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Nissan raring to go ahead of 2011 GT1 World Championship opener

22nd March 2011 Print

With the opening races of the 2011 FIA GT1 World Championship at the iconic Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi just four days away, both of Nissan’s competing racing teams go into the weekend fully confident of building upon a promising inaugural GT1 season in 2010, and challenging for title honours this time round.

2010 saw Nissan secure victories in both Championship and Qualifying races, alongside a number of other podium finishes, and wholesale team changes and strong performances in testing ahead of the start of the 2011 season have given Nissan real hope that last year’s successes will be replicated on an even greater scale this time around.

This year, a total of four GT-Rs will be participating in the FIA GT1 championship for two teams: the returning Sumo Power GT, and new team JRM Racing, who replace Swiss Team Racing from last year.

Driver-wise, it’s a very strong and vastly experienced line-up.   On the JRM Racing team, Peter Dumbreck, who was part of the Sumo Power GT team in 2010, will compete in the No.22 car alongside another quick British driver, Richard Westbrook, who last year raced in GT1 for the Matech Ford team.   The No. 23 car will be an all-German affair, with Michael Krumm, who partnered Dumbreck last year, this time round sharing with Lucas Luhr, who will be making his debut in GT1 having previously won several American Le Mans Series titles.  

On the Sumo Power GT team, Brazilian ex-Formula One duo Ricardo Zonta and Enrique Bernoldi will be behind the wheel of the No.20 car, having both raced within GT1 and won races (for Reiter Lamborghini and Vitaphone Maserati respectively) in 2010. Meanwhile, in the No.21 car, Jamie Campbell-Walter returns for a second season, partnered this time round by Australian David Brabham, who has enjoyed double-title winning success within ALMS. 

For Jamie, the Yas Marina circuit is very familiar territory due to his role as the circuit’s official Formula One driver (driving the ex-Minardi two-seater car for promotional purposes).   He comments: “Yas Marina is like a second home for me, and a circuit on which I spend a lot of time – it’s probably the best facility in the world and a great track. Going into the weekend I only have one objective, and that’s to win both races and come away from the weekend leading the championship!”

Fellow Sumo-Power GT team-mate Enrique Bernoldi , who has his own experience of Yas Marina having driven there in GT1 for Vitaphone Maserati last season, added: “Yas Marina is an excellent track and I really enjoy competing there. It has a lot of overtaking places, which makes for a good race. I am extremely pleased to be part of Sumo Power GT and to drive a Nissan this year. The team looks very motivated and I think that Ricardo [Zonta] and I will have a very good chance of fighting for the title, which of course is our number-one goal.”

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