The next round of the FIA GT1 World Championship beckons at the Algarve circuit in Portugal. I've never raced there before but I've heard very good things about it, so I'm really looking forward to another new challenge.

Abu Dhabi was obviously my first outing with the Sumo Power GT team and it was clear that there was a lot of potential, not only for myself, but for the team to build on. We went to Zolder feeling really positive that we could move on to another level.

In many ways we did just that. Our pace was good in qualifying, but we didn't manage the tyres that well so, by the time we got to Q3, we didn't have a new set. Pretty much everyone else did, so we ended up qualifying eighth. However, we weren't that far off, and definitely felt the car was quick enough for the top three.

In that sense, I felt we made quite good progress. We also had a new engineer for the race weekend and that seemed to work very well.

We were running well in sixth position in the first race when we suffered a drivetrain issue, so that put us out of the race. It also meant we started further back, in eleventh, for race two when we were involved in a startline incident, so that was another DNF.

In terms of championship points, it's not looking great but, in terms of putting pieces together and making sure that we're in a strong position as the season goes on, I felt we made good progress. Every round our goals are getting higher as we put the foundations down for a solid year and I'm very optimistic that we can come away from the Algarve with a result that we deserve.

I think the combination of Jamie [Campbell-Walter] and me is very good. We get on very well. We drive quite similar in lots of ways and our feedback is the same, so we're obviously going to make a lot of progress, just like we want. The team is also building consistency with the engineers and, when that gets sorted, it will be another piece of the jigsaw in place.

I am learning a lot about the Nissan GT-R and, in particular, the tyres. The Michelin tyre is very sensitive in a lot of areas and the more race miles I get the more understanding I have about the car, the way it works the tyre and what the tyre needs.

Obviously, we've got lots of people within the team that we can rely on to help for direction in set-up and hear what car #20 has done with our Brazilian friends. We do work together as two cars and we make good progress. Of course, we'll continue that joint working this weekend.

For me, it's been great doing more European rounds this year as I've been used to racing in the USA. Jet-lag isn't such a problem and it's nice and refreshing to keep going out and learning new circuits, which I haven't done for a while.

It's been a really good experience for me and I'm looking forward to things just getting better throughout the rest of the season.

DB

 

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