Indian racing driver Karun Chandhok driving for JRM Racing team secured his first ever pole position at the 6 Hours of Shanghai in the eighth and final round of the 2012 FIA World Endurance Championship held at the Shanghai International Circuit for the very first time. The only driver from the UK-based JRM Racing team to have prior experience at the Shanghai circuit, Karun was out in #22 and recorded the fastest lap time on 1.51.003.
The morning session before qualifying witnessed rain and red flag forcing the Indian driver to wait before he could go out on the track. It cost him some crucial track time and as a result he could only complete 10 laps before the qualifying session began. Eventually Karun set a blazing fast lap and secured his first pole of the season finishing 0.016 seconds ahead of #12 Rebellion team.
Karun Chandhok, who was thrilled with his best qualifying of the season, said, “I'm absolutely thrilled with today's result. It’s the first time we've finished as the fastest privateer car and it’s a great feeling as we have promised it for so long. We know tomorrow won't be easy, as we are all very close here, but we can be very happy with what we achieved today. I think we have improved massively during the season and it’s good to be starting ahead of our main rivals. Tomorrow's race will be tough as the Strakka and Rebellion guys are very strong. The team is working hard and doing an excellent job and results like today's gives a confidence boost for tomorrow.”
Nigel Stepney, team manager and chief engineer, said, “A fantastic day for the team. Karun did an excellent job in qualifying and this result shows how the team has come forward since the beginning of the year. This is our best result of the season and even though qualifying is not major for an endurance race, it gives the team a boost and is important for the morale. For sure it will help us tomorrow as we only have the Audis and the Toyota in front of us and it makes it easier to have a clean start, staying out of trouble. Now we look forward to tomorrow and hope that this is just the start of an excellent weekend in Shanghai.”
James Rumsey, team principal, commented, “I'm very happy for the team, to be on pole position is a great result. Tomorrow we will start the race at the clear end of the track and we won't have traffic on the first few laps... I'm already looking forward to it. It’s been a hard season getting up to speed, so it’s nice to be finishing the season on the sharp end. We knew we had the potential to achieve these positive results, it was just a matter of time. After being on the podium for the first time in Japan two weeks ago, I hope tomorrow we can do it again and end the season on a high.”
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