Indian racing driver Karun
Chandhok has confirmed that he will return to the historic Le Mans 24 hours
race on June 13/14, 2015. Chandhok, who was the first Indian to drive in the Le
Mans 24 hours in 2012, is determined for a podium finish at this iconic race.
For the third year in succession, Chandhok will race with Murphy Prototypes in
their Murphy Prototypes Oreca 03R Nissan-powered LMP2 car. He will be joined by
GP2 driver Nathaniel Berthon and the experienced Mark Patterson.
The Le Mans Prototype 2 (LMP2)
category this year is the most competitive it has ever been, with new cars from
Oreca and HPD as well as a more developed Ligier. However the team is
optimistic following a strong pre-season test at Paul Ricard earlier this
In a press release, Chandhok,
who is supported by JK Tyre, AVT Premium, Sidvin and Tag Heuer, reiterated that
the Le Mans 24hours is one of the most
exciting races in the world. He
commented, “Le Mans is one of the greatest races in the world and my ambition
to be the first Indian on the podium is still burning strongly within. I am
happy to be back with Murphy Prototypes as we have always worked really well
together. Nathanael (Berthon) was very quickly up to speed last year and now
has a year of sportscar racing under his belt and 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 variety of reasons. Hopefully, third time
Chandhok is currently racing
for Mahindra Racing at the ongoing FIA Formula E series. He added, "We're
still half way through the Formula E season and there's plenty of work to do
there with Mahindra Racing, but equally, pursuing my career in Sportscars is
still very important to me. There are more and more manufacturers coming into
Sportscar racing and 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 5 out of 6 weekends on track for
Formula E races in Berlin, Moscow and London and then the Le Mans test and race
alternating in between!"
Team owner Greg Murphy was
excited about having Chandhok back with the team for another assault on the Le
He said “I'm really happy to
have Karun back with us again. We work well together and we also drive each
other mad, but it's because we have an equally strong ambition to succeed at
the biggest race in the world. Apart from obviously being quick, Karun has
proven to be a real team player for the past two years at Le Mans for us and
this is the main reason I keep pushing for him to join the team. For the first
time, we are heading to Le Mans with all three drivers having previous Le Mans
experience and this is very important I think."
The Le Mans 24 hours race, is
widely regarded as part of the three Crown Jewels of Motorsport, along with the
F1 Monaco Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500. The 13.6 kilometres long circuit
at Le Mans winds through the French countryside, with cars touching top speeds
of 315km/h. The race distance is more than 5000 km, which is equal to about 16
F1 races. 2014 saw a record 263300 spectators at the circuit to witness the
race. Chandhok, who has a highest finishing position of 6th 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.
Chandhok was also quick to
thank his long time supporters JK Tyre, AVT Premium, Sidvin and Tag Heuer for
their continued support. He said, "I am entering into my 15th year of
association with JK Tyre which is just amazing. We' ve been together from
Formula Maruti all the way to F1 and now to Formula E and Le Mans. Tag Heuer,
Sidvin and AVT have also been with me for a few years now and I'm proud to be
carrying their colours with me once again."
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