Setting the pace in FIA GT1 season finale

Setting the pace in FIA GT1 season finale

08.11.2011: David Brabham The FIA GT1 World Championship season finale in Argentina brought with it hopes of finishing my debut year with another podium or, better still, clinching my first series race win.

David Brabham


The FIA GT1 World Championship season finale in Argentina brought with it hopes of finishing my debut year with another podium or, better still, clinching my first series race win.

The Sumo Power GT team has been getting more and more competitive throughout the season. We arrived in Argentina not having seen the track before but straightaway I was quickest by quite a margin and we were in the top three in most sessions. The car just felt really good and that gave me a lot of confidence.

We qualified third and were by far the quickest in Saturday’s Qualifying Race. Unfortunately, we had a pit stop problem and a sticking wheel nut cost us 22 seconds, and we lost the race by 22 seconds. Jamie [Campbell-Walter] had a great first stint and pitted from fourth while pressurising the Lamborghini for third and we had really strong pace to win, so that was disappointing.

There wasn’t much to report from the Championship Race on Sunday other than I had a good start because my race ended shortly afterwards. There was an accident to my right off the line. Where we started from seventh on the left side of the track it was really dirty, so when I hit the brake I just slid.

I got hit from all directions and slammed into the wall before I came to a screeching halt with broken cars all around me. So that was the end of the race and the end of the season. Needless to say it was not the way we wanted it to end.

It was quite a heavy impact but I’m OK, just a bit stiff. I think that Lucas [Luhr] will have similar issues but I’m sure we’ll get ourselves sorted. I’ll see my chiropractor when I get back home and will be fine. It was a shame the car was badly damaged, pretty much on all sides.

It’s disappointing to finish the season without a win but, to be fair, I know from experience you only win when you are ready to win. Considering we were effectively a brand new team at the beginning of the year with such tough competition I think we did well to get four podiums.

This weekend was our strongest showing in terms of pace, particularly in the races where it mattered. We showed our potential, the Nissan GT-Rs have been quick all year but we’ve continued to improve as we developed the car.

It’s a tough championship and one I’ve enjoyed immensely. Each track suits different cars in different ways and that’s the great thing about FIA GT1 and the balance of performance. It’s a great series and I have really enjoyed racing in it.

It’s been a pleasure racing for Sumo Power GT and all the boys, my thanks go to the entire team, especially Jamie as I’ve really enjoyed being his teammate. It’s been a good year in many ways. We don’t need to be downhearted. We’ve got stronger but unfortunately we’ve had a few issues with wheel nuts and that has cost us dearly. In this series you’ve got to have a pretty perfect run but not many people have had that this year either.

I obviously have to say congratulations to Lucas and Michael [Krumm] in the JRM Racing Nissan for winning the Drivers’ title and it looks like Hexis Aston Martin won the Teams’ spoils, so well done to them. It was all very close at the end.

Now it’s obviously time to start working on things for next year. I have a few options, at this stage I’m not really sure what lies ahead but I’m sure something will be sorted fairly soon.

Before I sign-off, I want to say a big thank you to my family for again supporting me throughout the year, like they do every year. It’s vital for me to have their backing and understanding to enable me to do what I do. Quite simply, I couldn’t do it without them.


David Brabham -  photos DPPI


08.11.2011 / MaP

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