24th August 2010
Rye, East Sussex, England
FIA GT1 World Championship – Round 6 preview
Nürburgring, Germany: 28 & 29 August 2010
The Sumo Power GT team, the only British team participating, will be back in action next weekend, when it heads to Germany for round six of the FIA GT1 World Championship at one of the
world’s most infamous racing circuits: Nürburgring. And, with the technical nature of the track similar to that of Spa, if its two Nissan GT-Rs perform as well as they did in round five, then a top result is on the cards this time round.
Although the results in Belgium were not a true reflection of the pace of its two cars, the team was delighted that both set front-running lap times, with car 23 holding second place and challenging for the lead – even with 50-kilos of success ballast on board. However, with a drive train problem forcing it into retirement with two laps to go and with car 22 involved in clashes with other cars, the team unusually finished out of the points in both races.
Therefore, with the experience gained at Spa, added to further progress made during a successful test at Snetterton last week, the team is extremely upbeat about its chances of gettin back into the top three this weekend. Further helping the team’s aspirations to get both of its cars on the podium this weekend, will be the loss of ‘Balance of Performance’ ballast: car 22 running with none and car 23 having its allocation reduced to 10 kilos.
Out of the ten races (two per round) held so far, Sumo Power GT has scored an impressive five podium finishes, with a first, a second and three third places – results that see it third in the teams’ points table at the season’s half-way point. In the drivers’ standings, Michael Krumm and Peter Dumbreck in car 23 are ninth and Warren Hughes and Jamie Campbell-Walter in car 22 are tenth out of fourty two drivers, both are also only a few points behind their closest rivals.
As usual, weather and track conditions will also play a significant part in performance and strategy this weekend, together with the all-important management of tyres, championship regulations which impose a limit of four sets of slicks per car to cover qualifying and both one-hour races.
Of the 12 teams, 24 cars and 48 drivers that make up the FIA GT1 World Championship grid, most are familiar with the 3.23-mile (5.2-kilometre) German Grand Prix circuit and, in particular, two of the Sumo Power GT drivers. For Michael Krumm, this is his home track and one where he began his career, winning his very first Formula Ford race at the ‘Ring. Jamie Campbell-Walter also has good memories of the track as, driving a Lister Storm, he notably won the last FIA GT race held here in 2001.
The weekend timetable sees the Sumo Power GT Nissans first take to the track on Friday at 11.00 for Free Practice, followed by Pre-Qualifying at 16.30. Qualifying takes place on Saturday at 09.00, with the first hour-long race starting at 14.15, with the main Championship race, also one-hour long, scheduled for 15.15 on Sunday.
The members of the team gave their thoughts prior to race day.
Michael Krumm, from Reutlingen, Germany – Driver Car 23
“As I won my first ever race at the Nürburgring and have driven there many times I know the circuit quite well, although there have been a number of changes over the years. I think that some parts of the track will suit our cars, but maybe not as well as Spa. Overall we should perform well and, with this being my home track, it would be great if Peter and I could take our first GT1 win this weekend.”
Peter Dumbreck, from Kirkcaldy, Scotland – Driver Car 23
“We have a good base set-up for the car and understand it a lot more than we did at the start of the season. We nearly came away with second place at Spa and, as car 23 will be carrying less ballast this time, I am expecting to be fighting for a podium position again.”
Warren Hughes, from Newcastle, England – Driver Car 22
“Having raced at Nürburgring a few times, like Spa, it’s a circuit where weather and track surface conditions can play a big part, so tyre management will again be very important. Because of its corners it’s a technical circuit – which is fine by me – and, as we now seem to be competitive on most types of tracks, I see no reason why we shouldn’t be in the running for another good result.”
Jamie Campbell-Walter, from Oban, Scotland – Driver Car 22
“My most vivid memory of Nürburgring was winning the FIA GT race in 2001 when I was driving for Lister. I also finished second there in a round of the LMS a few years ago, so it’s a circuit I like. At the start of the season I would have questioned how competitive our cars would be on this track, but after recent performances I think we stand a very good chance of being at the front.”
Allen Orchard – Team Manager
“Our cars performed really well at Spa and, although the results didn’t reflect that, we came away having learnt a great deal about set-ups for that type of circuit. Our shake-down at Snetterton last week can only be described as perfect and therefore, the whole team is really looking forward to this weekend.”
James Rumsey – Team Principal
“Considering we’re only at the season’s half-way point, I am very pleased with the way things have gone so far. We have made even more progress with the development of our cars recently, so it will be interesting to see how well they perform at a circuit as technically demanding as the Nürburgring.”