Sumo Power GT aims to take away strong performances in China FIA GT1 World Championship - Round Eight Preview Ordos, China 3rd & 4th September 2011
The Sumo Power GT team now prepares for its next encounter, when it heads to the Far East for rounds eight and nine of the FIA GT1 World Championship in China. The first of these events takes place this weekend at the Ordos circuit in Inner Mongolia, with the second planned for the following weekend at Goldenport in Beijing.
The team's two Nissan GT-Rs will be driven by the regular pairings of Brazilian Enrique Bernodi and Dutchman Nick Catsburg in car #20, with Australian David Brabham and Britain's Jamie Campbell-Walter in car #21. And, after a six-week break since round seven at Paul Ricard in the south of France, all four drivers have said they are raring to go and looking forward to their Chinese challenge.
Now two races in, Nick Catsburg is getting more familiar with the GT-R and has become an integral part of the team. Bernoldi is also in better shape, having shaken off the bout of flu that bothered him in France and therefore, hopes in the car 20 camp are high for a good run during the next two weekends.
After finishing an impressive fourth at Paul Ricard, the same applies to Brabham and Campbell-Walter in car 21, with the pair of them determined to score highly in at least one - if not all three - of the season's remaining rounds.
Collectively the team is equally as determined to do well in China. And, although the circuit at Ordos may not ideally suit the GT-R, Sumo Power GT has a history of putting up a fight when the going gets tough.
The 3.751km (2.331-mile) circuit on the outskirts of Ordos city in Inner Mongolia features symbolic references to the country's historic past. In respect of the animal's historic importance the track has been designed in the shape of a horse, whilst the main grandstand that overlooks the pit straight has a roof modeled on the wings of an eagle, which is also associated with the country's rich cultural heritage.
Free Practice and Pre-Qualifying sessions take place on Friday, with the competition kicking off with Qualifying on Saturday at 09.45. This is followed by the first of the weekend's two one-hour races at 15.15, with the main Championship Race set to start at the same time on Sunday.
Times given are local to the circuit and seven hours ahead of BST.
Enrique Bernoldi (Car 20)"I'm really looking forward to racing in China. It will be interesting, both on the track and off it. I hope that we can get some consistency between now and the end of the season. It would be good to fight for a podium position and even to take away my first win with the team. That is my target."
Nick Catsburg (Car 20)"I've done quite a lot of fitness training in the break between races to make sure I'm ready for the two rounds in China. I'm really looking forward to driving the GT-R again, especially after some solid results at Paul Ricard. I am a lot more confident with the car and the team now. I've never been to China before so both of the tracks are new to me. I'm not sure how the circuits will suit our car, but I see no reason why Enrique and I can't score a good result."
Jamie Campbell-Walter (Car 21)"I am looking forward to the China trip, it's always nice to visit new places and learn new tracks. Brabs and I have had good run of late and we will be aiming to have a strong finish to the end of the season. We will also be pushing hard to take our first win, which we are definitely ready for and I think, capable of achieving."
David Brabham (Car 21)"China itself should be an interesting place to visit and both tracks are new to me. But what's new? Most of the tracks this year have been new to me. The team is now showing its potential. We are all looking forward to a strong end to the season, so the plan is to focus race-by-race and see what we can achieve from the last three rounds."
Hiroki Furuse (Team Manager)"With only three races left, we intend to get our heads down and do the best we possibly can between now and the end of the season. Although the two circuits that are coming up are unfamiliar and won't be easy for us, we have proved that we can still deliver a good result no matter what challenges are presented to us."
Andy Barnes (Team Principal)"The drivers and the team have settled into a solid rhythm, as we saw in Paul Ricard and we have a good feeling going into China. Yes, the tracks will be challenging for the GT-R but we are certainly ready to fight all the way, get the cars to the front of the field and make the most of the race. We need to get some valuable points in the bag and that is our complete focus for this weekend and the two remaining rounds."