Karun Chandhok and his team Murphy Prototypes made a stunning comeback from second last position to finish seventh in the LMP2 category and 13th overall,at the iconic Le Mans 24 hours race,here today.
The trio of Brendon Hartley,Mark Patterson and Chandhok lost five 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 then drove out of their skin with long three hours stints to bring the team back to seventh position.
For Murphy Prototypes,a problem with a faulty sensor meant an earlier-than-scheduled pit stop for Hartley,who had started the race. He was followed by Patterson – who had a short trip over the gravel early on – and third up was Chandhok.
Murphy Prototypes suffered more bad luck when a GT Porsche nudged 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 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.
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.
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.
“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.
“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,” Chandhok said.
However,2013 Le Mans will always be remembered by the tragic death of Danish racer Allan Simonsen,who crashing on lap four of the race. The GTE-Am Aston Martin racer was 34.
Chandhok said,”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.”