NISSAN GT-Rs BEGIN THE FIGHT BACK AT SPA Most of the action took place at the back of the grid in today's FIA GT1 World Championship qualifying race at Spa in Belgium. After a tough qualifying session that placed the four Nissan GT-Rs in 15th,...
NISSAN GT-Rs BEGIN THE FIGHT BACK AT SPA
Most of the action took place at the back of the grid in today's FIA GT1 World Championship qualifying race at Spa in Belgium. After a tough qualifying session that placed the four Nissan GT-Rs in 15th, 19th, 20th and 22nd on the grid, all four starting drivers had a challenge on their hands to improve their positions for the points-scoring championship race that takes place tomorrow.
When the lights went green it was Peter Dumbreck who got the best start in the No.23 Sumo Power GT Nissan GT-R, moving up from 19th to 16th on the first lap. As he stormed away, Jamie Campbell-Walter in the sister Sumo car was having an eventful race after being hit at the first corner by Michael Bartels' Maserati.
"I went into the corner with the Mad Croc Corvette and we were both giving each other room," explained Campbell-Walter. "Bartels then came steaming up the inside and understeered into me. It was a big hit and it pushed me into the Corvette. It's a shame to see an experienced guy who has won a championship, trying to win a race at the first corner."
Campbell-Walter then had to complete a full lap with a punctured tyre before he could pit. Once he rejoined he made great progress but with so much time lost there was little he could do about his position. Dumbreck meanwhile was moving up the order and 20 minutes into the race he was up to 14th.
The two Swiss Racing Team Nissan GT-Rs were running in 18th and 19th at this point, in the hands of Henri Moser and Max Nilsson respectively. Moser was struggling with the balance of his Nissan GT-R, after having done most of his running so far this weekend in the wet.
"Karl (Wendlinger) did most of the running in the dry and he wasn't happy with the amount of understeer the car had," said Moser. "We did some work to reduce this and the first few laps were okay but then I started to get oversteer. It was hard work but we will keep on pushing!"
Max Nilsson had lost a couple of positions at the start but ran well for the remainder of his stint before Seiji Ara got in. Ara was the top-performing Nissan GT-R driver in qualifying, taking a very strong 12th place in the first session. He and Nilsson finished today's race in 18th place.
With all the pit stops complete, Michael Krumm was the highest-placed Nissan GT-R driver in 12th place but he was gunning for a top ten spot at the very least.
"We had a great pit stop," he said. "All the bad luck from qualifying this morning left us and we had a good race. The Nissan GT-R was handling great and Peter and I managed to stay out of trouble. Peter did well in the opening stint as he really kept his cool during all the drama. It was good as I could attack and overtake people so it was very exciting."ace
Krumm made his final move at the last corner of the race when he passed a Ford GT for ninth place, cementing a good position on the grid for tomorrow's big race.
The Championship Race takes place tomorrow at 1205hrs tomorrow.