Tag Archives: David Brabham

WEC

Toyota Racing’s Kazuki Nakajima set Fuji Speedway alight this afternoon by claiming the manufacturer’s first pole position in Japan with the No.7 TS030 Hybrid, at their home track. 

The Japanese driver, making his return to the Toyota’s cockpit for the first time since the 24 Hours of Le Mans, set a time of 1:27.499, more than two tenths of a second clear of second placed Benôit Tréluyer in the No.1 Audi R18 e-tron quattro.   The Frenchman, who raced in Japan for almost 12 years, couldn’t quite match the Toyota, but he was more than half a second clear of his team mate Tom Kristensen in the No.2 Audi.

Kazuki Nakajima: “I am really happy to get this pole position at Fuji Speedway; it means a lot to me and the team. It was cool to see the reaction of everyone in the garage at the end of the session because we had big support and also big expectations as this is our home country, our home track. We saw this morning that the car was quick enough to fight for pole position and, even though I had a bit of traffic at the start of qualifying, I managed to get a clean lap. It is a good achievement but it is still Saturday; the race means a lot more than qualifying. It will be a tricky race, particularly because it is difficult to cope with traffic in the last sector. So we will have to be careful and make no mistakes. Our aim is to win the race; we will push hard.”

Toyota also had much to celebrate among the LMP1 Privateers as it was Neel Jani’s No.12 Rebellion Racing Lola-Toyota which marked the fastest qualifying time with a lap of 1:29.871, fourth overall. He edged out the HPD-Hondas of Strakka Racing and JRM – Danny Watts in the British-flagged No.21 HPD ARX 03b by just two tenths and David Brabham in the No.22 JRM car by a solid half second. Just four out of the top 18 cars are powered by engines not produced by a Japanese manufacturer.

In LMP2 it was the championship points leader who claimed pole position thanks to Stéphane Sarrazin whose lap of 1:32.367 was the fastest of the whole week in the category.  The pole allows the No. 44 Starworks Motorsports HPD-Honda, winners at Sebring, Le Mans and São Paulo to notch up an extra point in its chase of the FIA Endurance Trophy.  The fight was tight in the class as less than two tenths separated the poleman from John Martin in the No.25 ADR-Delta Oreca 03-Nissan who was himself in front of Vitantonio Liuzzi’s No.32 Lola Lotus by less than another two tenths.  The narrow gaps foretell a closely-contested race in this class which has got better and better; Starworks Motorsports being 22 points ahead after getting pole.

Who from Toyota, Honda or Nissan will be waving the Japanese colours tomorrow for the 6 Hours of Fuji?  The answer will be known at 1700 hours, but before everyone will be back on track at 0755 hours for Warm Up and at 1100 hours for the start of the race.

WEC

JRM RACING CONTINUES ITS CHAMPIONSHIP CHALLENGE AT FUJI SPEEDWAY

JRM Racing continues its debut FIA World Endurance Championship campaign this weekend in Fuji, Japan. Just two weeks after the inaugural WEC race in Bahrain, the British-based team travels to the classic Japanese track at the foot of Mount Fuji for the penultimate event of the series. The Six Hours of Fuji will take place on Sunday 14 October and JRM will be looking to finally deliver on the promise it has shown throughout the championship. The team, which is currently third in the privateers’ title race, is hoping that its history of competing in Japan, driver Peter Dumbreck’s extensive experience at Fuji and the support of the local crowd will help it realize its potential.
 
Throughout the six races held so far this year, JRM’s Honda HPD ARX-03a LMP1 car has demonstrated good pace, but luck has evaded the team since its unprecedented sixth overall in its first-ever 24 Hours of Le Mans in June. Now revitalized after a detailed analysis of the issues, JRM is optimistic of finally securing the result to consolidate the team’s ongoing efforts.
 
Team principal, James Rumsey, commented, ‘We’ve shown some serious potential this year, with fastest times in practice, good strategy calls and a formidable driver line-up that is gelling well. Unfortunately, however, we’ve had a few technical issues that meant we couldn’t realize that potential. That’s the pitfall of being a new team; no one gives you a manual of what to do – we are learning on the job. We’ll go to Fuji now with the additional information from Bahrain and Brazil and try to finish the year on a high. Getting a good result in Japan would be fantastic as JRM has strong links with the country through our ties with Nissan Motorsport and the GT championship, plus Peter has an established fan base after his years of racing there. We hope the local support will cheer us to the finish line.’
 
