On to the Algarve

On to the Algarve

06.05.2011: David Brabham Column Date: Friday, May 6th, 2011 The next round of the FIA GT1 World Championship beckons at the Algarve circuit in Portugal. I’ve never raced there before but

David Brabham Column

Date: Friday, May 6th, 2011


The next round of the FIA GT1 World Championship beckons at the Algarve circuit in Portugal. I’ve never raced there before but I’ve heard very good things about it so I’m really looking forward to another new challenge.

Abu Dhabi was obviously my first outing with the Sumo Power GT team and it was clear that there was a lot of potential for not only myself but the team to build on. We went to Zolder feeling really positive that we could move on to another level.

In many ways we did just that. Our pace was good in qualifying but we didn’t manage the tyres that well so by the time we got to Q3 we didn’t have a new set. Pretty much everyone else did so we ended up qualifying eighth but we weren’t that far off. We definitely felt the car was quick enough for the top three.

In that sense I felt we made quite good progress. We also had a new engineer for the race weekend and that seemed to work very well.

We were running well in sixth position in the first race when we suffered a drive-train issue so that put us out of the race. It also meant we started further back in 11th for race two when we were involved in a start line incident, so that was another DNF.

In terms of championship points it’s not looking great but in terms of putting pieces together and making sure that we’re in a strong position as the season goes on I felt we made good progress.

Every round our goals are getting higher as we put the foundations down for a solid year and I’m very optimistic that we can come away from the Algarve with a result that we deserve.

I think the combination of Jamie [Campbell-Walter] and me is very good. We get on very well. We drive quite similar in lots of ways and our feedback is the same so we’re obviously going to make a lot of progress, just like we want. The team is also building consistency with the engineers and when that gets sorted that will be another piece of the jigsaw in place.

I am learning a lot about the Nissan GT-R and in particular the tyre. The Michelin tyre is very sensitive in a lot of areas and the more race miles I get the more understanding I have about the car, the way it works the tyre and what the tyre needs.

Obviously we’ve got lots of people within the team that we can rely on to help for direction in set-up and hear what car 20 has done with our Brazilian friends. We do work together as two cars and we make good progress. Of course, we’ll continue that joint working this weekend.

For me, it’s been great doing more European rounds this year as I’ve been used to racing in the USA. Jet lag isn’t such a problem and it’s nice and refreshing to keep going out and learning new circuits, which I haven’t done for a while.

It’s been a really good experience for me and I’m looking forward to things just getting better throughout the rest of the season.


David Brabham   by  Emma Spearing -  photos FIA GT1  DPPI

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06.05.2011 / MaP

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