Karthikeyan Team Fails to Qualify for 1,000-km Le Mans Series


Algarve (Portugal), Aug 3: The third round of the Le Mans Series (LMS) at the Autodromo here ended in a disappointing finish for India's Narain Karthikeyan and his teammates after they failed to be classified in the 1,000-km night-race.

Their Audi R10TDI was able to complete only 149 laps, compared to 215 of the winning Pescarolo Judd of Jean-Christophe Boullion and Christophe Tinseau.

Narain was scheduled to drive the second stint in the car after his team-mate Andrew Meyrick, who was doing the first stint.

Unfortunately, 10 laps into the race, Meyrick, while running sixth, and behind their sister car which was being driven by Christian Bakkerud, spun out of control, damaging both Kolles Audi R10TDIs.

Both cars had to limp back to the pits for extensive repairs. Narains' No.14 car had damaged rear-suspension and body-work, whereas the No.15 car had radiator damage as well as bodywork damage.

In bringing the car back to the pits, Meyrick further compounded the problems by �cooking' the clutch. This meant that the car had to spend over 90 minutes in the pits for extensive repairs, losing 66 laps to the leaders.

Narain's stint went quite well, but it was impossible to make up such a huge deficit of time. Nevertheless, Narain does come away from the weekend with some positives.

His previously injured shoulder did not give him any trouble at all, and even after a two-hour long drive he was feeling fine with no pain or tiredness.

His disappointment after the race was apparent. "I'm really upset that we were not able to get the result we deserved. The car was really quick in race-trim. The team had done a fantastic job preparing both cars for the race. I'm sure we had the pace to challenge for a podium finish, if not for the outright win.

"In a six-hour endurance race, it is quite unnecessary to be so aggressive right at the start of the race, especially with your own team-mate. It's such a shame that a huge opportunity for success was thrown away by one single hasty action."


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Title: Karthikeyan Team Fails to Qualify for 1,000-km Le Mans Series

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