Location: Navarra, Spain: 23 & 24 October 2010
The Sumo Power GT team heads back to Iberia this weekend, where its two Nissan GT-Rs are in action once again for round eight of the 2010 FA GT1 World Championship at Navarra in Northern Spain. The race takes place five weeks after its successful visit to Portugal for round seven, where drivers Michael Krumm and Peter Dumbreck in car number 23 claimed their first victory of the season.
After winning the first of two races at the undulating Algrave circuit in September, the Sumo Power GT team is pleased with the progress it is making in its inaugural season of competition. However, the characteristics of Spanish circuit, with its series of slow corners and flat topography, are quite different to that of the Portuguese track and therefore, it is not a forgone conclusion that either of its Nissans will be able to repeat car 23’s Algarve performance this time round.
Warren Hughes and Jamie Campbell Walter in car 22 will definitely be looking for better fortunes in Spain. Although their car showed good pace in Portugal during race one, their qualifying performance was hampered by a power steering problem and their second race was brought to an early end having been hit by another car at the first corner.
This incident was a graphic example of the issues that can occur when starting from a mid-field position and therefore, the whole team is focussed on making sure that its Nissans qualify well. It then hopes this will transfer into good results for both cars, as the season has regularly seen one of them running towards the front of the field, but so far not two.
This is a particularly significant point at this stage of the season, as Sumo Power GT currently lies third in the teams’ championship and has an opportunity of claiming second place if things go well. As far as the drivers’ standings are concerned, Krumm and Dumbreck are seventh, with Hughes and Campbell-Walter 14th, both crews looking for good points hauls this weekend in order to improve on their positions before the end of the year.
With the Navarra circuit officially opened in June 2010, this weekend’s event will be a new experience for nearly all drivers on the grid. Therefore, to help the Sumo Power GT team hit the ground running when it arrives in Portugal, the team will be stopping on the way down for a test at the Circuit Paul Armagnac, near Nagaro in Southern France, on Monday (18th October).
Another event for the team in advance of this weekend will be the presenting of the Tourist Trophy to Hughes and Campbell-Walter, who won the race designated for this award at Silverstone in May. After crossing the line in third place, the two Aston Martins ahead of them were later penalised, which meant that the Sumo Power GT drivers now receive the longest-standing trophy in motorsport. The presentation will be made at the Royal Automobile Club in London’s Pall Mall on Thursday (21st October).
This weekend’s timetable at Navarra sees the Sumo Power GT Nissans first take to the track on Saturday at 10.00 for Free Practice, followed by Pre-Qualifying at 12.20 and Qualifying at 16.45. The first hour-long race gets the green light at 10.00 on Sunday, with the main Championship race, also one-hour long, scheduled for 16.00.
Follow the team’s progress and watch both races live at www.sumopowergt.com
Michael Krumm – Driver Car 23
“I’m looking forward to the challenge of Navarra. It’s always exciting to run on a circuit for the first time. However, it looks like it has quite a lot of slow corners, which will probably not suit us that well, but we are working hard on improving our performance in those areas. ”
Peter Dumbreck – Driver Car 23
“I know very little about Navarra. The one thing I have heard is that most corners are 2nd gear, which is not ideal. We have a few things to try on the car to improve things and, as we have been running in top six at most circuits, I hope we can be there in Spain as well and come away from a weekend with a good points haul.”
Warren Hughes – Driver Car 22
“I’ve been watching some in-car footage of Navarra and it looks like a good venue. Until we get running, it’s hard to predict how the car will suit the circuit, so choosing the right set-up will be important. Initially our focus has to be getting through to Q3 as this sets you up so well for the races and I really want to take some strong results from the last three events of the season.”
Jamie Campbell-Walter – Driver Car 22
“Our initial objective will be qualifying. We’ve had some disappointing sessions recently and it would be great to get both cars through to Q3. As far as knowledge of the circuit is concerned: well I’ve seen it on a map! Therefore, it’s very difficult to say what our car will be like, but we seem to go better at circuits that have flowing, high-speed corners, so this one may not be so good for us.”
Nigel Stepney – Team Manager
“With this being our first season, our cars are driving on circuits for the first time when we arrive for the race weekend. The same applies for us at Navarra, but because the circuit is so new at least it’s the same for all the teams this time round. The layout of the track looks like it won’t favour our cars, so a good result this weekend would be a real bonus.”
James Rumsey – Team Principal
“It’s going to be hard to predict the outcome this weekend as, like many of the teams, we have never been to Navarra before. Our job will be to take good, solid points-scoring finishes in each of the two races, as second place in the teams’ championship is there for the taking.”