it's happened now a few times so it was in my opinion not from him a correct start. You can't jump two rows and pass everybody alongside the walls, it was a little bit of chaos, but I managed to survive without any heavier contact.

"It was a good race, we had good pace, I was able to get close up behind Michael (Krumm) and Alex (Margaritas) but of course it is difficult then to overtake. In our position I think the most important thing is to keep the brain on when racing because we are leading the championship, we need every possible point.

"These points are, lets say, free of charge and we take it and extend our lead in the championship to 20 points, we now have to go out tomorrow for a good race and score points. It showed good hard and fair motorsport."

Andrea Bertolini, Vitaphone Maserati No.1

"Michael did a really good stint and I tried to push really hard in my outlap but it wasn't enough. I was behind Peter (Dumbreck) and I decided 'don't do a strange manoeuvre' because also we arrived behind Marc (Hennerici).

"But really I'm very happy when you drive with profesional drivers like Peter and Marc we do a really nice race. We'll see tomorrow now what happens, we'll see at the end of the race."

Alex Margaritis, Phoenix Racing Corvette No.13

"I was lucky to get the pole position from Marc and I was able to do the start. I had a great beginning of the race. I managed to get a little bit of a gap but I was able to make my pace.

"In the beginning the car felt very, very good but at the end of my stint I could see that my tyres, especially in the rear were becoming a problem, we knew it before but we didn't expect it in such a big way. I came to the pit and we had a great pit stop, one of the fastest, and I gave the car to Marc."

Marc Hennerici, Phoenix Racing Corvette No.13

"For five laps before the end, the car was still good, but not as fast as the other guys. The fight was really clean and nice and I have to say that it's still a big thing for me to drive against drivers like Andrea Bertolini and Peter Dumbreck.

"I dreamed two years ago about competing with them, so I don't want to gain respect by being mad. I think that this drive, clean racing is really much better, but of course I'm a little bit disappointed, when you start from pole position you want the win, but we didn't expect the tyres to go like that. For tomorrow we have good tryes, two good sets, so we can be optimistic for tomorrow."

Richard Westbrook, Matech Competition Ford GT No.5

"It was really good fun. The way we've qualified was awful, we shouldn't have been that far down. Ours is a really good car and this is a perfect track for the Ford GT. We could see that in Pre-Qualifying but for whatever reason we've had a really bad Qualifying. So we've put our sword between our teeth and just went for it.

"I'm absolutely delighted, our pace all the way through the race was great and we had a lot of fun. I had some horrible first three laps, just tried to stay out of trouble and then picked them up one by one, 16 I think. It was good fun."

Pedro Lamy, Young Driver Aston Martin No.8

"In my first lap the front hood opened and it was stopping me from seeing where I was going. So I've had to pit to fix it and then went back on track to try recover a few places, but the race was already lost right there.

"We've had a few problems with the car's set-up during practice and it was only now during the race that it was going well, but then it was too late. For tomorrow's Championship Race we are 15th on the grid and I'm sure things will run better."

Miguel Ramos, Vitaphone Maserati No.2

"In my first two laps I was hit four times. Right at the start a Lamborghini hit me, then an Aston Martin hit me too. After that I overtook that Lamborghini, only to be pushed off track at the approach of the next slow turn. And then on his stint Enrique (Bernoldi) was touched by another Aston Martin and had a spin. This race looked like the dodgem cars world championship."

-source: gt1 world

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About this article
Series Blancpain Sprint
Drivers Tomas Enge , Michael Krumm , Darren Turner , Pedro Lamy , Peter Dumbreck , Michael Bartels , Miguel Ramos , Andrea Bertolini , Marc Hennerici , Richard Westbrook , Thomas Mutsch
Teams Nissan Motorsport , Phoenix Racing