FIA GT1 World Championship Round 5 Results

Although not seeing the results they wanted, the Sumo Power GT team came away from round five of the FIA GT1 World Championship at Spa in positive mood. In today’s main Championship Race all four drivers put in an impressive performance: Michael Krumm and Peter Dumbreck in car 23 battled their way up to second place and then, with just one-and-a-half laps to go, their Nissan GT-R coasted to a halt with no drive.

Team-mates Warren Hughes and Jamie Campbell-Walter in car 22 also scythed their way through the field. Starting from 19th, they crossed the line in 11th, but were robbed of a far better result when they were hit by another car half-way through the race.

Following a series of mixed fortunes in Friday’s Qualifying Race, car 23 lined up eighth on the grid and car 22 in 19th, after being shunted on the very first corner and subsequently having to visit the pits to change a punctured tyre.

Once again, the drama started for the Sumo Power GT team right from the start, when the cars ahead of Krumm in car 23 accelerated hard and then suddenly braked on the approach to the start line, the red lights taking longer to change than they anticipated. With no where to go and cars behind him apparently unaware of what was happening, Krumm had no choice but to move to the outside of the track at the first corner to avoid a pile-up and, in doing so, lost five places on the run-up to Eau Rouge.

With a car that was handling better than ever – even with its 50 kilos of success ballast on board – the German began to make up places and, following a series of excellent overtaking moves, by lap eight he was back where he started in eighth place. Meanwhile, also with a car that was performing well, Hughes was mimicking Krumm’s progress – albeit five places further back – and had battled up to 11th place on lap eight.

But then, one lap later, Roman Grosjean in a Ford GT lunged up the inside of the Nissan and, with no chance of passing, smashed into the back of Hughes’ car, sending him into a spin. After the following cars dived left and right to miss the Nissan – which was stationary in the middle of the track – Hughes got going again, but now in 20th place and with all of his good work undone.

Both Sumo Power GT cars went into the pits for the compulsory mid-race driver and wheel change after 12 laps and, following two sub 30-second stops, Dumbreck in car 23 emerged in fifth and promptly moved up to fourth on his out-lap, with Campbell-Walter now in no. 22 moving up to 18th.

A clash between two other cars left debris on the track and on lap 15 the Safety Car was deployed, allowing everyone the opportunity to close up. When racing commenced three laps later Dumbreck found himself in a position to challenge for a podium position – and he didn’t have to wait for long – as the leading Lamborghini slowed down and retired. The Nissan driver then hunted down the slower Ford GT ahead of him, whilst fending off the advances of a Maserati behind and, on lap 22, he finally passed the Ford under braking to claim second.

Now, with the possibility of victory in sight, he continued to push and started to catch the Lamborghini of Ricardo Zonta/Frank Kechele in first place. Then suddenly, on the penultimate lap, Dumbreck felt his car start to vibrate and a few hundred yards later it lost all drive to the rear wheels. Having never experienced a race-stopping mechanical issue, the Sumo Power GT team were stunned to see its Nissan coast to a halt. The reason later traced to a drive-train problem.

The second half of the race also saw Campbell-Walter on a mission and, although being badly baulked by slower cars ahead of him, he was able to thread his way past and up to a hard-fought 11th place.

Although it wasn’t the weekend they were looking for, the whole of the Sumo Power GT team was delighted with the performance of its cars, both of which set front-running times throughout the two races. Therefore, with car 23 now losing some of its success ballast before the sixth round at Nurburgring on 29th August, the team is looking forward to getting back on track and putting the record straight.

Team quotes

Michael Krumm – Driver Car 23
“The start was crazy. I don’t know why the cars in front accelerated and then braked  and, with cars bearing down on me from behind, it was a case of getting out of the way or getting hit. However, the Nissan was very quick and it was set up just the way I like, which really helped me get past so many others and back up to eighth. Of course it’s disappointing we didn’t finish, but today was still a great performance.”

Peter Dumbreck – Driver Car 23
“As soon as I left the pits I could feel that the car was good and I could really push. We then had the Safety Car period which helped me catch the leaders and, when we started racing again, I thought we were going to make it onto the podium. I was so surprised when the car started to vibrate. A retirement is not something I’d experienced with the team before.”

Warren Hughes – Driver Car 22
“With the way the car was going a top-five position was on the cards – even though we started from P19. I couldn’t believe it when Grosjean hit me. He came from so far back there was no way he could have got past. The accident ruined his race and ours.”

Jamie Campbell-Walter – Driver Car 22
“I enjoy a good race and overtaking, but that was a frustrating drive. With the car performing so well, I was catching others quickly, especially after we got closed up by the Safety Car, but there was so much defensive driving going on I couldn’t get by. It was just one of those weekend’s, but at least we know we have the pace to run at the front – if only we can get there!”

Allen Orchard – Team Manager
“I’m really disappointed for Michael and Peter. After a drive like that they deserved to finish second. In the same way, Warren and Jamie also deserved better, as did the whole team considering the effort that went in to make up for our qualifying outcome. However, all is looking good for the next race!”

