Monday 6 June 2011

FIA GT1: JRM Nissan takes Tourist Trophy in Silverstone thriller

JRM Nissan claimed the Tourist Trophy with a thrilling victory in the Championship Race at Silverstone. Less than half a second separated the top three cars at the finish, with the No.7 Young Driver Aston Martin and No.11 Exim Bank Team China Corvette swarming over the back of the lead Nissan. Lucas Luhr held on the in the No.23 GT-R however, earning him and team-mate Michael Krumm victory - and the prestigious Royal Automobile Club Tourist Trophy.

After a clean start, the race hinged around a crucial period at the halfway stage when a Safety Car period coincided with the opening of the pit lane. Richard Westbrook in the No.22 JRM Nissan had been working his way through the field, but made contact with Stefan Mücke in the No.8 Young Driver Aston Martin. As the pair recovered with stricken cars, Mücke chased Westbrook down and the pair made contact again, putting both cars into retirement.

Prior to the incident, which brought out the Safety Car, Luhr and Krumm had lain second behind the lead Young Driver Aston Martin of Enge and Müller, but jumped into the lead during the pit stop window.

Müller twice sought to find a way back through, passing Luhr on the restart and on the final lap, but on both occasions Luhr was able to repass immediately, hanging on to take a hard-earned win.

Stef Dusseldorp and Clivio Piccione finished fourth for Hexis Aston Martin, ahead of Marc Basseng and Markus Winkelhock in the No.38 All-Inkl Lamborghini - who now sit second in the overall standings, three points behind new leaders Luhr and Krumm. Bas Leinders and Marc Hennerici finished as the top Ford in the No.40 Marc VDS GT, while both Belgian Racing cars finished inside the points.

26,000 spectators flocked to Silverstone to watch today's action, which saw Michael Krumm and Lucas Luhr claim a trio of accolades for JRM Nissan - victory in the Championship Race, the Tourist Trophy and the lead in the current Drivers' Standings.

Round 6 of the FIA GT1 World Championship will take place at Navarra in Spain on the 1-3 July 2011.


The result of the FIA Stewards regarding the incident between Stefan Mücke and Richard Westbrook was -

· Richard Westbrook caused a collision with car #8 and receives a drop of 3 grid places suspended for 3 events (Decision no16)

· Stefan Mücke caused an avoidable collision (Decision no 15) and decided –

o The suspended Decision No15 from Zolder (drop of 5 grid places) is withdrawn

o A drop of 10 grid positions for the next race the driver, Stefan Mücke, takes the start.

o To report the driver, Stefan Mücke, to his ASN (DMSB) in consequence of his behaviour in this event with the recommendation to withdraw his driving licence immediately and act accordingly.

CLICK HERE for the Result of the Championship Race
CLICK HERE for the Race Facts
CLICK HERE for the Championship Positions

Michael Krumm
nr23 JR Motorsports Nissan GT-R
“I think it’s amazing. We can both be very proud to be on the list with such famous and historic names. I felt very jealous last year when Jamie Campbell-Walter won it, so we are very proud to win it this year. It has a great meaning and this is one of the most important victories in my career. At the start I didn’t quite manage to overtake Tomas on the outside of turn one, so I slotted in behind and I was pleased we got away without accidents. Then I tried to follow Tomas but he was very quick, so we both drove away from the field and I closed a little bit before the Safety Car came out. The target then was to stay really close to Tomas before we pitted and try to jump them in the pitlane. It worked but then of course all the distance we had to the rest of the field was nullified when the Safety Car came out, so it was a bit frustrating to have done all that work and then come into the pits with the whole pack. It was a little bit stressful for the mechanics and then for Lucas obviously to get out of the pits.”

Lucas Luhr
nr23 JR Motorsports Nissan GT-R
“Well, first of all thanks to the boys for a perfect pit stop, which was fantastic and allowed us to come out in the lead. Then the first corner I think he (Alex Muller) dived down the inside immediately and I opened the gap up because I didn’t want to have an accident or unnecessary contact, but on the same lap I was able to go back and make a move. It was quite difficult – sometimes you see raindrops on your screen and you think ‘should I slow a bit?’. I enjoyed it though, I think we had a few taps with the Aston Martin but everything was clean and fair. I’m pretty happy obviously for myself but also for the whole team, they did a fantastic job. Thanks to Nissan as well, for providing us with this really wonderful GT-R. Obviously we are in England, and as an English team they have had a lot of family, friends and sponsors here. To give them a victory is very sweet. I can’t remember in my career when I screamed so loud on the radio.”

