4th July 2010
Paul Ricard HTTT Circuit, Le Castellet, France.
FIA GT1 World Championship Round 4
Championship Race Report
Driving the Sumo Power GT Nissan GT-R no. 23, Michael Krumm and Peter Dumbreck finished an excellent second in today’s Championship race at Paul Ricard HTTT (High Tech Test Track) in France. Team mates Warren Hughes and Jamie Campbell-Walter brought car 22 home in eighth place, fighting their way through the field after having to take a drive through penalty earlier in the race.
After finishing an excellent third in yesterday’s race one, Hughes/Campbell-Walter were to start third on the grid, with Krumm/Dumbreck ninth following a frustrating race one due to what was first thought to be excessive tyre wear. However, after inspection, it was found that their car’s front air dam had been damaged in a clash with another car, which had contributed greatly to a lack of grip.
However, with temperatures well into the thirties, tyre degredation for all teams was going to be a major issue for today’s main race. With this in mind, Krumm and Dumbreck opted to save their best sets, whilst Hughes and Campbell-Walter were forced to use the best of their used stock.
But that didn’t stop Hughes – who was first to drive car 22 – from making a storming start and blast up the inside of the Maserati of Andrea Bertolini/Michael Bartels in pole position to take second place in the first corner. But, in the same way that car 23 started to lose places in yesterday’s race one due to worn tyres, Hughes found he was unable to keep the chasing pack at bay and had to yield to the Masterati at the end of the first lap.
For Krumm in car 23 the situation was reversed and, with new tyres and the aerodynamics repaired, he quickly realised that his Nissan was back to what it was during testing and qualifying – and by the end of lap four was up to 7th place. However, for car 22 the opposite was the case, particularly when race officials deemed Hughes’ start-line overtaking manoeuvre to have exceeded track limits when using some of the blue line at the side of the track.
The subsequent pit-lane drive-through after lap four meant that Hughes re-joined the race in 22nd place, putting he and Campbell-Walter in a situation that looked irretrievable. In the mean time, battles between other competitors were taking place throughout the field, resulting in a number of spins and retirements as the race went on.
Added to this, Krumm and Hughes found themselves quicker than their rivals around them and began to gain places. The upshot of their progress saw Hughes in 18th place when he pulled into the pits for the mandatory change of tyres and driver on lap 12 -and Krumm in 4th when he came in after lap 14 – their positions consolidated by two, sub 30-second pit stops by the Sumo Power GT team.
Now with a set of better tyres, Campbell-Walter found he was able to push in car 22 and lap-by-lap started to reel in the competitors ahead of him. The same applied to Dumbreck, who was eager to emulate the previous day’s performance of his team mates and claim a place on the podium.
An excellent move to get past the Ford GT of Romain Grosjean/Thomas Musch on lap 16 was enough to get he and Krumm on the first step and then, when the Corvette of Andrea Piccini/Marc Henerrici in second place was ordered to serve a drive-through penalty for causing a crash earlier in the race, the Sumo Power GT Nissan was elevated to the second behind Bertolini/Bartels.
Now, with just three laps to go, Campbell-Walter was up to 11th and right on the tail of two cars. Determined to get past and thereby secure a top-ten position and consequently score championship points.
Building up his attack on the penultimate lap he got alongside on the start-finish straight and, in what has been described as the ‘best overtaking move of the championship so far’, he passed both cars under braking for turn one. With the bit between his teeth, Campbell-Walter passed another car with three corners to go, eventually crossing the line in a hard-earned eighth place.
With Krumm/Dumbreck securing their highest finish of the season so far, the second-place result brings the number of podiums scored by the team in the FIA GT1 World Championship to five out of the eight races that have been held so far – not a bad statistic for a team that was only formed in February!
Following today’s race, Sumo Power GT now lies second in the FIA GT1 World Championship Team’s standings, with Krumm/Dumbreck fourth and Hughes/Campbell-Walter fifth in the Driver’s Championship.
The team now heads to Spa for a test in advance of round five of the FIA GT1 World Championship, which takes place at the famous Belgium circuit on 29 – 31 July.
Michael Krumm – Driver Car 23
“As soon as I got into the car I could feel that it was back to what is was in practice and qualifying. I knew I could catch and pass the drivers in front of me, so I just waited until I could get by safely and had moved up five places by the time I made the pit stop. Our guys did a great job to get the tyres changed in under 30-seconds and Peter finished off what was a great performance by everyone involved. This result has really made a difference for us and the team.”
Peter Dumbreck – Driver Car 23
“After the handling issues we had yesterday, I felt I could be a racing driver again today. I am therefore both relieved and delighted to be back on the pace again and score our best result of the season so far.”
Warren Hughes – Driver Car 22
“With others using more of the run-off areas than I did at the start, I feel a bit hard-done-by to have got a drive-through penalty – especially as I was pushed out as I was heading down to the first corner. The car certainly handled differently today on the older tyres, but considering these issues, we did well to come away with eighth place and to finish in the points.”
Jamie Campbell-Walter – Driver Car 22
“When I got into it, I didn’t think the car felt too bad on the tyres I had on and I found I could lap quite a bit quicker than the others ahead of me. I therefore got my head down and was determined to get into the top ten. With our third place yesterday and Michael and Peter second today, it’s been a great weekend for the team.”
Allen Orchard – Team Manager
“In these temperatures, tyre management has been the all-important factor. I’m therefore delighted that our attention to detail and team-work throughout the weekend has paid off, not just with one car, but with both of them.”
James Rumsey – Team Principal
“I don’t think anyone expected us to score one win, one second and three third places so soon after forming the team. I’m very pleased we have been able to pull so many good people together and how everyone has worked this weekend. I am also pleased that we are now second in the team’s championship and fourth and fifth in the driver’s. This has more than exceeded our expectations.”