JRM Racing Confirms Karun Chandhok for FIA World Endurance Championship

January 12: Indian Formula 1 ace Karun Chandhok today confirmed his participation in the FIA World Endurance Championship (WEC) with JRM Racing. The newly launched FIA WEC includes the historic Le Mans 24hrs and Sebring 12hrs races, apart from races at fan favourite F1 venues Spa-Francorrchamps, Silverstone and Interlagos. This is the first endurance series of world championship status since the World Sportscar Championship, which ended in 1992.

Karun Chandhok, who has been in Formula One over the last two years with Hispania Racing and Team Lotus F1 is very excited about this new challenge. "I'm very excited to join JRM Racing for the new World Endurance Championship this year. 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."

The move to sportscar endurance racing represents a shift for Karun from single-seater sprint racing both in terms of race distance and also now sharing a car with 2 other drivers. The other two drivers for JRM Racing this year will be David Brabham and Peter Dumbreck who are well known names in the world of Sportscars.

"Doing races which are 6, 12 and even 24 hours are going to be a new challenge. Together with the works Audi and Peugeot the Acura LMP1 car that the JRM Racing Team have acquired should be one of the most competitive cars. James Rumsey who owns the team and Nigel Stepney who worked with the Ferrari F1 team in the Schumacher glory days and leads the technical side seem extremely motivated to do a good job" added Chandhok.

The series will feature multiple classes of cars competing in endurance races, with sports prototypes competing in the Le Mans Prototype categories, and production-based grand tourers competing in the GT Endurance categories. The iconic Le Mans 24hrs race is one of the jewels in the crown for any motorsport driver along with the Monaco Grand Prix and the Indy 500.

Chandhok, like any other motorsport driver can't wait to create history in this iconic race. "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!"

After winning the 2011 FIA GT1 World Championship with Nissan, The British-based JRM Racing will partner with Honda Performance Developments to enter the brand new FIA World Endurance Championship in the LMP1 class.  JRM Racing will enter a single LMP1 Honda Performance.

Development ARX-03a powered by a specially designed and tested 3.5-litre naturally aspirated V8 engine. The ARX-03a is currently hailed as the most competitive petrol Le Mans Prototype around.

JRM Racing Team owner James Rumsey was delighted to confirm Chandhok as one of the drivers, commenting "I am very pleased that Karun has agreed to drive for JRM Racing this year. Together with his F1 experience, he will bring a new dimension to the team and, alongside David and Peter, we now have a very strong line-up for the World Endurance Championship. Although this will be Karun's first year in sportscars, I have every confidence that he will be one of the quickest drivers on the grid."

2012 FIA World Endurance Championship Calendar:

  • March 17th: Sebring 12-Hours (USA)
  • May 5th: Spa-Francorrchamps 6-Hours (Belgium)
  • June 17th: 80th Le Mans 24-Hours (France)
  • August 25th: Silverstone 6-Hours (UK)
  • September 16th: Interlagos 6-Hours (Brazil)
  • September 30th: Mount Fuji 6-Hours (Japan)
  • October 20th: Bahrain 6-Hours (Bahrain)
  • November 11th/18th: China 6-Hours (China)