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FIA GT1 WeltmeisterschaftThat is how Othmar Welti (Swiss Racing Team’s managing director) summed up the kick-off of the FIA GT1 World Championship season in Abu Dhabi. Some managing directors were dissatisfied with the balance of performance and its consequences.
The Nissan GT-R alone was packed with an additional weight of 30 kg which, according to Welti, made the Nissan GT-R uncompetitive. “The balance of performance shows a massive misjudgement. Consequently we were unable to achieve top results with our Nissans. Nissan was declared the GT1 reference car. However, it lagged behind. Something is definitely wrong,” says Welti.
12 teams with two cars each competed in sweaty temperatures in the first GT1 World Championship race at the spectacular Yas Marina Grand Prix Circuit at the weekend.

This season SRT will be racing with pilots Karl Wendlinger (AUT), Henri Moser (CHE) in the Nissan with starting number 3 and Max Nilsson (SWE) and Seiji Ara from Japan with starting number 4. The cockpit constellations of the Japanese super sports cars are very promising. However, the midfield had the pilots under control. Qualifying is actually divided into three sessions but there was only one session. A serious accident called the safety of the track into question which led to the results of Q1 being rated. Ara/Nilsson placed 13th, closely followed by Wendlinger/Moser with P14.
The qualifying on Saturday delivered exciting duels between the Nissan pilots. With identical cars skills were crucial. Nilsson was astonishingly confident and aggressive during his stint. His cockpit partner worked his magic with a pass at the sidelines. “Ara is a tremendous asset to our team,” says Kolb. The reward was P12 for the evening’s race. Wendlinger and Moser placed 9th, the best position for Nissan in the field.
Shortly after starting the first race of the season, Japanese GT-R pilot Seiji Ara was forced to drive into the pit box after the second lap and retire early.
Karl Wendlinger on the other hand was busy getting through the crowd during the start. Some cars were brought to a standstill due to touching. Wendlinger was able to get through and gain a few places. Due to the heavy weight the performance did not suffice to push the racing car forward. Moser only finished his stint in 14th place.
“We are confident for the FIA to come around because the package itself is good. I think that a decision will be made before Silverstone,” hopes Othmar Welti.
The second race of the FIA GT1 World Championship will take place in Silverstone / Great Britain in two weeks time.

Quelle: mmr/motioncompany

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