James Rumsey – Team Principal
“The whole team made a massive effort to get us back to where we should be in the race and I’m really impressed with the way the cars and drivers performed. It’s just a shame that sometimes in motorsport, the results don’t reflect the work that’s goes in.”


FIA GT1 World Championship Round 5 Qualifying Race

Today’s Qualifying Race for round five of the FIA GT1 World Championship at Spa saw Peter Dumbreck & Michael Krumm driving car 23 make up an incredible 10 places, climbing from 19th on the grid to finish in ninth place. Team-mates Jamie Campbell-Walter and Warren Hughes in car 22 did well to retain their starting position of 20th, after Campbell-Walter was hit by another car at the first corner, the damage requiring a pit stop for a punctured tyre.

Following a successful test at the circuit a few weeks ago, the team went to the classic Belgium track quietly confident with its dry-weather set up for both Nissan GT-Rs. Even with rain during pre-race testing on Thursday, the drivers were still comfortable with the feel of their cars and therefore, it came as a surprise when car 23 qualified 19th and car 22 was 20th.

This unusual turn of events for the Sumo Power GT team was attributed to Krumm being held up by slower cars during his flying laps and Hughes not able to get his second set of tyres to grip properly, the track temperature not as warm as the team had anticipated. This now meant that both cars would go on the offensive for the afternoon’s hour-long race.

Even with 50 kilos of success ballast on board, Dumbreck made a great start and exited the first corner in 16th place. In contrast, Campbell-Walter was rammed by the Maserati of championship leader Michael Bartels who went for a non-existent gap on the inside. The impact pushed the Sumo Power GT car into a Corvette, which promptly punctured the Nissan’s right-front tyre and then spun across its bows.

With no choice but to head to the pits to change the wheel, Campbell-Walter nursed his car around the rest of the 4.352-mile lap. Fortunately, the car sustained no other damage and, although returning to the circuit a lap down and in last place, he was determined to claw back as much lost ground as possible.

Meanwhile, Dumbreck was on a charge and, besides a tussle with the Lamborghini of Christoph Bouchut on lap 10 at turn one, a series of consistent lap times saw the Nissan driver climb to 15th before the mandatory pit stop after 25 minutes. An excellent wheel change by the team allowed Krumm to rejoin the race and capitalise on his opening lap to gain another place.

Piling on the pressure for the second half of the race, Krumm was very happy with the way his car was performing and proceeded to catch and pass cars, right up to and including the final lap. He went on to cross the line in ninth place, having increased his and Dumbreck’s starting position by an impressive 10 places.

Having swapped with Campbell-Walter, Hughes was having a similar afternoon. Also delighted with his Nissan’s handling, he was passing cars too. But, still a lap down, he was unable to make up the places his and Campbell-Walter’s performance deserved and finished as they started in 20th place.

Although not the results the team has become used to – having finished on the podium in the last five races – the consistent pace of its two cars bodes well for tomorrow’s all-important Championship race, where the main haul of points can be scored. The team’s hopes were further boosted when, in today’s race, car 23 set the third-fastest lap and car 22 the fourth.

Added to this, with the first and second-placed drivers in the championship recording non-finishes, the team stands a good chance to raise its position in the driver’s and team’s standings by the end of the weekend.

Team quotes

Michael Krumm – Driver Car 23
“Having started from 19th on the grid I am really pleased to finish 9th and I think we have recovered the situation well. Considering we are carrying the 50 kilos of success ballast, I am pleased with the pace we had. The car felt very good and I’m sure we’re in for an exciting race tomorrow.”

Peter Dumbreck – Driver Car 23
“All-in-all not a bad result. Even though the tyres were beginning to go off a little, because I was pushing hard and because of the extra weight we are carrying this weekend, the car was handling well. I’m really pleased we’ve made up for our qualifying result and we now stand a good chance of being in a points scoring position.”

Warren Hughes – Driver Car 22
“The car was so constant throughout my run I felt I could easily push. Overtaking wasn’t a problem either, as I was confident with the way the car was handling. Although we’ve got another challenge tomorrow, I’m sure that if we keep out of trouble we’ll be able to make up a lot of places.”

Jamie Campbell-Walter – Driver Car 22
“It was a real shame about the first corner shunt, as it spoilt the chance for us to improve on our grid position for the Championship Race. But with the car being right on the pace we could well make it into a points scoring position, so all is not lost by a long way.”

Allen Orchard – Team Manager
“It was a positive end to what was a disappointing start to the day. I’m delighted with what the drivers have said about the cars, which makes me confident that we can do well in tomorrow’s race, even though a podium position will be a tough call this time round.”

James Rumsey – Team Principal
“I think we’ve come out of this quite well. I was very pleased with the way the cars performed and, with our main rivals having problems, there’s been no real impact on our championship position.”

Cobra Launch New VW Scirocco Suspension Upgrades

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