Unexpected victory at Silverstone for Sumo Power GT!
In an incredible turn of events, Sumo Power GT drivers Warren Hughes and Jamie Campbell-Walter emerged winners of this weekend’s round two of the FIA GT1 World Championship at Silverstone. Driving Nissan GT-R number 22 they secured the first ever win for the team in only its second event.
Although finishing third on the track, the two Aston Martins which finished ahead of the Nissan were subject to penalties applied after the race and therefore Hughes and Campbell-Walter were declared the winners. The victory was made even more gratifying as drivers were competing for the coveted Tourist Trophy, an award which was first presented in 1905 and is therefore reputed to be the longest standing prize in the history of motorsport.
Michael Krumm, driving in the team’s other Nissan GT-R was not so fortunate, when suspension damage was sustained after being hit during an overtaking manoeuvre, forcing him out of the race on lap 11. This meant that team-mate Peter Dumbreck did not get an opportunity to drive in the race.
Having achieved its goal of qualifying in the top eight places – and then go on to finish with both of its cars in the top-ten in Saturday’s race-one, Hughes/Campbell-Walter
and Krumm/Dumbreck lined up on the grid in fifth and seventh places respectively for Sunday’s main Championship race. And, after such a strong performance, hopes were high to finish with at least one car in the top eight and thereby score the team’s first championship points.
After the rolling start and a charge to the first corner, Hughes – who was first to drive car 22 – maintained his position, whilst Krumm in car 23 was pushed wide onto the grass and consequently dropped back into ninth place. Then, as cars started the second lap, Hughes saw an opportunity and went past the Lamborghini of Jos Menten at Stowe to claim fourth.
However, a lap later the Safety Car was deployed when a Corvette caught fire. Once extinguished, racing resumed and positions amongst the top ten were maintained until Krumm made a move on the slower Maserati of Andrea Bertolini ahead of him.
Having pulled out to pass, the Nissan driver suddenly felt his car struck from the side when the Corvette of Oliver Gavin tried to pass him and the Maserati at the same time. The impact was enough to break the Nissan’s front suspension and send it into a gravel trap at the next bend.
On lap 11 Hughes came into the pits for the compulsory driver-change and a fresh set of tyres, following which Campbell-Walter rejoined the race in fifth. Once the tyres were bedded in he began to close on the cars ahead, firstly passing the Maserati of Enrique Bernoldi on lap 19 and then superbly out-braking Frank Kechele in a Lamborghini going into Copse at the start of lap 24.
Campbell-Walter then held onto third for a further four laps and crossed the finish line behind the Aston Martins Darren Turner/Tomas Enge in first and Fredrick Makowiecki/Thomas Accary in second.
However, after the podium celebrations had taken place it was announced that the second-placed Aston Martin was given a 15-second penalty for not coming into the pits early enough to serve a drive-though penalty. Then a few minutes later, it was revealed that at post-event scrutineering the under-floor plank on the winner’s car was found to less than the legal thickness and therefore, Turner/Enge were excluded from the results.
With Hughes and Campbell-Walter third, the allocation of these two penalties catapulted them into first place, providing the drivers, the team and Nissan with its first victory in the FIA GT1 World Championship. However, Turner and Enge’s Young Driver AMR team have since appealed the decision and therefore, although Sumo Power GT are officially declared the winners, the results will remain provisional until the appeal has been heard.
Warren Hughes – Driver car 22
“Of course I would have preferred to be first across the line on the track, but it’s always good to take a win. I have to admit that I was delighted with third, so this result is amazing. And, to score our first victory at our home event and to win the Tourist Trophy as well really ticks all the boxes. It shows the incredible effort that been made by everyone involved in the team and at NISMO.”
“For a British driver it’s a massive honour to win the Tourist Trophy and, to take the first FIA GT1 World Championship win for Sumo Power GT and the Nissan GT-R is just fantastic. However, I have to express my condolences to Darren and Tomas as they did a great job and it can’t be nice to be told you’ve won and then have it taken away. However, this is a superb result for us and I still can’t quite believe it.” Jamie Campbell-Walter – Driver car 22
Peter Dumbreck – Driver car 23
“What can I say? It was disappointing for me not to be able to drive, but it’s been a great day for the team. I have to congratulate Warren, Jamie and everyone involved.”
Michael Krumm – Driver car 23
“The car was really quick today and, although I was pushed off the track, after the safety car laps I felt I could really push and make up places. Unfortunately my charge didn’t last long, so I’m pleased that although Peter and I didn’t finish the team still achieved a great result.”
Allen Orchard – Team Manager
“This is such an amazing outcome it still hasn’t sunk in yet. To have achieved a win in only our second ever event is more than we could have hoped for, especially at our home track and as the race was for the Tourist Trophy. The whole team has done a great job to get to where we have today in such a short space of time.”