29th August 2010
FIA GT1 World Championship – Round Six, Nürburgring
Championship Race report
Both Sumo Power GT Nissan GT-Rs fought their way through the field in a tough round six of the FIA GT1 World Championship at Nürburgring. Car 22, driven by Warren Hughes and Jamie Campbell-Walter, climbed from 16th on the gird up to animpressive eighth and car 23, driven by Michael Krumm and Peter Dumbreck, went from 20th to 15th, in a race that featured some hard, panel-beating action.
With the results of race one determining the grid positions for the main Championship Race, it was always going to be a tough call for both of the Sumo Power GT Nissans to claim
a top-ten place. The task was thought to be even harder following the morning’s warm-up session, with drivers reporting difficulty in getting the right amount of heat in the tyres.
Beginning the race from 16th on the grid, Hughes in car 22 made a great start and powered past four cars on the run up to the turn one. Four places further back, Krumm in car 23 was eager to keep out of trouble and avoid another first corner incident that put him and Dumbreck out of race one.
At the end of the first lap, Hughes was up to 12th and Krumm 18th, both cars making good progress – with Hughes even moving up another place on lap four. However, Krumm was now stuck in traffic and, unwillingly trading paint with the cars around him, was nudged into a spin and dropped back to 20th on lap five.
A combination of his Nissan handling well, coupled with others dropping out, saw Hughes climb into the top-ten and up to ninth before the mandatory pit stop to change drivers and tyres on lap 13. Even nursing a suspected slow puncture from one of the earlier clashes, Krumm was also overtaking and climbed to 17th before he pulled into the pits.
The stops for both cars were carried out in under 30 seconds, but unfortunately some of the team’s good work in the pits was undone as each of its Nissans re-joined the race in slower traffic. Once all the cars had stopped and the true positions we displayed on the timing screens, it was revealed that Campbell-Walter, who had taken over from Hughes, was in 10th and Dumbreck, who had replaced Krumm, was in 18th.
Campbell-Walter was happy with the pace of his Nissan and, on lap 19, went past the similar car of Henry Moser in one of his hallmark out-braking manoeuvres. This, coupled with a drive-through penalty applied to a car in front, moved the Sumo Power GT driver up to eighth place. He then spent the rest of the race ensuring that the pursuing Maserati did not get past and was pleased to cross the line in a top ten – and more importantly – a points-scoring position.
Once his tyres bedded in, Dumbreck also found himself making up places and, even as light rain started to fall, he was able to hunt-down slower cars ahead of him and get past, ending the race in 15th position. Although not the result he and Krumm were looking for, the speed of their car suggested that by starting higher on the grid, a top-ten finish would have been achievable.
Overall, the race saw a considerable amount of ‘contact’ between other cars and therefore, the Sumo Power GT team was pleased that both its Nissans came away relatively unscathed. First place went to Darren Turner and Tomas Enge, who took their Aston Martin to its second win of the weekend.
The outcome for Sumo Power GT means that it now lies 6th in the Teams’ standings, with Hughes and Campbell-Walter 12th and Krumm and Dumbreck 13th in the Drivers’ Championship. The team now turns its attentions to round seven, which takes place at the Portimao track in the Algarve on 18 & 19 September.
The team gave their thoughts on the result of the championship race afterwards:
Michael Krumm – Driver Car 23
“Even though I tried to keep out of the way, because I was overtaking I became involved with quite a lot of contact at the start of the race. I think this must have damaged a wheel or a tyre and from then on the car wasn’t 100%. It could have been a better weekend for us, but I know from our times that the car can be good, so I’m now looking forward to the next round in Portugal.”
Peter Dumbreck – Driver Car 23
“Once I was able to get some heat into the tyres I was pleased with the pace of the car and was able to start overtaking. Our lap times were consistent and, if it wasn’t for the low start position and the problems that come with that, I’m sure we would have finished in the top ten.”
Warren Hughes – Driver Car 22
“We made a few changes to the car after yesterday’s race and it felt better. I was able to get a really good start and then catch and pass the cars ahead of me. Our race-pace doesn’t seem to be a problem. At the moment its our qualifying that needs work, so if we can get that right, I’m sure we’ll be running at the front again.”
Jamie Campbell-Walter – Driver Car 22
“Our lap times were not far off the leading cars in the end. I’m really pleased we’ve been able to get into the points again, which is good for us and the team. Although grip levels could have been a bit better, it was a good race and, if we can get on top of things for qualifying, then I think we’ve cracked it.”
Nigel Stepney – Team Manager
“There’s no doubt that both cars had the speed in the race, but fighting through from the back is always going to make things difficult. There’s more pace to come from the cars. We know what areas we have to work on and we’ve now got three weeks to do it.”
James Rumsey – Team Principal
“It’s good to finish in the points, with one car, but the pace of both was good. If qualifying and yesterday’s race had gone better for us then there’s no doubt the outcome would be different today. I’m pleased that it was another good all-round effort from the team.”