Chandhok to race in endurance series
Karun Chandhok will race in the new World Endurance Championship (WEC) in 2012 after signing up with JRM Racing.
Chandhok, who was Team Lotus (now Caterham) third and reserve driver in 2011, had already committed to the new i1 Super Series and after saying he needs to be racing more regularly to stay sharp he has now been confirmed in the WEC. The new series includes the Le Mans 24-Hours and also features the Sebring 12-Hours alongside a number of 6-hour races. Chandhok said the championship was "the next best option" to a Formula One race seat.
"I'm very excited to join JRM Racing for the new World Endurance Championship this year," Chandhok said. "Of course, I am very happy to be racing again. At the end of 2011, we explored the options to race in F1 and when it didn't look like a possibility, I decided to look outside and the WEC presents the next best option. The cars are capable of speeds of over 360kmh, the calendar is fantastic and the quality of teams and drivers are very high."
He also admitted that being the first Indian to race at Le Mans and Sebring would be highlights of the year.
"While I'm looking forward to the whole championship obviously, to be the first Indian to start at the famous Sebring 12hrs and the Le Mans 24hrs races will be a huge honor. I've stood on the podium at the legendary venues of Macau, Silverstone, Spa and Monaco among others in my career so far and Sebring and Le Mans are two other classics which would be great to add to that list one day!"
There is only one confirmed clash with the Formula One calendar, with Sebring being run on the same weekend as the season-opening Australian Grand Prix. Chandhok confirmed to Reuters that he would hope to combine the series with a role in Formula One.
"Of course I want to be in Formula One and I'm in talks with a couple of teams. I think I can juggle both the roles. The WEC calendar also suits me with just one race clashing with F1."