The Nissan GT-R claimed its first victory of the FIA GT1 World Championship, although not in the most likely of fashion. A pair of Aston Martins finished 1-2 in Saturday's qualifying race and it looked to be a repeat for Sunday's championship race when a pair of DB9s crossed the finished line for the checkered flag. However, the number seven DB9 was disqualified for technical reasons and the second place Aston Martin received a 15 second penalty for not serving a drive-through penalty within three laps. That handed the win to the number 22 Sumo Power Nissan GT-R driven by Warren Hughes and Jamie Campbell-Walter, their first in only two events. The victory was especially sweet for the team since they are based in the UK.
If you want to watch the race then head over to GT1World.com, the official web site of the series. You can watch any of the races live or you can go back and watch previous races or qualifying sessions in their GT1 TV section at any time. Check out the gallery below for highlights from the Silverstone race or follow the jump for a detailed breakdown of this weekend's action.
Qualifying Race: Saturday 1 May
Hexis AMR celebrated a 1-2 finish in the Qualifying Race at Silverstone when Fred Makowiecki took the chequered flag in the nr9 Aston Martin DB9 3.5 seconds ahead of his teammate Jonathan Hirschi in the nr10 Aston Martin after an action packed 60-minute race. The nr1 Vitaphone Racing Team Maserati MC12, driven by Andrea Bertolini crossed the line in 3rd place, with the nr7 Young Driver AMR Aston of Darren Turner in 4th after losing the lead due to two pitlane infringements.
Championship Race: Sunday 2 May
After heavy overnight rain but with a drying track the race was declared wet but all of the 23 cars opted for Michelin slicks for the second race of the weekend. The two Hexis AMR Aston Martin's lined up on the front row but it was the nr 10 Aston Martin of Jonathan Hirschi that got the best start to lead the pole sitter Frederic Makowiecki at the first corner. Championship leader Romain Grosjean's torrid weekend got even worse when he was tapped into a spin at Copse and into retirement before his race even began.
At the front Hirschi held the lead until the second lap when Makowiecki dived down the inside of the leading Aston at Stowe to regain the lead. Stefan Mücke limped back to the pits with a puncture on one of the nr 8 Young Driver AMR Aston Martin's Michelins.
On lap 3 the safety car was deployed when the nr14 Phoenix Racing / Carsport Corvette disappeared in a cloud of smoke at Stowe with Mike Hezemans making a rapid exit from the car as flames shot out from the rear of the Corvette and enveloping the track in a smoke screen. The safety car remained out on track until lap 7 while the marshals dealt with the incident and Hezemans walked dejectedly back to the pits.
Racing resumed on lap 7 with Aston Martin's holding the top three places with Darren Turner in the nr7 Young Drivers AMR car keeping pace with Hirschi's second placed Aston. Further back Andrea Bertolini in the Vitaphone Racing Maserati was fighting with the Sumo Power GT Nissan of Michael Krumm, the German trying to find a way around the Italian at Vale but they collided, taking the nr12 Corvette of Oliver Gavin into the gravel trap at Club.
Meanwhile Hirschi started to slow on lap 12 as his front right tyre was flat just as the pit window opened. Darren Turner was one of the first drivers to pit, handing over to Tomas Enge.
The order was shaken up for a few laps as the cars served the mandatory pitstop. The nr10 Hexis AMR Aston, now with Clivio Piccione at the wheel, spun at Vale, while there was drama for Henri Moser in the nr3 Swiss Racing Team Nissan as he went off the road at Stowe, hitting the tyre wall hard. The Swiss driver was OK, which was more than could be said for the Nissan.
Meanwhile Jamie Campbell-Walter, now at the wheel of the nr22 Sumo Power GT Nissan GT-R, was fighting his way up the field, moving ahead of Miguel Ramos in the nr2 Vitaphone Racing Maserati MC12 for 4th at Stowe on lap 19. Meanwhile the race leading car of Thomas Accary was just ahead of Tomas Enge's aston Martin when he was notified that he had to serve a drive through penalty for starting his engine while on the jacks during the pitstop. The French driver continued to lap the Silverstone track, waiting more than the required three laps before coming in to serve the penalty. The Frenchman emerged still in 2nd place but now 17 seconds behind Enge's leading Aston Martin.
Campbell-Walter was soon challenging the nr25 Reiter Lamborghini of Frank Kechele, the German holding off the British driver until lap 24 when the Nissan took the final podium position down the inside into Copse.
Christoffer Nygaard in the nr8 Young Driver AMR Aston Martin DB9 was making rapid progress up the order pulling past the nr40 Marc VDS Ford GT of Maxime Martin on lap 24 and then Nicolas Armindo in the nr11 Corvette a lap later. Martin also went past Armindo at Copse but there was contact between the two cars and the Mad-Croc Racing Corvette ended up in the gravel. On the final lap Nygaard took 6th place by moving past the nr33 Triple H Team Hegersport Maserati of Altfrid Heger at the end of Hangar Straight on the final lap of the race as the Danish drivers teammate Tomas Enge took the chequered flag 12 seconds ahead of Thomas Accary and 25 seconds in front of Jamie Campbell-Walter's Nissan GT-R.
However after the podium celebrations the news came down that the FIA Stewards were investigating a number of incidents during the race and the nr9 Hexis Racing AMR Aston Martin was handed a 15 second penalty for not coming in to serve the drive through penalty within three laps. Then during the post race technical checks the winning car was found to have worn the friction block under the car beyond the minimum 25mm depth and was excluded from the results. The Young Driver AMR team decided to appeal this decision and the result of the Championship Race was declared provisional subject to the outstanding appeal. The provisional result gave the nr22 Sumo Power GT Nissan GT-R of Warren Hughes and Jamie Campbell-Walter their debut win in the FIA GT1 World Championship.