Le Mans (France), 21 June 2013: : Indian racing driver Karun Chandhok and his team Murphy Prototypes qualified in an impressive 7th position at the La Sarthe circuit in the LMP2 category in the Le Mans 24 hours. Chandhok’s team Murphy Prototypes set a time of 3:41.569 and will start in 15th place overall, and 7th in their category. The trio of Brendon Hartley, Mark Patterson and Karun Chandhok will drive the iconic Le Mans 24 hours race in the LMP2 Nissan V8-powered Oreca 03 with Murphy Prototypes. The second qualifying session was wet which resulted in Murphy Prototypes not venturing out at all.
The third and final qualifying session started on a damp but drying track. There were as many as 9 red flags which disrupted running for all drivers. This resulted in the track coming alive in the last 30 minutes with all cars looking to improve their time. Hartley ran in the qualifying session as he had not got any meaningful running the entire week. He finally managed to get a new set of tyres to run in qualifying.
Chandhok, who is supported by JK Tyre and Tag Heuer, is looking forward to a one-day break before the race starts on Saturday evening. He commented, “The morning session was a complete washout and it made no sense to do any laps. With the weather and so many red flags I could not get any running today but will be back in the car for warm-up tomorrow. We are starting in a reasonably good position and will have to push very hard to get a good result. The atmosphere here is unbelievable and I can’t wait to get going on Saturday. I am a little more experienced after racing last year but conditions are a lot more unpredictable this year so should be an interesting race. ”
Brendon Hartley was happy to get a run finally even though there were some problems to iron out before the race. He said, “We could have been much better, but it’s qualifying for a 24-hour race. We had some kind of issue with the steering rack – Karun commented on it yesterday and that made it very tricky in the beginning. We are in P7 so it’s not a big deal but with such a long race tomorrow we have little issue to fix, but we’re in good shape.”
Team Principal Greg Murphy felt the LMP2 category will be one of the most closely contested this weekend and felt the team could have got more running time. He commented, “We were pretty disappointed to be honest, every time we went for a lap we got traffic, we got red flags… I’m sure it’s a common story up and down the pitlane, but yeah, we really struggled. We had a lot more pace in the car, than we showed today. But seventh position, I think Starworks when they won it last year started in 11th, so we’re reasonable happy, 24 hours to go, we’re here to fight and we’re here to win so I think we have some good speed in the car. We had a problem with all the red flags and stuff, we didn’t get a rhythm, and I feel a little bit for Karun he had very little running, but he’s such a good driver it’s not going to be a problem.”