Dubai 24: Karun Chandhok preview

CHANDHOK SET FOR DUBAI 24 HOUR RACE Indian racing ace to join Empire Motorsport for endurance debut DUBAI, 8th Jan 2009 - Karun Chandhok has been invited to drive in the 2009 24hr Dubai Endurance Race to be held at the Dubai Autodrome this...

CHANDHOK SET FOR DUBAI 24 HOUR RACE

Indian racing ace to join Empire Motorsport for endurance debut

DUBAI, 8th Jan 2009 - Karun Chandhok has been invited to drive in the 2009 24hr Dubai Endurance Race to be held at the Dubai Autodrome this weekend. The race starts at 2pm on Friday the 9th of January and runs until 2pm on Saturday. The Indian racing ace has been called in to strengthen the Empire Motorsport Team's driving lineup in the only factory-supported Lotus 211 in the race. With a total of 88 cars across 7 different categories entered, the Dubai 24 hour race is turning into a highly prestigious and popular event for the world of endurance racing.

Lotus Sport UK will bring the expertise of a chassis and calibration engineers together with a senior race engineer. "The involvement and support from Lotus Sport UK has brought the team to a new level of competitiveness as their technical and engineering expertise has strengthened the team's performance.", said Ashraff Dewal, Team principal.

Empire Motorsports' driver Denis Lian who has known Karun since they competed together in 2001, when the Indian became the Formula Asia Champion, had asked Karun if he was keen to race with the team. "I've never done an endurance race before and since there was no clash with any of my other plans for 2009, I agreed to join the team. I think it's good for a driver to use the off-season to try new things and the Lotus name carries so much history with it which makes the drive more interesting and attractive!" said Karun who's recent career has involved wins in the GP2 series and testing with the Red Bull Racing Formula 1 Team.

"The race will be a real eye-opener for me I think as I'm used to pushing 100% for the full 90 minutes of a GP2 race whereas now I'll be driving 6 times that distance ! Also, racing at night is a totally new experience for me and I think managing the traffic with 88 cars on track is going to be quite tricky. All in all, I have to say I'm really looking forward to it ! At the moment this is very much a one off and I am still looking to close out my deal for the 2009 GP2 series." added Chandhok.

"We're very lucky to have a GP2 race winner and current Formula 1 test driver on board. It's a testament of the team's professionalism that a driver of Karun's calibre will choose to drive for us." said driver, Denis Lian.

Partnering Chandhok and Lian in the Lotus is Australian James Mitchell, who has been a regular at endurance races for the past few seasons. The team is competing in the A5 category against a host of top European teams in cars such as the BMW Z4, the Nissan 350Z and the Porsche 911.

-credit: karunchandhok.com

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About this article
Series Endurance
Drivers Karun Chandhok , James Mitchell
Teams Red Bull Racing