Karun Chandhok all set for Le Mans grind

  • HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Apr 09, 2015 11:48 IST

Former Lotus and Hispania F1 driver, Karun Chandhok, on Wednesday said he will return to the historic Le Mans 24 hours race to be held on June 13 and 14. Chandhok, the first Indian to drive in the Le Mans 24 hours in 2012, would be looking for a podium finish.

Chandhok will race with Murphy Prototypes and their Murphy Prototypes Oreca 03R Nissan-powered LMP2 car for the third year in succession. He will be joined by GP2 driver Nathaniel Berthon and the experienced Mark Patterson.

The Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2) category this year is expected to be extremely competitive with new cars from Oreca and HPD as well as a more developed Ligier.

“I am happy to be back with Murphy Prototypes as we have worked well together. Nathanael (Berthon) was very quickly up to speed last year and now has a year of sportscar racing under his belt. Mark (Patterson) has improved a great deal from when we raced together in 2013, so I think we’ve got a strong line-up. We had a lot of speed and potential in the last two years there but the results didn’t work out for a variety of reasons. Hopefully, third time lucky.”

Chandhok will add the Le Mans 24 hours to his existing programme in the FIA Formula E series with Mahindra Racing. “We’re still halfway through the Formula E season and there’s plenty of work to do there with Mahindra Racing.

“Having a good result in LMP2 is the perfect way to put yourself back in the shopping window for a full factory drive. It’s going to be a very busy few weeks in May and June with five out of six weekends on track for Formula E races and then the Le Mans.”

The race distance is more than 5000 km, which is equal to about 16 F1 races. Chandhok, who has a highest finishing position of sixth place, will return to the La Sarthe circuit where the race traditionally starts at 3pm on a Saturday and finishes at 3pm on the Sunday.

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