Team manager and chief engineer, Nigel Stepney, added, ‘After Bahrain and Brazil we worked closely with HPD to understand what went wrong in the races. We’ve traced the issues and we have the test day at Fuji on the Wednesday before the race, which will be a good opportunity to evaluate the countermeasures we have put in place. Fuji is a difficult track, with undulation changes and that long pit straight, so we will also use the opportunity to fine-tune the set-up and get a handle on tyre wear so we can hit the ground running on Friday practice and then in qualifying. It’s a great chance as well for David and Karun to learn the track, although Peter knows Fuji well, which will be a massive help for the team in advancing our programme. ’
 
Peter Dumbreck has spent several seasons racing in Japan, first in 1998 and 1999 in Japanese Formula 3 and Formula Nippon and then from 2005 to 2009 in Super GT. During this time he commuted between the UK and his base in Gotemba, located just a few miles from Fuji Speedway. The Scot added, ‘I’ve spent six seasons racing in various categories in Japan. I’m looking forward to make my first trip back in four years after seasons in European GT and now the WEC. Fuji is actually one of my favourite circuits so I hope to step up and help achieve a good result for JRM and my team-mates. There is some tremendous support for motorsport in Japan so it will be good to see the same faces that I’ve seen over the years of racing.’
 
David Brabham has raced in Japan before and eagerly anticipates his return to the land of the rising sun, ‘It has been a long time since I was in Japan, but I have fond memories racing there and really look forward to racing at Fuji. I won the All Japan GT500 series in 1996 and I hope to see some old friends. It will be another close battle for the privateers, but we have to step up and produce a better performance to date, which we will work hard to do.’
 

Karun Chandhok meanwhile makes his first trip to Fuji, the first time he will have raced on Japanese soil, although he is no stranger to Japan. ‘This will be the first time I’m going to race in Japan, which should be interesting. I did the Friday free practice session last year for Team Lotus at Suzuka, but Fuji will be a new experience altogether. My visit last year was the first time I’ve been to Japan and I absolutely loved the country, the culture and the passion for motorsport there. The JRM team and my team-mate Peter Dumbreck have a strong history with Japanese motorsport so I hope we can get a good result for everyone there. In the last couple races we’ve been in pretty good shape in the races only for some reliability issues to make a mess of the result. I know Nigel and the team have been working very hard to get on top of that and the extra day of testing in Fuji will hopefully help us a bit more.

WEC

JRM RACING FINISHES DAY ONE AS QUICKEST PRIVATEER TEAM
 
13 September 2012 – JRM Racing finished the first day of practice for the Six Hours of Sao Paulo as the fastest petrol car and the highest classified privateer team. The #22 HPD-ARX 03a driven by David Brabham, Karun Chandhok and Peter Dumbreck recorded a time of 1:24.265, putting it fourth overall and just 0.3secs from the #1 Audi of Fassler, Lotterer and Treluyer. Over the two 90 minute sessions the crew completed 77 laps running through a programme of tyre evaluation, set up and circuit familiarization. Peter, who last raced at Interlagos two years ago in GT1, set the quickest time of the day in the second 90-minute practice session.
 
Peter opened the running for the #22 in FP1, completing 12 laps with a best time of 1:26.440. This was to be the team’s quickest time of the morning as the rain arrived shortly after. David took over for another 14 laps – his first outing at Interlagos since competing in 1994 Brazilian Grand Prix with Simtek. Karun completed the session with a 13 lap run, taking the team’s total lap count over the practice to 40.
 
Karun then opened FP2 with 12 laps before David took over for a further 15 laps. Peter then brought running to a close, setting the team’s fastest time of the day in the dying minutes of the session.
 
 
First free practice session:
Second free practice session:
40 laps completed
Fastest lap:      1:26.440          (PD)     +2.070secs
 
37 laps completed
Fastest lap:      1:24.265          (PD)     +1.060secs
 
 
 
David Brabham:
After a long time away it was good to come back to Interlagos and drive the circuit again. It’s genuinely a very cool track. Balance wise we are getting there and we made some good improvements throughout both sessions. I think we can be somewhat pleased with what we have achieved today. There are still some key areas we are working on, but with the information we gathered we have plenty to build on for tomorrow.
 
Karun Chandhok:
Today was about learning the circuit as I have never driven here before. It started drizzling at the start of the second session when I was out, but it was useful to get some data in all types of conditions. We concentrated more on race preparation and we got plenty of information and ideas to study overnight. The traffic doesn’t seem as bad as I thought. With fewer cars it isn’t so bad, except in the very narrow mid sector. We didn’t set out to get a quick time and we know that the other teams are going to come back strong tomorrow, but for now I’d say it’s been a good day.
 
