Incredible comeback by Chandhok's Team as they finish in Le Mans 24 Hours

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Murphy Prototypes came back from second last place in the LMP2 category to finish in 7th position as the Le Mans 24 ours.

Le Mans, France: Indian racing driver Karun Chandhok and his team Murphy Prototypes came back from second last place in the LMP2 category to finish in 7th position as the Le Mans 24 ours.

#48 Murphy Prototypes Oreca 03 Nissan: Mark Patterson, Karun Chandhok, Brendon Hartley
#48 Murphy Prototypes Oreca 03 Nissan: Mark Patterson, Karun Chandhok, Brendon Hartley

Photo by: Eric Gilbert

Murphy Prototype and their drivers Brendon Hartley, Mark Patterson and Karun Chandhok lost 5 laps in the first couple of hours and then Patterson suffered a spin to put the team in second last and 37th overall. Chandhok and Hartley, in the LMP2 Nissan V8-powered Oreca 03, drove out of their skin with long 3 hour stints to claw the team back into 7th position and 13th overall.

For Murphy Prototypes, a problem with a faulty sensor meant an earlier-than-scheduled pit stop for Brendon Hartley, who had started the race for us. He was followed by Mark Patterson - who had a short trip over the gravel early on - and third up was Karun Chandhok.

Murphy Prototypes suffered more bad luck when a GT Porsche nudged Mark Patterson into the gravel, and a safety car for debris meant the no. 48 was held at the end of the pitlane at the start of Karun Chandhok’s first stint. Thereafter, Chandhok lapped as quickly as the leaders and caught up to the HVM-Status Lola before handing back to Patterson.

Chandhok, who is supported by JK Tyre and Tag Heuer, commented , "We lost 5 laps in the first 3 hours which was a shame. We had to change the ECU twice and then Mark unfortunately went off. This dropped us to second last in class and 37th overall."

Murphy Prototypes made efficient progress in the night stint with Hartley and Chandhok behind the wheel, dipping into the 3:41s as the fastest car in its class from time to time, encountering no significant problems. After stellar night stints from Hartley and Chandhok, Murphy Prototypes made it back into the top 10 in LMP2 and were within reach of the Level 5 Racing team.

Mark Patterson had a brief scare when Benoit Treluyer brushed against him attempting to get his lap back from Alex Wurz, but no major damage was inflicted.

Chandhok was confident of the pace in the car and was frustrated to not get more at the end. He said, "We were quick which made it more irritating. At night I was quickest on the track in the wet and dry and Brendon was fastest on track this morning. We dragged ourselves back up to 7th in class and 13th overall from nowhere."

Chandhok could not hide his excitement at another successful Le Mans 24 hours race. He commented, " I thoroughly enjoyed the experience once again and can't wait to come back year after year. Racing here in the day and night is one of the most special experiences in the world.

The night stint was much harder this year ! I was in the car from 2:30am to 6:20am which was very tough but we made up big time in the leaders especially when it rained in the dark.

Sadly, the first reports from 2013 Le Mans will always be remembered by the news that Danish racer Allan Simonsen died shortly after crashing on lap four of the race. The GTE-Am Aston Martin racer was 34.

Chandhok commented on the crash, "I have to send out my condolences to the family of Allan Simonsen and the entire Aston Martin Racing team. It's the first time I've been at a race when someone else competing has been killed and it's a huge shock."

Karun Chandhok

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About this article
Series LEMANS
Article type Race report
Tags chandhok, hartley, lemans, murphy prototypes, nissan, oreca, patterson