Nissan has been ramping up its racing activities and the efforts are paying off. At the 2011 FIA GT1 World Championship race in Portimão, Nissan claimed first and third place. The winning car was the no.23 JR Motorsports, piloted by the German pairing of Lucas Luhr and Michael Krumm. Coming in third was the no.21 Sumo Power GT driven by Jamie Campbell-Walter and David Brabham.
The leading three Nissan GT-Rs started the race first, second and third on the grid – the first such placing by a single manufacturer since the GT1 series’ formation.
“Obviously I’m very happy. I was a bit nervous about us all getting through the first corner OK, but it worked out well today. I had a good start and I was side-by-side with Richard but I couldn’t do him in the first corner so I backed off. He seemed to be struggling a little bit to warm up his fresh tyres in the first one and a half laps, but then he pulled away. I just tried to build a gap to the guys behind me and stay close to Richard,” said driver Lucas Luhr.
The no.20 Sumo Power GT that started from 13th following a five place grid penalty held over from the Zolder Championship Race. Although the no.20 was to later benefit from a 30 second penalty incurred by the car ahead after the race to move up into seventh.
Jamie-Campbell Walter commented: “It was nice to get through the first corner all nice and clean after the last few races we’ve had. Unfortunately our tyre pressures went way too high from a very early stage so the no.8 Aston Martin was able to really push me. I had to work very hard to drive as smoothly as possible and not to over-work the car because the pressures were going up and up: luckily I managed to hold the position until the pit stop, and David did a great job in the second half of the race. It’s a fantastic result for Sumo Power after what happened in Zolder.”
For more racing action, check out round four of the GT1 World Championship at the Sachsenring circuit in Germany next weekend.