Michael Krumm and Peter Dumbreck recorded their best result of the FIA GT1 World Championship this season, bring their no.23 Sumo Power GT Nissan GT-R across the line in second place at Paul Ricard.
The pair saved the best tyres for the round's Championship Race, allowing them to move up the field after starting ninth for the 60-minutes race after struggling in Saturday's Qualifying Race.
“We took the hit yesterday with the tyres but it paid off this afternoon,” explained Dumbreck. “I felt like a racing driver again today! I know I caused a bottleneck yesterday and I was thankful not to get run off the track. Today was a very different story though. It's a great result for the team.”
However, the sister car of Warren Hughes and Jamie Campbell-Walter slid back through the field during the race, despite initially climbing to second before race stewards deemed Hughes had made the overtaking move outside the confines of the track as the lights turned to green.
The penalty dropped Hughes to the rear of the field, only managing to fight back to 18th by the time he handed over to Campbell-Walter. The second half of the race saw a tremendous drive, clawing back up to eighth place, the highlight of the charge being a daring move around the outside of a three-abreast pack into the sweeping first corner, passing both Lamborghini and Aston Martin.
“I braked a couple of metres later than normal and went for it,” said Campbell-Walter. “It was great to make the move stick and pass both cars in one go for ninth place. I then got onto the radio to find out how far ahead the next car was. I was advised that it was a sizable gap and that the race only had a few minutes left to run. I'm not one for giving up so I decided to go for it and took the eighth placed Aston Martin with three corners to go! I think we could've been on for fifth place today but the drive-through finished it for us.”
The double points score lifted the British-based Sumo Power GT team to second in the teams' standings – a timely development as Shoichi Miyatani, the President of Nismo, was at Paul Ricard for his first FIA GT1 race.
Unfortunately the Nissan brand's other team struggled for pace again, the Swiss Racing Team missing out on the points scoring positions. Seiji Ara was n course to bank some reward for the team, running in eighth place until eight laps from the end when the no.4 car lost fourth gear, causing Ara to plummet, heartbreakingly down the order.
Both Nissan teams will be present at Spa for a test day on Thursday before the no.22 Sumo Power car travels to the historic Le Mans to lead a parade of GT-Rs around the track on Friday, as well as take part in five other parades during the Le Mans Classic weekend.