Karun Chandhok and JRM mark an impressive 7th spot ahead of Silverstone edition of WEC
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Karun Chandhok, the Indian racing idol, qualified brilliantly at an impressive seventh place with his JRM Racing team in the practice sessions for the fourth round of the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) season. The inaugural edition of WEC is co-organised by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and the Automobile Club de l'Ouest (ACO).
Chandhok's fabulous performance in the qualifying session came with his fastest lap of 1:46.758 (+3.095 seconds), which was only half a second short from the fourth spot. The strong finish ensured that Chandhok and his team came out as the fastest privateer among the participating teams.
Chandhok opted for Michelin intermediate tyres as heavy downpour swept the track during practice as well as qualifying sessions and recorded a best time of 1:53.957 seconds after traversing four laps before switching to slick tyres. Later Chandhok completed six more laps on dry tyres and recorded an improved lap time of 1:46.758 seconds, which placed Chandhok and the JRM team onto the seventh position on the starting grid for the evening's race. Chandhok drove the HPD ARX 03 car and could have further improved his lap time, but the team stalled the idea citing some gearbox issues.
Karun Chandhok, who has over the years excelled at Silverstone said, “Today we were even closer to the front of the field and there was only a hair’s breadth between ourselves, Strakka and Rebellion. This is a big step forward over the previous races where we have been a lot further back. We could have gone even faster – I did a 1:46.4 yesterday and I was up on my first two sectors, but traffic in the last corner cost me some time. Although qualifying for a six hour race isn’t the be-all and end-all, it would have been nice to show our true form. All the same we can be relatively satisfied with today, particularly given we missed the earlier session. It’s pretty hopeful for tomorrow.”
Reportedly, the result was very important to the team as Chandhok's car had run into some trouble with its gearbox in the previous practice sessions, which wasted the entire practice session for the team in morning. Owing to this, the team made sure that it gets all the tweaks done before the race.
JRM Racing Team entered the tournament at the beginning of this year and since then has showed immense improvement. The future looks fascinating for the partnership between Karun Chandhok and the JR Motorsports ahead of the final race in the evening of August 26, 2012. The talented Chandhok was just able to fetch the result, which his team JRM was expecting in its first year of WEC.
Nigel Stepney, the Chief Engineer and Team Manager, exalted with the important result, quoted, “We lost the hour this morning with a gearbox issue, which is when we had planned to do all our qualifying work. We then went back to our set up from FP1, but conditions were very different then so it was hard to get the most out of the car. But even so we can be relatively happy – we are on a similar pace to our rivals, which we haven’t been in previous races. It bodes well for the race and for the rest of the season. The forecast is for occasional showers – we’ll just deal with everything as it comes.”
Speaking on the team spirit and the talented Chandhok, James Rumsey, the Team Principal, delightfully, commented, “A very solid qualifying by Karun. We’ve looked genuinely competitive from the start of the event and although we would have liked the qualifying position to reflect this, it’s a mark of how far we’ve come since we entered endurance racing at the start of the year.”
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