ABU DHABI // Jamie Campbell-Walter is used to going around the Yas Marina Circuit very quickly.
As Yas Marina's Formula One two-seater driver he gets to charge around the 5.5-kilometre track at speeds of up to around 300kph.
The Briton says the addition of new Bridgestone tyres, supplied now the Japanese firm are no longer the F1 tyre supplier, have made things even quicker for the passengers - paying members of the public and corporate guests - he drives around the track.
"I was last here in January to do some two-seater driving," he said yesterday. "The new tyres are really good and I reckon it has improved the lap time by four seconds."
Campbell-Walter is in Abu Dhabi this weekend to compete in the first round of the new season of the FIA GT1 World Championship.
The 38-year-old is driving for Sumo Power in a Nissan GT-R for a second successive year, with a new teammate in David Brabham, the former Australian F1 driver.
After a promising start last year in which Campbell-Walter and teammate Warren Hughes won the second round at Silverstone in England, they faded to finish 16th in the championship.
Campbell-Walter is confident he has a better package this year, but thinks it may need time to translate that into success on the track.
"We have had little time to prepare," he said. "We haven't had a lot of time for testing: we did just one run at Zolder in Belgium.
"There are a few things over the winter that the guys have done to improve the car, which are all good, but we haven't had much time to fine-tune it. The car is for sure better than last year, but then I expect everyone else down the pit lane feels the same."
As to his chances of a strong race today, he adds: "We go into this race like any other, looking to win it, but the most important thing as we saw in last year's championship, above all else, is to finish and score points. Being consistent and scoring in every race is the target."
Campbell-Walter and Brabham will start today's 1.15pm qualifying race, which decides the starting grid, from ninth following last night's qualifying session. The race is due to begin at 7.45pm.
Pole position was taken by the pairing of Nick Pastorelli and Dominik Schwager in the All Inkl.com team Lamborghini with a lap time of 1 min 51.668secs.
Meanwhile, in the local support races, Karim al Azhari remains on track on take the GTA class of the UAE GT Championship after qualifying fifth last night.
The Emiratri, driving a House of Portier Corvette with French teammate Fabien Giroix, only has to finish to become champion.
The GTB category is set for an exciting finish.
Al Azhari's teammates Mohammed al Mutawaa and Jiri Skula qualified third, one place behind their nearest challengers, Jon Simmonds and Phil Quaife.
Whoever comes first in their category today will take the GTB championship.
In the UAE Touring Car Championship, Andre Ramdhany boosted his slim hopes of becoming champion by taking pole position.
He needs to win both of today's races to have any chance of taking the title.
A failure to triumph in either race will guarantee that Khalid bin Hadher, the Emirati driver, takes the crown.