Le Mans, France: Murphy Prototypes will start the 24 Hours of Le Mans sixth on the LMP2 grid after their pro driver Karun Chandhok suffered a crash at the Circuit de la Sarthe here.
Chandhok, the only Indian to take part in the iconic sports car endurance race for the third year running, was all set to qualify in the top three yesterday when he crashed into the Indianapolis corner at 270km/h before walking away unhurt.
The former Formula 1 driver will be joined by Rodolfo Gonzalez and Nathanel Berthon as he attempts to put his Nissan V8-powered Oreca 03 on the podium.
A mere half a second separated the top six cars in LMP2 in yet another evening of mixed sessions with both red and yellow flags disrupting the running. The team`s best time in Qualifying Practice Two was set by Berthon.
Chandhok had managed to put the car in second position in the first practice session. In last week`s test, he was also second fastest in his category.
With largely cosmetic damage owing to the crash, the Murphy Prototypes team is confident that the car will be ready to take its place on the grid for the race starting Saturday afternoon.
"Well obviously it`s a disappointing end for the boys and for myself. It was a really weird accident that caught me out by surprise. I came out of Indianapolis and on the exit the car just snapped to the right," said Chandhok.
"Fortunately, it went quite sharply to the right and hit the barrier square on so the front crash structure seemed to absorb the impact. I am glad I have the day today to recover but am confident of being strong for tomorrow. The car has been competitive all week and we`ve got a good team of guys to get it ready for the race so we should be in good shape," he added.
I was down 2-1 in the third it was really tight and it was really tough.