India’s Karun Chandhok, driving for JRM Racing, set the eighth-fastest time in the qualifier for round two of the FIA World Endurance Championship on Friday.
Chandhok earned the position amid an overall grid of 41 cars.
The Chennai-based driver said he was confident of a better showing in the six-hour race Saturday.
“The car ran well, even though we were trying different set-ups during the practice sessions and qualifying, which had an effect on our pace. I feel there is more to come and, with a good clean run tomorrow, I see no reason why we won’t be able to improve on our start position,” said Chandhok, who has won a GP2 round at the iconic circuit.
Having arrived here earlier this week, Chandhok’s team prepared the car for his first competitive outing since the opening round of the Championship at Sebring in March. With three practice sessions – two Thursday and one Friday – the intention was to build on the car’s proven performance and set up the machine specifically for Spa’s unique layout.
Although running well in the first of the 1.5-hour practice sessions, with David Brabham and Chandhok behind the wheel, the car developed a braking issue that caused the rear wheels to lock momentarily. Deciding that fixing the problem would be more important than continued running, the team opted not to complete the second-session.
Team Manager and Head of Engineering Nigel Stepney commented, “The problems in practice meant we didn’t do all we wanted in terms of set-ups, so to start eighth is very promising. Six hours of running at Spa is a long time and, if we can make a few more improvements, then we should be on target for another good run. Of course, at this track the weather can also play a part, which could certainly shake things up.”