Tomas Enge
nr7 Young Driver AMR Aston Martin DB9
“It was a good battle at the beginning, I tried to pull away but he (Michael Krumm) had a magnet on the front of his bumper and was just holding me. Unfortunately the Safety Car came out and I thought it was all up to the pit stops, but the other two guys – Alex and Lucas – showed us a really great race. It was a great battle, really spectacular, and I was jumping up and down in the garage. It was thrilling. Congratulations to the JRM guys and to their crew, they had a better pit stop. We will try and come back next year. Last year it slipped away from my and Darren (Turner’s) hands, today it was the pit stop, so we will try again. Congratulations to the winning guys though, and to Alex for showing us a great show.”

Alex Müller
nr7 Young Driver AMR Aston Martin DB9
“I saw Lucas had problems with the front tyres locking up, especially in turn seven, so I tried everything I could and I think we had a hard but fair fight. Some love kisses, but I think this is normal and we know how to handle it. As Tomas said he had a good start, he did a good job and the car was fast. On the pit stop yesterday we caught JRM, but today they caught us – that’s life and racing. We’re looking forward to the next round, we’re full of motivation and want to do our best.”

Mike Hezemans
nr11 Exim Bank Team China Corvette Z06
“Today was better than yesterday, we could follow a bit better and we didn’t have as much drop-off. When the Safety Car came out, we had a few things to change but we only lost one place which was good. Then Andy did a good job, and I must say congratulations to Lucas for winning the race, but I was hoping for a little bit worse. I thought if Andy stayed close maybe we could even win, but I think they deserved it.”

Andreas Zuber
nr11 Exim Bank Team China Corvette Z06
“First of all I had to overtake Piccione in the Aston Martin and then I was behind these guys. In the beginning I think I was a little bit quicker, and I was waiting to attack but after two laps I got a bit of understeer and then I started losing a little bit, gaining a little bit, losing a little bit. It was quite a hard race, I was just looking to the guys in front and hoping they made a nice show for the spectators, but they did a very good race – very fair – so congratulations.”

Stefan Mücke
Nr8 Young Driver AMR Aston Martin DB9
“We had a really good start but there was no real chance to pass the Lamborghini’s in front. Anyhow, we approached the complex at Becketts and I felt a hit from behind and it was the Nissan that hit me. I haven’t seen on TV what actually happened behind me but you can’t overtake there. I got spun around but was able to continue. We came up to Hanger Straight and I saw the Nissan quite slow on the left hand side and focused on my line for the next corner. He was very slow and I passed him a little bit too close. It was definitely my mistake but I was just focused on taking my line. I touched him very slightly but he was going very slowly and I thought he may pull to the left. I touched him with my rear left and he had a problem after the contact and that’s how the accident happened.”

Darren Turner
Nr8 Young Driver AMR Aston Martin DB9
“The move from Richard (Westbrook, JRM Nissan No.22) wasn’t great to be honest. We got taken out by Nissan last time and we’ve been taken out by them again. It’s massively disappointing. I’ve spoken to Stefan (Mucke) and it certainly wasn’t his intention to cause an incident. Overall it’s been a very frustrating weekend for both Aston Martin and Nissan. We got taken out in the race yesterday and now it’s happened again. It’s unfortunate.”

Bas Leinders
Nr40 Marc VDS Racing Team Ford GT Matech
“I got a good getaway but I was stuck behind some cars so I lost many places at the start. Therefore, I couldn’t go anywhere without causing an incident. I had a good battle with Fred Makowiecki and also the Nissans. It was a good scrum and a fair battle. After the safety car and pit stop Marc (Hennerici) did a great job. However, we lost some places in the pit stop after being held up by the No.41 car but I’m happy with sixth. We’ve had a lot of bad luck this year and today it went fine and I had a lot of fun in the car.”

Enrique Bernoldi
nr20 Sumo Power GT Nissan GT-R
“We didn’t get a good start and fell back so the race wasn’t going too well. But we had a very good pit stop, we made some places as a result and the guys did a fantastic job. At the re-start I was P5 and racing with Clivio Piccini (Hexis Aston Martin) but he pushed me off. You can’t do a lot when somebody does that to you.”

Dimitri Enjalbert
Nr47 DKR Engineering Corvette Z06
“I was very pleased today as I got some good race experience in the Corvette. It was my first race in GT1 and Michael (Rossi) did a good job in the car as well. I would like to be in the Corvette for the next race and hope we can get a good result for the team.”

Markus Winkelhock
nr38 All-Inkl Motorsport Lamborghini Murcielago 670 R-SV
“I would say our race was OK as we finished fifth after the weekend we had. In Free Practice and Qualifying we were very slow and we had a lot of understeer. Over the weekend it was getting better and better and in the race the balance of the car improved. Our lap times were not too bad. Overall I am quite happy with P5 and we scored some points so that is the most important thing.”

Info: Jeff Carter

Photos: DPPI

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