I think it’s great Nissan are improving the visibility of their FIA GT1 teams with more and more of this kind of social media. Michael Krumm is a fantastic ambassador for Nissan Motorsports in Japan, Europe and all over the world. This year he drives for the JR-Motorsports team in the #23 GT1 spec Nissan GT-R.
Take a tour with him from round 1 of the 2011 FIA GT1 World Championship season at Abu Dhabi where he’ll take you behind the scenes. Introduce team mates and other drivers and give some personal insights into the cars performance of late.
Team Sumo Power were on top of things this weekend for round 7 of the FIA GT1 World Championships 2010 after the #23 GT-R of Krumm/Dumbreck battled it out for the win in the qualifying race on Saturday. The strong performance put them on pole position for Sundays race, a position the held until the pit stop when an air hose broke away costing them precious seconds.
The team managed to fight back from this minor setback however into fourth position finish, a result that nets Sumo Power GT into third place in the championships but without the worry of having to run success ballast in round 8!
It was almost a non-start for the #22 Sumo GT-R though. Hit at the start of the race, they were forced to retire immediately.
Swiss Racing team’s weekend was again marred by issues, the #3 GT-R finishing in the pits and the #4 GT-R finishing in 18th place after a spin.
Another awesome weekend in GT racing as the Nissan GT-R team Sumo Power GT improve on their previous best results for a 2nd place finish for round for of the FIA GT World Championship’s 2010 season!
Sumo Power kicked off the round with a strong qualifying race on Saturday. Scoring a fifth place on the grid for qualifying, the #22 GT-R put in an amazing performance with each driver (Jamie Campbell-Walter and Warren Hughes) setting the pace with the best laptimes. They went on to finish the qualifying race in third spot behind a Maserati MC12 and Lamborghini R-SV.
The #23 GT-R of Krumm and Dumbreck also started off with a solid grid spot (3rd place) for qualifying but elected to save their best rubber for the main race. The choice of old tires did little for their hopes of an amazing qualifying race and they ended up finishing qualifying in 9th.
The Swiss Racing Team GT-Rs were further back with a 12th and 21st place qualifying position. The #3 car in 21st due to a puncture during a hot lap while qualifying.
During Sunday’s final, the decision to save the new rubber for the #23 GT-R paid off in spades as they used the grip advantage to score an amazing 2nd place on the podium.
The #22 GT-R also raced extremely well reaching 2nd place at one point in the race. Unfortunately they were judged to go over the white line at one point of the track and suffer a drive through penalty placing them back to 18th in the pack. They fought well though and claimed a final 8th place points scoring finish as well as some epic racing moments.
Swiss Racing Team’s #3 GT-R managed to improve on their qualifying place even on their old rubber and finished overall in 15th spot. This race truly shows the importance of tire strategy especially in the hot conditions.
The SRT #4 GT-R suffered a gearbox issue which forced them to retire when 4th gear went on holidays.
The Japan based GTROC (GT-R Owner’s Club) has announced their sponsorship of Swiss Racing Team GT-R driver Seiji Ara today. The Japan born driver has had a long career in GT racing and won the 24hrs of Le Mans in 2004. He was a logical choice to step into the 2010 GT1 Nissan GT-R after spending 2008 and 2009 driving the GT500 Nissan GT-R in the Japanese SuperGT Championships.
The GTROC also took this opportunity to show off their updated club logo. The GT-R club that has been in existence since 1996 has featured the silhouette of the venerable R32 GT-R. The updated logo now features the outline of the R35 GT-R.
As I too am an owner and a big fan of the GT-R, I’m very glad to have strong support from GTROC, Japan’s most reputable GT-R owner’s club. I will do my best in the FIA GT1 World Championship to bring brilliant news to the supporters!
A controversy has been brewing in the FIA GT1 World Championship race team camps recently over botched pre-season testing for the series’ “Balance of Performance” rules. The plan for the testing is that former F1 pilot Heinz-Harald Frentzen would test each of the 6 makes of GT1 car on the track for 10-15 laps and then recommend weight additions or other measures that would balance the cars overall.
It turned out to be quite a farce however as Frentzen took a single flying lap in the GT-R on new tyres before lumping it with the heaviest penalty of 30kgs. Other makes are also questioning the testing and Frentzen’s testing methodology after running some of the cars for too few laps or barely running them at all.
The GT-R teams which finished poorly in round 1 of the series in Abu Dhabi are saying that the cars are not competitive when lumped with this weight penalty. The cars have a higher center of gravity than the competition and higher weight to begin with and the teams believe this was not factored into the penalty.
Due to this, Swiss Racing team has said that they refuse to compete again with the 30kg penalty weight.
“We will not go to Silverstone under these conditions … We cannot be a grid filler.”
– Othmar Welti, Swiss Racing Team Director
So far the FIA is defending the weight penalty system and the testing that got it to the current state. Teams are saying do it properly or they will boycott the next round which is at the new Silverstone circuit, the Sumo Power GT team’s home ground.
