9 June 2011
David Brabham Column: Trying times at Silverstone
High hopes turned to deep disappointment for David Brabham and the #21 Sumo Power GT team at the Silverstone round of the FIA GT1 championship.
The British FIA GT1 World Championship round turned out to be one of those weekends that didn't quite go according to plan. In fact, I can't remember ever having a race weekend like it.
We had high expectations going into Silverstone as we were obviously looking for a strong result. Qualifying showed all four Nissans were in the top ten, which we anticipated because we expected the cars to be competitive.
When we got to the first race, I went down the inside of turn four and couldn't stop so I ended up hitting Darren [Turner] and then Peter Dumbreck, which was sadly the end of the race for all three of us. I didn't feel great about that. It certainly wasn't deliberate but, sometimes, when you are pushing like that, you overstretch the limit and I unfortunately caused us not to finish.
Then, of course, we had to start at the back for the Championship Race. Jamie [Campbell-Walter] did a great job to put us in the position that, when we pitted under the yellow, we could make up a few places. The Sumo Power GT pit crew did a fantastic job of turning the car around and that leapfrogged us from the back to the front and we ended up sixth.
At the restart, I had an Aston Martin right behind me going in to Luffield and he looked like he was about to touch me. I knew if he hit me there I would be out of the race, so I hit the throttle a little bit and the back end came out. I then had to get out of the way of the accident happening in front of me and ended up beached in the gravel, so unfortunately we didn't finish that race either.
As we have seen this year, in this type of racing, there is always some kind of incident going on and there were plenty this weekend. It's a tough championship and everyone is fighting all the time - sometimes we all overstretch the limit.
Obviously, winning the Tourist Trophy was a great result for Nissan and, although car #21 didn't have a good weekend, certainly car #23 did. They qualified right up the front and finished second in the Qualifying Race and won the Championship Race. It was a great effort by them and they thoroughly deserved the win. That is definitely a positive that comes out of the whole weekend.
We had a lot of Nissan guests at Silverstone, so it was great for them to share that result. It was also good to see my good friend Mark Webber there.
On Thursday evening, Jamie and I were honoured to be guests at an evening with the BMMC (British Motorsport Marshals Club) and some marshals that were due to be working over the weekend. It was a great evening and I was very happy to give up my time. Our sport couldn't exist without the hard work and dedication of marshals and we are lucky enough to have some of the best in the world.
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