Peter Dumbreck:
We spent a lot of time on old tyres to test the tyre durability but at the end of the day I got a run on low fuel and new tyres, which was a big step forward. I was quite happy with the car today. Things can still be improved but we could do some reasonable laps. We shouldn’t count on anything for tomorrow as there is still work to do and we know that Strakka and Rebellion will come back stronger, but it was a solid day that sets us up well for the weekend.
 
Nigel Stepney, team manager and chief engineer:
Today we concentrated more on preparation for the race; getting information on the tyre behaviour over longer distances and fine-tuning the set up. It was also about getting the drivers up to speed; Karun has never been here before and David hasn’t driven the track in several years. It was a productive day overall – we got a lot of very valuable information. While it’s great to see our name up there as the best of the petrol and privateer cars we know that the competition won’t sleep so we will keep focused for tomorrow.

24 Heures du Mans

JRM Racing finishes first Le Mans 24 Hours in sixth overall and second non-works car

JRM Racing achieved its ambitious objective today when it finished the Le Mans 24 Hours at its first attempt. The British team, led by team principal James Rumsey and team manager Nigel Stepney, passed the flag after 24 hours of hard-fought racing, 357 laps and over 4,800km in an impressive sixth place and second of the privateers’ class.

Drivers David Brabham, Peter Dumbreck and Karun Chandhok delivered faultless performances to finish the race at the team’s first attempt

David, the 2009 Le Mans winner, took the start in the team’s Honda HPD ARX-03a LM1 car and immediately gained one place from the starting slot of 11th. The Australian set a consistent pace to hold 10th position overall before handing over to Karun Chandhok just after 17:00.

Karun, who made history as the first-ever Indian to compete in the race, had a baptism of fire with an immediate quadruple stint in car #22 and had moved from P10 to P8 by the end of his time in the car. He then handed over to Peter, who started to exchange positions with the #13 Rebellion – gaining a position when the latter pitted and losing it when he himself refuelled. Peter later graduated to sixth when the #7 Toyota spent a significant amount of time in the pits.

However on lap 114 Peter had a puncture coming through the Dunlop Curves and went off into the gravel. The Scot subsequently had to negotiate almost the entire lap with a puncture, and was pulled into the garage to check for suspension damage. No major damage was found but the delay dropped the #22 back to 17th overall. During the stop David took over from Peter for his second session in the car and the fight to gain positions began.

The Australian made a charge through the LM2 cars and was back to 9th overall by the time he handed over to Karun Chandhok on lap 158. Karun soon went up to 8th and set about chasing the #44 Starworks car for 7th overall. Then, on a stop on lap 169, Karun reported a problem with the clutch and was pushed into the garage. He rejoined in 12th overall but brought the car back to the pits in 9th when he handed over to Peter just before dawn.

Peter then put in a long stint as the sun came up, completing 42 laps. When he came off shift a little after 07:30hrs the Scot had put the team back into 7th overall, clear of the LM2 cars and three laps from 6th. David took over from Peter and consolidated the sixth position before handing back to Karun for another quadruple stint.

Peter concluded the race for the #22 JRM Racing, crossing the line in an incredible sixth overall in its first Le Mans and only its third-ever endurance race.

24 Heures du Mans

JRM Racing to start first Le Mans from 11th position

The team will field a Honda HPD ARX-03a in the top LMP1 class with David Brabham, Peter Dumbreck and Karun Chandhok as its driving line-up.

The team made the best of a difficult day after discovering the gearbox had been damaged in yesterday’s running. The team elected to switch to the race engine as well, thereby lightening the work schedule for tomorrow. As a result it missed most of the earlier qualifying and the work was condensed into the later session, in which Peter Dumbreck exclusively completed. He bettered his time of yesterday to a 3:35.421

David Brabham

I didn’t go out in the car today as I completed more laps yesterday, so it wasn’t a major issue. It’s been a positive practice session as we put all the race gear in and made some changes that have given us a better direction for the race. We’ve come a long way already – I’m sure we can still make some headway before the race.

Karun Chandhok

Yesterday I hit some debris through Tertre Rouge and the car felt like it took off. We didn’t know until we checked thoroughly overnight but the impact of coming back to ground cracked the gearbox. The team then decided to change the engine, which was pretty logical considering we were changing tomorrow anyway. Although I would have liked to drive tonight, I’m just looking forward to getting behind the wheel at my first Le Mans on Saturday.

Peter Dumbreck

It’s been a tough day with a fair few issues but we always knew that as a rookie team in the top class it was going to be that way. The team acted very professionally to get through all the changes and condense the programme into the final session. It will be good to have the day’s break tomorrow to fully understand the information we have and how we can make the most of the race.

