David Brabham has been confirmed as part of Sumo Power GT's quartet of drivers for this season's FIA GT1 World Championship, alongside Jamie Campbell-Walter, Ricardo Zonta and Enrique Bernoldi.
While Brazilians Zonta and Bernoldi had already been announced as the driver pairing in the team's #20 Nissan GT-R, the selection of drivers for car #21 was initially going to have been made after a test in Qatar. However, due to a series of circumstances beyond the team's control, inclusing the threat of civil unrest in the region, the test was canned and a decision made earlier this week.
Brabham, who has been racing sportscars since 1991, brings a wealth of experience to the Sumo Power team. His long list of career achievements include an outright win at Le Mans in 2009, preceded by double GT1 Class victories in 2007 and 2008.
on top of that, the Australian's back-to-back ALMS titles in 2009 and 2010 made him a valuable commodity, and his addition to the team represents a NISMO [Nissan Motorsports International Co Ltd] renaissance, as it was 20 years ago when, driving a Nissan Skyline GT-R, that he won the infamous Spa 24-hour endurance event.
“Since starting Sumo Power in 2002, the one passion I have above all else is to see our cars out there competing – and winning!" team principal Andy Barnes commented, "That's why I'm delighted to be heading-up the Sumo Power GT team this season. We intend to build on everything the team achieved last year and, with our great line-up of drivers, we're aiming for nothing less than the title. Bring it on!”
Whilst Campbell-Walter returns to the team for a second season, Brabham, Zonta and Bernoldi got their first taste of the Sumo Power GT Nissan GT-Rs at Zolder yesterday [10 March], when they attended a full-team test. The cars now make their onward journey to the United Arab Emirates for the first of this season's ten-rounds - at the spectacular Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi on 26 March - with Brabham excited about the challenge ahead.
“When I was at the FIA awards ceremony in December, I saw the GT1 trophy being presented and I thought how cool it would be to win it," the Australian noted, "Therefore, I was delighted when the opportunity came up to join Sumo Power GT.
"I'm now really excited to be part of the team and the FIA GT1 World Championship. The series has all the right ingredients and I like the format of the races. A reflection of its credibility is the number of top-level drivers that are taking part, which means there's a lot out there that could win the title – and of course, that includes the drivers in the two Nissan teams.”
Co-driver Campbell-Walter has already shown the Nissan's potential, as his impressive first season with the Sumo Power team included winning round two, the coveted Tourist Trophy at Silverstone, with former team-mate Warren Hughes.