Nogaro: Karun Chandhok and his Seyffarth Motorsport team could not convert a good qualifying into a desired result as they finished 11th overall and 7th in the PRO category in their FIA GT Series debut here.
Chandhok and his side struggled to cope with wet conditions initially and were later hit from the back by Frank Stippler, which cost them a few places.
Heavy rain continued to hit the opening round of the FIA GT Series with the morning warm-up session also being very wet. The conditions for the start of the race deteriorated with all drivers having a tricky time on their out-lap.
Chandhok started in sixth position but started to slip down the order as he struggled to get grip on the wet tyres. After four laps Chandhok started to catch the cars in front of him at a rapid pace and passed former F1 driver Ricardo Zonta for 9th place before getting punted from the back by Frank Stippler.
Chandhok then dropped to 16th place before he and his team-mate Jan Seyyfarth managed to fight through the field and finish in a creditable 11th position. This is not only Chandhok`s first race in the FIA GT Series but also the first race for his team Setffarth Motorsport.
Chandhok was optimistic of strong season ahead after a mixed start to the season.
"It is a shame that I got hit by Stippler which cost us more than five places. He came and apologized but we lost the opportunity of a good finish. I was really struggling for grip in the early part of the race but we got more experience in the wet and we have some useful data about the tyres for next time around," Chandhok said.
The next race will take place on April 21 at Zolder, Belgium.