The FIA GT1 World Championship had it all in 2011: superb racing; high drama and intrigue; and a five-way fight for the drivers' title at the season finale on the other side of the world. So not much changed from the inaugural season, then. And that included a championship victory for the best team with the best car.
The JR Group, which had previously run two Nissans under the Sumo Power banner, stepped up to run four of the Japanese machines in 2011, two as Sumo and two as JR Motorsports. A series of performance breaks and hard work by the team - plus Nissan competition department NISMO - over the winter turned the GT-R from a car that could win races on occasion into one that could take victory every weekend.
The top 10 GT1 World Championship drivers in focus
1. Michael Krumm/Lucas Luhr (JRM Nissan)
Other podiums: 5
Poles: 1 (Luhr, 1; Krumm, 0)
Fastest laps: 3 (Krumm, 2; Luhr, 1)
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Gary Watkins has, for reasons best known to himself, devoted all his working life to covering sportscar racing. This season is his 25th as a motorsport journalist, during which time he has reported on major long-distance events on four continents and approaching 60 24-hour races. He reckons a degree in political philosophy makes him well qualified for covering the sometimes Machiavellian world of international sportscars.
Gary, who also writes for RACER, Autoweek, Motor Sport, Autocourse and others, lives in Surbiton but spends more time on the road than at home for most of the year.