Sunday 8 May 2011

FIA GT1: Nissan Conclude Dominant Weekend with Second Win

Lucas Luhr and Michael Krumm made it a double success for Nissan with victory in the Championship Race at Portimao. Stefan Mucke and Darren Turner in the Young Driver Aston Martin No.8 got the better of an absorbing battle for second place from the Sumo Power Nissan GT-R No.21 of Jamie Campbell-Walter and David Brabham.

There was bitter disappointment for the Qualifying Race winners and pole sitters Richard Westbrook and Peter Dumbreck in the JRM Nissan GT-R No.22. Having led the race by as much as six seconds in the hands of Algarve specialist Westbrook, the car developed a gearbox problem when in the lead following the pit stops and was forced to retire with 12 minutes remaining.

In the post race technical checks the minimum weight of the front upper wishbones of the nr23 and n21 Nissans were found not in compliance with the homologation form.

After a hearing the FIA Stewards accepted that the homologation form contains a formal mistake and decided to impose a fine of 5000 Euros for each car and an obligation to correct the homologation form before the next event (Stewards Decisions 13 and 14).

Marc Basseng and Markus Winkelhock finished 6th and lead the Driver’s Championship with 57 points, 20 points ahead of Michael Krumm and Lucas Luhr and Darren Turner and Stefan Mücke, who are all tied on 37 points. Hexis AMR lead the Team Championship with 73 points, just one point ahead of JR Motorsports and Münnich Motorsport, who both have 72 points.

The next round of the FIA GT1 World Championship will take place in Germany at the Sachsenring on 13-15 May.

CLICK HERE for the result from Round 3 Championship Race

CLICK HERE for the Race Facts

CLICK HERE for the Championship Positions after Round 3

Lucas Luhr
nr23 JR Motorsports Nissan GT-R
“First of all I have to admit that I was a bit nervous that we would all get through the first corner OK. Obviously that worked out today. I had a good start and I was side-by-side with Richard (Westbrook) but I couldn’t do him in the first corner so I backed off. He seemed to be struggling a little in the first one and a half laps then he just hooked up and took off of me. I just tried to build a gap to the guys behind me and stay close to Richard.

“Our boys did a great job at the pit stop which allowed Michael (Krumm) to come out of the pits one and half seconds behind Peter. Obviously our sister car had a problem at the end but that’s the way racing is, sometimes you are lucky, sometimes you are unlucky. With the 1-2-3 yesterday, it has been a good weekend for us.”

Michael Krumm
nr23 JR Motorsports Nissan GT-R
“Today the conditions were very much hotter so it was difficult for everyone to protect the tyres for the whole stint. I was sitting close to Peter (Dumbreck) and I thought it is going to be a really long battle to the end. I backed off a little and thought I would cool it and wait for the last 10 minutes when the tyres had dropped off more to have a better chance for a move to take the lead.

“Then suddenly there was no warning going up the hill, he just slowed down immediately and I almost ran into him. Of course I was relieved that I didn’t have to battle with a team-mate because we don’t want to crash into each other. It was a shame because they won yesterday and they deserved to win as much as we did today.”

Darren Turner
nr8 Young Driver AMR Aston Martin DB9
“I was very conscious of how strong the Nissans had been over the weekend and having David (Brabham) behind me was quite daunting at times. I just thought well he’s been my team-mate before and what would he do in this situation, just stay calm so I thought if I stayed calm and make no mistakes there wouldn’t be an opening for him to squeeze through. From the fact that we started 13th on the grid yesterday and moved up to fourth in the first race and ended up on the podium today and really been the only car that’s managed to take the shine off the Nissans, I am very pleased with the Aston and the team.”

Stefan Mücke
nr8 Young Driver AMR Aston Martin DB9
“The whole first stint was very close. I had no chance to overtake the Nissans, they were just too strong on the straights. The car was good over distance and we were not expecting that here on this circuit so I have to thank the team for giving us a consistent car. The pit stop was just brilliant and we won the third position at the pit stop. It was a good team result for us.”

Jamie-Campbell Walter
nr21 Sumo Power GT Nissan GT-R
“It was nice to get through the first corner all nice and clean after the last few races we’ve had so that was good. Unfortunately our tyre pressures went way too high from a very early stage so Stefan (Mucke) was able to keep me honest and I had to work very hard to drive as smoothly as possible and not to overdrive the car because the pressures were going up and up. I managed to hold the position until the pit stop. It’s a fantastic result for Sumo after what happened in Zolder.”

David Brabham
nr21 Sumo Power GT Nissan GT-R
“After Zolder it was a bit soul-destroying for the team. They had two cars to repair and a hell of a lot of work to be done. Yesterday when we got here the car wasn’t still quite 100 per cent so we lost a session with that. It’s been a fantastic recovery. This racing is great. Any slip-up and you’re going to get nailed. I am really enjoying it. Darren (Turner) was as strong as I was out there. I just couldn’t get close enough. I was trying to put pressure on Darren but he didn’t make a mistake and they richly deserve their second place.”

Peter Kox
nr5 Swiss Racing Team Lamborghini Murcielago 670 R-SV
“We had a good result, especially if you see we started from the back of the Qualifying Race because I got turned around from P6 in qualifying. It was our best result, so it was a shame I got a push. To come from there to finish fifth in the Championship Race is not a bad result. It is a new car and we are still learning but the team keep getting better. They did a great job in the pit stops, and we got good points – now we just try to keep doing that and we will see where we are at the end of the year.”

Marc Basseng
nr38 Munnich Motorsport Lamborghini Murcielago 670 R-SV
“It was really difficult for me to pick up speed because of my tyres and the weight we had. The fight we had was really cool though, really fair racing which was enjoyable, and the points we gained were perfect. I saw the No.22 (Nissan JRM) struggling which means we keep the lead in the championship, so it was a good weekend for us and also for the No.37 – the first time they finished both races and they scored good points. I am really pleased as a driver and a team manager.”

Michael Rossi
nr47 DKR Engineering Corvette Z06
“Really good relationship with Matteo Bobbi, but this is the only good thing from the weekend. The rhythm, the lap time, the new engineer, the car problem – really we don’t know yet the problem. Very professional, good for the driving change and we are on the same pace, so positive for the future.”

Christopher Nygaard
nr9 Belgian Racing Ford GT Matech
“We definitely made an improvement today compared to yesterday. We have been working hard to improve the car, and today we were not far away. It was a pleasure to drive – the team was making it easy for me. I made some mistakes myself yesterday and we were struggling a bit, but we were able to use the data from the VDS guys and that helped a lot.”

Bas Leinders
nr40 Marc VDS Racing Team Ford GT Matech
“It was not too bad a race – Marc (Hennerici) made a good start and we had good pace, but it was a struggle to pass even when we had good slipstreams, especially on the Nissan. Luckily some of the drivers made mistakes - I don’t and I take care of the tyres, so we were able to get by. The problem is the Ford can be third with a bit of luck, but it is so hard to win races. We have a very good driver line-up, with Maxime (Martin), Fred (Makowiecki) and Marc but we are struggling.”

Dominik Schwager
nr37 Munnich Motorsport Lamborghini Murcielago 670 R-SV
“In the early stages I was overtaken by the Nissan and there was no way I could hold him back on the straight, so I just tried to keep it clean and stay out of trouble. For us though it is the first time we have finished both races, and from now on we have to push for the championship. This for sure was not a Lamborghini track but we could have been on the front row in qualifying. We were a little bit surprised by that, but hopefully we have had our bad luck out the way and the season starts now.”

Info: Jeff Carter/Media Delegate

Fotos: DPPI.

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