Rain dominated proceedings throughout round nine of the FIA GT
Championship at the Goldenport circuit in Beijing, restricting the Sumo Power GT team's results to tenth and eleventh in race one and sixth and eighth in race two.
Because of the conditions, any team that completed both races without a problem or incident could regard the event as a success - as Sumo Power's David Brabham admitted.
“These two races were all about keeping the car on the track on not making any mistakes - and we did exactly that," the Australian confirmed, "But, for some reason, although we changed from a dry to wet set-up, I could tell that the car had more potential.
"It's therefore been a day where we've done the best we possibly could in the conditions and I'm delighted that our GT-R is still in one piece!”
Just one week after round eight at Ordos, the series was in action again, this time at the Goldenport Park Circuit on the outskirts of Beijing. The 2.4km track the shortest visited by the championship this season and, not really designed to accommodate the 600bhp GT1 cars, the track was always going to pose a challenge for teams and drivers.
For Sumo Power GT, the challenges started in Friday's pre-qualifying session when, in addition for an accident to the sister car, the #21 shared by Brabham and Jamie Campbell-Walter suffered a small fuel leak that stopped either driver from participating in Friday morning's free practice. They did get a good run in the afternoon's pre-qualifying session, however, and were then the best of the Nissans in qualifying, when a blistering lap by Brabham launched the #21 into Q3 and P8 for the first of Saturday's two races.
After a dry and sunny day on Friday, Saturday could not have been more different, with rain falling almost throughout and making an already technically-demanding circuit even more of a challenge.
With the conditions as they were, and the GT1 Championship often seeing contact on turn one, it was a surprise to see the first lap pass without incident. It didn't last long, however, and, with a few cars now in the soft and uncompromising gravel traps, the safety car was deployed for the first time at the end of lap four, with Brabham up one place in seventh.
Racing resumed on lap eleven and, with the weather getting no better, most drivers were glad of the mandatory mid-race pit-stop to change tyres and hand over to their team-mate. The #21 was first in and saw Brabham swap with Campbell-Walter, but the Scot struggled to get any sort of heat into his tyres as he started his stint and found himself going backwards through the field.