Gearbox failure costs Karun Chandhok and Murphy Prototypes yet another podium finish

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The former Formula 1 driver was disappointed after losing out on another podium finish for the second race in a row.

Imola - Indian racing driver Karun Chandhok and his team Murphy Prototypes were forced to retire from Round 2 of the European Le Mans Series (ELMS) at Imola in Italy due to a gearbox failure. The team was running in 2nd place when they were first given a drive through penalty and then suffered a differential failure on the very next lap. Chandhok, who is making his first visit to the Autodromo Enzo & Dino Ferrari in Imola, topped the timesheets in the first practice session held yesterday but could not get a lap in at the race.

Starting round two of the 2014 European Le Mans Series from row two on the grid in fourth position, Rodolfo Gonzalez started the race for the Hertz Car Sales sponsored team. Initially holding his fourth position, Gonzalez moved into third place before making an early pitstop to replace a left rear tyre. During the middle part of the race, Rodolfo set the fastest lap and with it moved up to second position. However his luck would soon change with a stop and go penalty quickly followed by retirement with differential failure.

Confident in the knowledge that both their car and the new driver line up of Karun Chandhok, Nathanael Berthon and Rodolfo Gonzalez are very fast, the Murphy Prototypes team begin their preparation for their third participation in the 24 Hours of Le Mans with the official test on Saturday 31st May and Sunday 1st June.

The former Formula 1 driver was disappointed after losing out on another podium finish for the second race in a row. Karun commented, “Obviously it's very disappointing this weekend. Unfortunately Rodolfo is in his learning stage in Sportscar racing and he had one too many incidents which has cost us, but he will learn hopefully and its better he does his learning now than at Le Mans. I think we could have had a podium at this race. Looking ahead to Le Mans it’s a long week so we just have to pace ourselves. As a team we’ve got two rookies so we just need to be patient and remember that it’s a 24 hour race.”

Greg Murphy, Owner, Murphy Prototypes was also unable to hide his disappointment. He said, “Naturally we’re very disappointed not to have finished the race today. We came into this weekend with a very strong driver lineup and a car that we knew could win. However this was always going to be a test for Le Mans in June and I still believe we’ve got a really fast driver lineup and we should be in really good shape for the official Le Mans test in two weeks.”.

Karun was also quick to thank his long time supporters. He said, "I would like to thank my long term supporters JK Tyre, with whom I am entering into my 15th year of association as well as Tag Heuer, Sidvin and the AVT group who have all been very supportive towards my Le Mans campaign."

Karun Chandhok

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About this article
Series ELMS
Article type Race reports
Tags elms, imola, karun chandhok, murphy prototypes, nathanael berthon, rodolfo gonzalez