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Updated: March 25, 2013 15:27 IST

Chandhok confirmed for GT1 World Series

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Karun Chandhok during a press conference in New Delhi. File photo: S. Subramanium
The Hindu Karun Chandhok during a press conference in New Delhi. File photo: S. Subramanium

Indian racing driver Karun Chandhok on Monday confirmed his drive in the FIA GT Series in a last minute deal for Seyffarth Racing.

The former Formula 1 driver will be joined in the car by Jan Seyffarth, who has been competing in the German GT series for his family run team.

Chandhok joins Armaan Ebrahim, who became the first Indian driver to be confirmed in the FIA GT 1 World Series. Ebrahim signed a full one-year contract with BMW Sports Trophy — Team India GT 1 Team.

The newly-reformed FIA GT Series includes six rounds with the first race taking place in Nogaro, France April 1. Chandhok will join Ricardo Zonta as the only two former F1 driver’s on the grid, alongside nine-time rally champion Sebastien Loeb.

Chandhok said, “I am very happy to have secured a last minute deal to drive in the FIA GT Series. I tested the car last week and it seems fun to drive but we will never know our true pace till the first race. I would like to thank Stephane Ratel (Series Promoter) and Rr Seyffarth (Team Principal) for making this happen on such short notice.”

Chandhok also confirmed that he is close to securing a drive for the prestigious Le Mans 24hrs, where he finished in sixth last year. Chandhok raced in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) last year with JRM and was poised to continue with the team when they had to pull out due to financial reasons.

“I really enjoyed last year with JRM in WEC and finishing sixth at Le Mans was easily one of the highlights of my racing career along with racing at Monaco and winning the GP2 race in Spa. I am close to signing with an LMP2 team for the Le Mans 24hrs and can’t wait to go race again over there. However, for now my focus will be on the FIA GT Series,” he added.

Leading car manufacturer’s have confirmed their entry for the 2013 FIA GT Series. The entry list includes Ferrari, BMW, Mercedes, Aston Martin, Audi, Lamborghini, McLaren, Ford and Porsche. The new look series starts with 26 GT cars.

Each FIA GT Series race weekend consists of two races over a weekend and will have two free practice sessions of 80 minutes each which will take place Friday. Qualifying involves a knock-out system similar to Formula 1, in which three sessions are held and following each session, the slowest cars are eliminated and their grid positions set.

The first race of each weekend is a qualifying race, the results of which determine the starting grid for the second race awarding full championship points. Each car is required to change tyres and drivers at least once during each race. The points system for the series sees the top 10 finishers in the second race earning points and only the top three finishers in the qualifying race earn points.

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