Nigel Stepney, chief engineer and team manager

It’s a great feeling to qualify for our first-ever Le Mans. This being our debut, we knew there could possibly be some hitches so we took the precaution of having all our drivers do a minimum of five laps yesterday evening. As it happens this worked out well as we lost the earlier session when we changed the gearbox and the engine. Although we’re not 100% on the set up just yet, clearly our goal has got to be getting to the end and seeing where we are at the finish.

Photo: jakobebrey

24 Heures du Mans

JRM Racing gets closer to Le Mans debut

JRM Racing completed its first laps of the legendary Le Mans track at the pre-event test day last week and today edged even closer towards its debut Le Mans 24 Hours campaign. The team took part in the pre-event pesage, or scrutineering at Place de la Republique in the centre of Le Mans, traditionally the opening event of the race.

JRM Racing will enter one Honda HPD ARX-03a into the LMP1 class this year, with David Brabham, Karun Chandhok and Peter Dumbreck at the wheel.

This will be JRM’s first Le Mans campaign, but David Brabham’s 18th entry into the race. The Australian won the race outright in 2009 with Peugeot and the GT1 class in 2007 and 2008 with Aston Martin Racing.

Peter Dumbreck contests his fifth Le Mans, however Karun Chandhok will make history as the first Indian to ever compete in the race on Sunday.

David Brabham

It’s always great to do scrutineering and kick off Le Mans week. The enthusiasm and the atmosphere make it so much more special as a driver. It really is unique.

One week on from the test, it’s just a case of making sure we have everything in place. The HPD is still quite new and every day we learn more and more about the car and how we interpret the data. Preparation hasn’t stopped and it will continue all the way until the green flag on Saturday.

For me personally, it’s about continuing my fitness routine and making sure I understand all the data that was generated over the course of the test, even after I left to return to Silverstone. Obviously I’ve been talking to Karun and Peter on how they got on and what they learnt and what we need to do next.

Our aim is to do as well as we can this year and the best way is to focus one day at a time. We have some ideas we would like to try and I have a few things I want to run as I’m not fully up to speed yet with the car and performance on this track to be able to give full feedback due to the lack of running at the test. It will come and despite being a big learning curve, it’s hugely exciting as well.

Peter Dumbreck

It’s a massive buzz to be back at Le Mans and seeing how the excitement builds over the course of the week. This is obviously our first Le Mans as a team so everything right now is a learning experience. All the same our aim is to do as professional job as possible, get as much information as we can in each of the sessions and then, ultimately, finish the race. The privateers’ class is very open this year so there’s every chance that if we finish, we will finish very well.

It’s looking like it’s going to be a very variable week weather wise, which adds another challenge for us. Parts of the track have been resurfaced and the grip levels and water drainage on these different surfaces is likely to be one of the main areas to get to grips with, particularly for the tyre wear and knowing how hard you can push on each lap. 

Notwithstanding this extra difficulty, I can’t wait to get started.

Karun Chandhok

Seeing the excitement of the fans today in the main square and the crowds really brought home how big this event is and how much prestige is attached to competing here. It’s one of the classic races and it was fantastic to see how the whole town embraced it and got behind each of the cars and drivers – I don’t think I’ve seen the levels of crowds on some Grands Prix weekends even!

Since the test day I’ve really been trying to focus on the race as much as possible, keep myself fit but also rested – this week is more of a marathon than a sprint! I’ve also been through all the laps I did, worked out how I can gain a bit of time in a couple of corners – David and Peter have been really helpful in this respect as they have a huge amount of experience round here, particularly David.

That’s also what it’s also about – building the relationship with your team-mates and your crew and making sure you are functioning as a whole. Our aim has got to be this – build a good foundation to be able to finish the race.

Nigel Stepney, chief engineer and team manager

Now we’re into race week, the excitement ahead of our first Le Mans 24 Hours is really starting to build. Since the test day last week we’ve made some good progress and are feeling quite comfortable with where we are now. 

We’ve thoroughly studied all the data and understood how we can improve. We’ve progressed on the set-up and gone more aggressive on the new aero package we ran for the first time in the test last week. We started to get closer to this ideal set up towards the end of the afternoon in the test and hopefully we will be picking up where we left off now. 

This week obviously the weather is going to be a major talking point, with both wet and dry running predicted over the week, and even in the race itself. In this case we’ll look at both ends of the set-up spectrum and try to find a compromise somewhere in between. At this point in time we haven’t conducted any running on the intermediate tyre, which we believe has a very small operating window – if we can run this tyre during practice on Wednesday or Thursday, this would complete our understanding. 

Our plan from this point on is to build on the test day and then pick up as much information as possible during the sessions.