Nissan aiming to build on Paul Ricard momentum in the GT1 Series posted on 30 August 2011
It’s been a long six weeks since the last round of the 2011 FIA GT1 World Championship took place, but with a double GT-R victory in France still very much fresh in the mind, Nissan will be heading to Ordos International Circuit this weekend in high spirits for the first of two back-to-back races in the relative unknown of China.
Round seven of the Championship at Paul Ricard in mid-July saw a dominant performance from German duo Michael Krumm and Lucas Luhr, who led both of the weekend’s races from lights to flag in the no.23 JRM Racing Nissan GT-R, whilst the no.21 Sumo Power GT of David Brabham and Jamie Campbell-Walter clinched an impressive fourth place after making up seven grid positions during the course of the Championship Race.
Ordos marks the first time that a GT1 race car series will be hosted in China, and comes a week before a further race (round nine of the Championship) takes place at Beijing’s Goldenport Park circuit. Located in Inner Mongolia, in the North-West of China, Ordos International Circuit was completed in September 2010 and is the first independently Chinese designed circuit to be constructed to FIA standards.
At 3.75km (2.3 miles), the track is over a mile shorter than that of Paul Ricard in the previous round, but with four more corners (18 to Paul Ricard’s 14).The circuit is uniquely laid out in the shape of a horse, an ancient and very important symbol of Mongolian culture, and is very short, tight and twisty by nature, something that on paper shouldn’t be suited to the GT-R’s high centre of gravity. However, having defied pre-weekend expectations by gaining a Championship Race third place the last time a race was held a relatively slow circuit (the no.21 Sumo Power GT at Navarra, round 6), the eight Nissan drivers across the JRM and Sumo Power GT teams will know that anything is possible.
Speaking ahead of the race, David Brabham, driver of the no.21 Sumo Power GT alongside Jamie Campbell-Walter, said: “The Sumo Power GT team is now really showing its potential having secured some good results in recent races, so we are all looking forward to a strong end to the season. Ordos is a new track for me, but then again most of the tracks this year have been, and just like those others we’ll be approaching the race with no fear. We just need to focus race-by-race and see where we end up, but we go into the weekend confident.”
Michael Krumm, current Driver Championship leader with Lucas Luhr after the no.23 JRM’s double victory in France, added: “I think Ordos will be a challenge due to the nature of the circuit and how it suits the GT-R in comparison to other cars, and, on a more individual level for Lucas and I, because we will be carrying a massive 60kg of success ballast due to our wins at Paul Ricard.
“It will be tough for sure, but it’s up to us to rise to the challenge – the target must be to try and stop the championship from being decided before the last race in Argentina, because we know we’ll have a real chance of success there at the San Luis circuit.”