Dramatic stuff but I agree, if the championship hinges on fair testing then test properly and test fairly across the board in equal conditions with no excuses.
As we get closer and closer to the first race of the season, Sumo Power GT have confirmed their full driver lineup for the 2010 season. Along with Michael Krumm and Peter Dumbreck who were previously confirmed back in February, Warren Hughes and Jamie Campbell-Walter will also drive the 600 hp R35 2010 GT1 spec car this year.
Both drivers got to take the GT-R for a spin this week at Snetterton Circuit in Norfolk, England and immediately felt the potential of the new car.
Warren Hughes is a veteran GT racer who’s spent the past nine years in either GT or Touring car racing, won LeMans in the LMP2 category and entered another five 24 Hours of LeMans. A busy man no doubt and he’s excited to be on the team driving the GT-R.
“When I first heard about the FIA GT1 World Championship and the venues it visits I immediately wanted to be involved … Once I had been invited to test with the Sumo Power GT team I was really hoping that I would be offered a seat, so to finally secure a drive is a fantastic opportunity.”
– Warren Hughes, Sumo Power GT Driver
Jamie is no first timer either having spent the last 13 years racing in FIA GT, British GT Champs as well as five forays into the 24 Hours of LeMans race.
“Iâ€™m over the moon to be get the drive with Sumo Power GT this season and itâ€™s great to be involved with a new championship and a new team right from the start. Iâ€™m looking forward to being back in a GT Championship, especially one which visits so many good circuits in so many different countries.”
– Jamie Campbell-Walter, Sumo Power GT Driver
The next outing for the new R35s and drivers is coming up at Silverstone Circuit next week during the last testing session before the teams pack up and head to Abu Dhabi for round one.
Swiss Racing Team has unveiled their FIA GT1 spec Nissan GT-R’s race livery in a ceremony to launch the 2010 FIA GT season at the Automobile Club de France in the Place de la Concorde, in Paris on Monday.
Up until now in testing the car has been seen in stark white so to see it finally in Swiss Racing Team red and white, while not a huge change, is great.
The Sumo Power GT-R on the other hand had already been seen in testing. Their livery was on show at the Paul Ricard HTTT and it too has a strong white theme with lots of exposed carbon.
The first race of the season is coming up fast and is set for the 17th of April in Abu Dhabi. You’ll be able to watch it live online via GT1world.com.
The Swiss Racing Teams brand new Nismo FIA GT1 Nissan GT-Rs are in Europe and the three team drivers were able to get them out on the circuit for their first test.
The test took place in Portugal at the Algarve Circuit and even in the poor weather conditions the drivers Karl Wendlinger, Henri Moser and Max Nilsson were able to set a good pace.
â€œBoth NISSANâ€™s are perfect, and the drivers are handling them very well … Karl Wendlinger and Henri Moser are working together very well. It is perfect that they are almost of the same height, which will be an advantage in the driver change.â€
– Team Director, Othmar Welti
For the second car, driver Max Nilsson shared the cockpit with potential fourth teammate Cesar Campanico and also showed outstanding performance. The final decision on the fourth driver for the Swiss Racing Team has not been made yet however.
While testing and car setup could not be fully completed due to the bad weather, the team will get another chance at the next test at Paul Ricard HTT circuit in France on February the 21st – 22nd.
Nissan and Nismo have unveiled their plans for motorsports in 2010 with an announcement today regarding the teams and cars to be featured in 2010 championships. In the Japanese SuperGT championships, Nismo’s field will shrink to just three teams down from four in 2009 which was five in 2008!
The 2010 GT500 specification Nissan GT-R will be raced by:
#23 Nismo MOTUL Autech GT-R driven by Satoshi Motoyama and Benoit Treluyer
#12 IMPUL Calsonic IMPUL GT-R driven by Tsugio Matsuda and Ronnie Quintarelli
#24 KONDO RACING HIS ADVAN KONDO GT-R driven by Joao Paolo de Oliveira and Hironobu Yasuda
In the GT-R this year will be the brand new VRH34A 3.4 litre engine which replaces the outgoing VK45 V8 unit due to an update to the SuperGT rules. We’ll get you some technical details on the VRH34A as soon as we can.
After finalising the specifications of the GT1 class Nissan GT-R and signing the official FIA GT partnership agreements, Nismo has been able to confirm that two teams will field it’s 600hp GT1 car in this years FIA GT championship series.
The teams are Swiss Racing Team headed by Othmar Welti and British team Sumo Power GT led by James Rumsey. Each team will field two cars a piece which means 4 of the 24 GT1 cars on the grid later in the year will be Nissan GT-Rs. Unfortunately, the Gigawave Motorsports team who partnered with Nismo in 2009 to test and help develop the car had to pull out of FIA GT championships this year.