19/06/2012

Le Mans 24-hour race review!

Result: Brabham/Chandhok/Dumbreck: 6th (overall & in class).

A fantastic day at Le Mans for Karun Chandhok and the JRM team!

(Karun posing with his JRM racecar)

Here is a breakdown of how the cars' position changed during the 24-hours:

Start: 11th
Hour 1: 9th (+3:29.011 behind the leader)
Hour 2: 10th (+1 lap)
Hour 3: 9th
(+1 lap)
Hour 4: 9th (+2 laps)
Hour 5: 8th (+3 laps)
Hour 6: 7th (+2 laps)
Hour 7: 6th (+3 laps)
Hour 8: 16th (+9 laps)
Hour 9: 13th (+10 laps)
Hour 10: 10th (+10 laps)
Hour 11: 8th (+11 laps)
Hour 12: 12th (+13 laps) 

Hour 13: 10th (+14 laps)
Hour 14: 9th (+14 laps)
Hour 15: 8th (+15 laps)
Hour 16: 7th (+16 laps)
Hour 17: 7th (+16 laps)
Hour 18: 7th (+17 laps)
Hour 19: 6th (+18 laps)
Hour 20:
6th (+18 laps)
Hour 21:
6th (+19 laps)
Hour 22:
6th (+19 laps)
Hour 23:
6th (+21 laps)
Hour 24:
6th (+21 laps)

A graphical representation:

(click to enlarge)

Normally we'd just post quotes from Karun, but as this race was such a team effort, here is what everyone had to say:

James Rumsey (JRM team principal):
"Before the race I said we would be thrilled to finish the race. That was an underestimation – we are absolutely overjoyed. It's only our third ever event as a team and our first Le Mans so to finish, and to finish well, is almost indescribable. The drivers all drove very, very well and came together as a crew. David was invaluable in giving us his experience, Peter did a great job through the night – particularly after the puncture when things could have gone very wrong – and Karun did incredibly well to be so consistent on his first visit here. This week has tested everyone – we've had a lot of work, lots of late nights and yet everyone has pulled together to achieve this result. I am so proud of everyone and am sure that this is just the start of something very big. Watch this space".

Nigel Stepney (JRM chief engineer/team manager):
"I've been in motorsport for longer than I care to remember, but this is a feeling that goes beyond anything I've experienced before. The sheer amount of effort that's gone into the result in the months and weeks before this has tested everyone and it’s incredible that we have a result that justifies the workload. We’ve had more than our share of problems leading up to the race this week and a couple of minor issues in the race, but really reliability has been pretty good – the only issues we had were incidentals. There is a lot of luck in Le Mans and while we were lucky today, the preparation that’s gone in before has helped us get a bit of luck for ourselves".

David Brabham (JRM driver):
"What a journey we've had as a team today - and actually since the start of the year. We've done two races as a team and come to Le Mans for the very first time so to run in the top six and run as well as we have, with no real reliability issues, is an amazing achievement. Since the start of this programme the guys have been up against it as the car came so late, and even this week they've been working hard to get everything ready and prepared. There have been a lot of very late nights so I am very proud of everyone in the team who has worked so hard to achieve this result".

Karun Chandhok (JRM driver):
"Driving for nine of the last 36 hours and sleeping for four makes for a pretty tiring ratio! I ended up doing the graveyard shift from 2 – 5am, which was very special and exhausting in equal measure. It made me really understand the unique, special nature of this race. Overall a very good race for us and it feels great to be the only Indian to have finished the Le Mans 24hr race. The whole team worked tirelessly and it is a great reward for all their hard work. We have all been flat out since the first test here. I am absolutely exhausted and look forward to taking a nice long break. To finish second amongst the privateer teams is huge so fantastic result all around".

Peter Dumbreck (JRM driver):
"The last stint was so nerve-wracking; I kept listening to every noise, vibration and little twitch thinking what was it?! This result means so much to everyone that I was concentrating so hard at the end to give them the result they deserved. If anyone had anyone offered us that before this week we would have gladly taken it. We thought it would be a miracle to finish, so I think we have to thank someone up there … David and I have both had our share of ups and downs in Le Mans so it’s great to finally get a good result - it's something to build on for next year! Karun did a superb job in his first 24 hour race as well - I think as a driving trio we couldn't have done any more".

If you read our race preview feature (here), you'll know that the drivers are competing for the Drivers' World Championship and the team, JRM, are competing for the LMP1 Trophy.

The team finished 6th overall at Le Mans. The team who finished 3rd, Audi Sport North America, aren't part of the World Endurance Championship and therefore they are excluded from point scoring. This means that the JRM drivers get the points for 5th place (20 points; usually this would be ten but all Le Mans points are doubled). This puts all the drivers joint 7th in the championship on 22.5 points.

As for the LMP1 trophy, the teams who finished Le Mans 1st, 2nd and 5th are part of the Manufacturers' World Championship so don't score in the LMP1 trophy. And as we already mentioned the team in 3rd are excluded from point scoring. This means JRM score the points allocated for 2nd place! That's 36 points (usually 18, but doubled for Le Mans).

The standings are as follows:

LMP1 trophy standings
1) Rebellion Racing (87 points)
2) JRM (63)
3) Strakka Racing (57)
4) Pescarolo Team (25)
5) OAK Racing (8)

Karun's team, JRM, are really in the hunt for this LMP1 title :-)

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