Brabham heads home after top 10s in China

Brabham was 10th and eighth in the two Beijing GT1 races

Australia’s David Brabham heads to Phillip Island, and his drive with IRWIN Racing, having finished 10th and eighth in the two GT1 World Championship races in Beijing.

Brabham and team-mate Jamie Campbell-Walter endured a frustrating weekend, starting the event with a leak in the fuel tank seal that saw them sit out the first session.

The Sumo Power GT Nissan made some progress, and Brabham drove strongly to get them into the final qualifying session, but they only managed to qualify eighth for the weekend’s first race.

Struggling with a lack of grip, Brabham and Campbell-Walter dropped from eighth to 10th in the opening qualifying race and then, in terribly wet conditions, the duo improved to eighth in the championship race.

A wet start saw the main race start under safety car and then when two cars went off later in the race, the cars queued behind the safety car for a second time. In all over a third of the race was run under yellow flag.

“In the qualifying race when Jamie (Campbell-Walter) went out he was really struggling on the tyre; when I went out my tyres seemed to be better,” said Brabham.

“In the second race we both had the similar type of tyre and they were shiite, they had no grip.

“In my stint on the new tyre I had a new wet and it was diabolical. I had no grip at all compared to my stint in the first race.

“It was night and day difference; we’ve got to understand what is going on with the tyre.

“We had a tenth and an eighth, but we just struggled for grip and ultimate pace.”

The results from the second Chinese race sees Brabham and Campbell-Walter maintain ninth in the GT1 World championship, with their team, Sumo Power GT, remaining fifth in the Teams’ title race.

The series takes a break and then heads to Argentina on November 6 for the final event of the season at the 6.2km San Luis track.

On Monday, Brabham flies to Melbourne to meet up with IRWIN Racing ahead of next weekend’s L&H Phillip Island 500.

Brabham will spend Wednesday at IRWIN Tools’ Noble Park (VIC) headquarters before joining the team on Thursday for a final seat fitting and some driver change practice with IRWIN’s full-time driver Alex Davison.

Practice for the Phillip Island V8 Supercars endurance classic starts at 11.30am on Friday.

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