Silverstone: Indian driver Karun Chandhok and his JRM Racing enjoyed a solid qualifying session in preparation for the Six Hours of Silverstone in the World Endurance Championship here.
Chandhok qualified in the seventh lap for the fourth round of the championship Saturday, just half a second from the fastest car. This came in spite of a gearbox issue in the earlier practice.
Chandhok started on intermediate tyres following a heavy rainstorm between practice and qualifying. He completed four laps with a best time of 1:53.957. Later, he moved to the slicks for his flying laps.
The 28-year-old completed six further laps on the dry tyres, improving to a 1:46.758 to qualify seventh. An even quicker time was on the cards if not for the traffic.
"Today we were even closer to the front and there was only a hair`s breadth between ourselves, Strakka and Rebellion. This is a big step forward from the previous races where we have been a lot further back. We could have gone even faster but traffic in the last corner cost me some time. We can be relatively satisfied given we missed the earlier session," said the Indian.
"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," said chief engineer Nigel Stepney commenting on Sunday`s race.
Team principal James Rumsey said: "A very solid qualifying by Karun. We`ve looked genuinely competitive from the start of the event. 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."