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Chandhok set for fifth Le Mans appearance this weekend

Press Trust of India  |  Le Mans (France) 

Seasoned Indian driver Karun Chandok, who returns to the iconic 24 Hours of Le Mans endurance race after a one-year gap, has a tougher task at hand this weekend with debutant team Tockwith Ligier in the LMP2 class.

Chandhok, who is back here for the fifth time and remains the only Indian to compete in the race, drove in last month's FIA WEC 6 Hours of Spa to get more comfortable with the car.

He will share the racing duty with young debutant Philip Hanson and Nigel Moore.

Also now a well-known Formula One pundit, the former Grand Prix driver says he can't wait to get back racing at Le Mans.

"Realistically, I'm with a rookie team and with a rookie team-mate who's 17 years old so it's going to be a challenge to get a strong result," he said.

"We're in a Ligier chassis and judging by the official test session, we don't seem to have the pace of the Oreca chassis who looked very strong.

"It's a 24 hour race and lots can happen so we'll just keep our heads down and work away but I think if we get in the top 6 we would have done very well considering all this," said Chandhok.

The race draws a live audience of 300,000 spectators and forms part of the trio of blue ribband events in motorsports, along with the Monaco Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500.

The race starts at 3pm on Saturday and runs until 3pm on Sunday. The grid is divided into four different categories - LMP1, LMP2, GTE-Pro and GTE-Am.

The LMP2 class where Tockwith Motorsport are competing, is having something of a resurgence.

With 25 cars on the grid, Chandhok will be racing alongside several drivers that he has competed against over the years including Bruno Senna, Nico Prost, Nelson Piquet jnr, and Jean Eric Vergne.

"The grid in LMP2 this year is going to feature one of the strongest ever line-ups. There are a lot of experienced teams and drivers and I'm under no illusions of how difficult the task ahead will be as a rookie team heading to Le Mans," added Chandhok.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Wed, June 14 2017. 18:07 IST