RM Racing prepares to fight for the ultimate accolade FIA GT1 World Championship - Round Ten Preview Potrero de los Funes, San Luis, Argentina 5th & 6th November 2011
JRM Racing heads to the tenth and final round of this year's FIA GT1 World Championship with one goal in its sights: to win the 2011 Drivers' and Teams' titles. Taking place at the unique Potrero de los Funes circuit, situated in the rim of an extinct volcano near San Luis in Argentina, the scene for the season's finale could not be more spectacular.
Enjoying an 11-point lead in the drivers' standings is the German paring of Michael Krumm and Lucas Luhr who - driving the team's Nissan GT-R no. 23 - have this year scored four race wins out of the 18 races held so far and earned a place on the podium nine times. Combined with their other results, they have amassed a total of 131 points, with second-placed Darren Turner and Stefan Mücke in a Young Driver Aston Martin on 120.
With a score of eight points available for winning Saturday's Qualifying Race and a further 20 on offer for Sunday's Championship Race, it means that even if their closest rivals won both, two second-place finishes would be enough to secure Krumm and Luhr the Drivers' title. And, even if they end up with identical scores, the German's number of victories would sway the decision in their favour.
As far as the Teams' title is concerned, JRM Racing currently occupies second place in the Championship standings on 216 points, with Young Driver AMR topping the tables on 224. Taking into account that points for this award are calculated from the finishing positions both the teams' cars, a total of 57 are available, which means there are four teams in with a mathematical chance of claiming the title.
However, JRM Racing has as good a chance as any, as car 22 is driven by Peter Dumbreck and Richard Westbrook, the two Brits proving that their Nissan GT-R can also be a winner, having themselves scored five podium finishes and a victory this year. Unfortunately, due to some bad luck earlier in the season, their Drivers' title aspirations were frustrated and therefore, their focus will be on helping JRM win the teams' crown this weekend.
With the Nissan GT-R showing that it can be competitive on a variety of tracks this season, the team is hoping that the sweeping curves and undulations of the Potrero de Los Funes circuit will suit the cars, even though no. 23 will be carrying 30 kilos of success ballast and no. 22 will have 15. But, as previous races at this circuit have shown, its distinctive character means that anything can happen.
A public road for most of the year makes the surface of the 6.22km (3.87-mile) circuit very slippery, especially away from the racing line. Added to this are the safety-walls that encircle the track on both sides, which means that, although wide in places, the venue has few run off areas and therefore shares more in common with a street-circuit than a traditional-style racetrack.
Following Free Practice and Pre Qualifying on Friday, the fireworks begin on Saturday 5th November with Qualifying at 09.00 and the first of the two one-hour races - the Qualifying Race - at 13.45. The second - the Championship Race and where the greater number of points are scored - takes place on Sunday, also at 13.45, after which it will be revealed if JRM Racing and its drivers are indeed the 2011 FIA GT1 World Champions.
All times listed are for Argentina. Please subtract three hours for GMT (UK).
Michael Krumm (Car 23)"With its incredible scenery and unique layout Potrero de Los Funes is one of the most exciting but also one of the most hazardous tracks I have ever driven. We've had a fantastic year so far with three Championship Race wins and I think the GT-R should be very competitive at the Argentine circuit. We must now do everything we can to achieve our goal."
Lucas Luhr (Car 23)"This will be the first time I have been to the San Luis circuit, so I have looking at a lot of on-board video from last year. This is the last race of the season and we are leading the Championship, so my goal is to be at the front in qualifying, race one and, of course, race two. I will do everything I possibly can to make sure we end the season as the Champions!"
Richard Westbrook (car 22)"I'm very excited about the thought of going back to the circuit at San Luis. It's the nicest track on the calendar and it's a unique challenge to be racing in the rim of a volcano around a lake on what is a public road for most of the year. Both Peter and I had our confidence restored after scoring two second-places in round eight at Ordos and therefore we are ready for a good run in Argentina. With the Teams' Championship up for grabs, our focus will be to ensure that JRM Racing has every chance of taking the title."
Peter Dumbreck (Car 22)"San Luis is a fantastic circuit in a beautiful country. The main issue with the venue - and its greatest challenge - is that for 51-weeks of the year it is a normal public road. So when it's turned into a racetrack for a weekend, the surface is very slippery and bumpy. There's no doubt that the final round will be a high-pressure event for the team. JRM Racing has the chance to win both the Teams' and Drivers' Championships, so we have to remain focused and work hard to engineer the GT-R into the fastest race-car we can. I have to admit that it would be great to leave Argentina with a couple of race wins under our belts!"
Nigel Stepney (Team Manager and Chief Engineer) "The track at San Luis is quite unique. We have data from last year's races and the GT-R is a better car than it was 12 months ago. It's an important weekend for us, so we have to have to do a solid job both on and off the track, as the slightest problem will make all the difference. Qualifying well is important here, as it's dusty and slippery when you get off the racing line to overtake. It's then about getting both cars to the finish in both races and, of course, ahead of the competitors that matter."
James Rumsey (Team Principal)"With this only our company's second ever season of racing it's fantastic that we find ourselves on the edge of becoming World Champions. To have reached this point is testimony to the hard work of everyone at JRM, Nissan and NISMO, and I'm extremely proud to be leading one of the world's best GT teams into battle next weekend to fight for the Teams' and Drivers' titles."