14th September 2010
Rye, East Sussex, England
FIA GT1 World Championship – Round Seven, Autódromo Internacional do Algarve – Preview
After just a three-week gap between races, the Sumo Power GT team are in action again this weekend when they head to the Algarve for round seven of the FIA GT1 World Championship. Once again, Michael Krumm and Peter Dumbreck will drive Nissan GT-R number 23, with Warren Hughes and Jamie Campbell-Walter behind the wheel of car 22.
Following a weekend of mixed fortunes for both its cars in round six at Nürburgring the team has been seeking to overcome the issues that diluted its qualifying performance last time out. However, even with low-starting positions, car 22 managed to finish in the top-ten and consequently, a points-scoring position.
With the Autódromo Internacional do Algarve a circuit which rises and falls with
the terrain and includes a mixture of both fast and slow corners, it shares some of its characteristics to that of Nürburgring. Therefore, taking into account the information and data that was gained by the team in Germany, it is hoping that this and the warmer conditions may have a positive effect in Portugal, as one of the main factors for review has been the generation of heat and the management of tyres – teams only allowed to use four sets per throughout the whole weekend.
Located near the city of Portimão in the Faro region of the Algarve, this relatively new circuit was opened in October 2008. A lap of the track is 4.692 kilometres (2,915 miles) long and is regarded by drivers as ‘challenging’, because of its undulations, blind crests and combination of bends.
Sumo Power GT heads to Portugal lying 6th in the Teams’ standings, with Hughes and Campbell-Walter 12th and Krumm and Dumbreck 13th in the Drivers’ Championship.
This weekend’s action starts at on Friday at 09.50 with Free Practice, followed by Pre-Qualifying at 14.35. Qualifying takes place on Saturday at 11.15, with the first hour-long race starting at 16.45 and the main Championship race, also one-hour long, scheduled for 15.30 on Sunday.
The team had the following to say regarding the Algarve race:
Michael Krumm – Driver Car 23
“I’ve only driven the Algarve track whilst testing and not raced there before. It has lots of ups and downs which make it quite challenging, but this is what also makes it an enjoyable circuit to drive. It’s not as high-speed as Spa and probably closer to Nürburgring in its characteristics, so we can take what we learnt from Germany and this should make us stronger in Portugal, although to get a good result this weekend the whole team has to aim to do a perfect job.”
Peter Dumbreck – Driver Car 23
“I raced at the circuit a couple of months ago in the 1000kms of Algarve. It’s a rollercoaster of a circuit with a lot of blind crests, which makes it interesting. There are a lot of 2nd gear corners that may not suit our cars ideally, but we should be able to make up for that on the fast and challenging sections, which is where the Nissan GT-R excels. We know we have the car, team and drivers that are capable of fighting at the front at most circuits and, if we approach this weekend with our previous achievements in mind, then we can push for a good result.”
Warren Hughes – Driver Car 22
“I raced at the Algarve track in an LMS race in July, where I won the Le Mans class and finished sixth overall. The circuit’s undulations, high and low-speed corners and bumpy surface in places makes it very technical and rewarding to drive. Hopefully it will suit our cars better that Nürburgring, especially if the weather is warmer and we can overcome some of the tyres issues. We will also be focussing on a better qualifying result, as that will set us up for the whole weekend.”
Jamie Campbell-Walter – Driver Car 22
“I am the only driver from our team who hasn’t driven the circuit, but it sounds like it shouldn’t be a handicap, especially as Warren (Hughes) is a great team-mate and shares information. It would be good for us to get a result this weekend, but we’ve got to make sure we get through Q1 and into Q2 or Q3, because it ruins your weekend if you don’t.”
Nigel Stepney – Team Manager
“Taking into account our performance at the Nürburgring – coupled to other recent events – we are approaching some of the ways we do things differently when it comes to set-ups. We have carried out a great deal of work back at base since the previous round and therefore, I’m looking forward to seeing how this equates to our performance in Portugal.”
James Rumsey – Team Principal
“I think the team could do well this weekend. Everyone is working well together and we’ve done some good testing on our rig since Nürburgring. As always, our focus will be to get both our cars into a points scoring position and to do that we need to improve our qualifying performance. We seem to have the race pace, so if we can nail some good grid positions we should be right up there.”