MIXED FORTUNES FOR CHANDHOK AT THE BELGIAN GP Spa-Francorrchamps, Belgium, August 30, 2009: Indian racing sensation Karun Chandhok put in yet another fighting drive from the back of the gird to finish seventh in the GP2 race at Belgium.
MIXED FORTUNES FOR CHANDHOK AT THE BELGIAN GP
Spa-Francorrchamps, Belgium, August 30, 2009: Indian racing sensation Karun Chandhok put in yet another fighting drive from the back of the gird to finish seventh in the GP2 race at Belgium. Chandhok had earlier retired from the feature race after struggling with the handling of his car.
The weekend started off with a damp track for practice, in which all drivers started off with wet tyres. Chandhok went 6th on his first lap and remained in that position for the first half of practice. The track started to dry during the last couple of minutes of the session and the lap times began to tumble with drivers opting for slick tyres. Chandhok opted not to go out and instead decided to save his tyres for qualifying and the race. On a dry track for qualifying, Chandhok and his team-mate Parente started off strongly and occupied the first two positions for majority of the session. Positions were swapped regularly in what turned out to be one of the closest qualifying sessions ever. Chandhok finished in 6th place, a mere two-tenths away from pole.
Chandhok struggled in the feature race with a car that was handling very poorly. He was struggling in the race fighting hard to keep his car on track in 6th place. As the race went on the car become impossible to drive and Chandhok spun out of the race. Chandhok commented, "It is shame that we were only two tenths off in qualifying and still in 6th position. This just shows how close all the cars were over here. Unfortunately on my fastest lap I caught Di Grassi which made me lose time. I had a good start to the feature race but for some reason we had a big imbalance in the car. I was really struggling from lap 4 onwards losing 1-2 seconds a lap and was struggling before I finally collided with Davide Rigon and had to retire from the race. It is a shame as we had a good car in qualifying and should have carried on in the race. I'm still not entirely clear as to what problem we had but for sure it wasn't normal."
The retirement forced Chandhok to start in 18th place but had another great first lap (as in Valencia last week) and moved up to 13th by the end of the first lap. He fought his way up to 10th before the safety car came out when Maldonado and Kobayashi crashed. This put him in 8th place before overtaking Valsecchi to finish in 7th place, just outside the points.
Speaking on the sprint race Chandhok said, "We had a great car today but starting in 18th place this is the best that we could do. After yesterday's race we made some major changes to the car and it felt very good to drive. This has always been my favourite circuit so I enjoyed driving here today. It is disappointing that we did not have the same car yesterday but this is racing."
Chandhok is now looking forward to the next race at Monza, Italy, which takes place in two weeks. Chandhok is supported by Punj Lloyd, JK Tyre and Amaron.