Top-10 finish for Armaan, Karun
Zandvoort - India’s Armaan Ebrahim and his team BMW Sports Trophy Team India bagged a third place in Pro-Am category and finished 10th overall while compatriot Karun Chandhok, with Seyffarth Motorsport, came in fourth despite a poor qualifying session in the FIA GT World Series here Sunday.
Having scored their maiden podium by finishing second Saturday, BMW Team India, represented by Armaan and Dutchman Melroy Heemskerk, was on their way to go one better Sunday but a delay during the driver change threw a spanner in the works.
Chandhok and Seyffarth had qualified in 16th position and finished eighth in the qualifying race before finishing fourth in the main race Sunday along with teammate Jan Seyffarth.
Armaan started the race from ninth, but like Saturday, a huge incident on the opening lap led the race being red-flagged. The restart saw him holding his position and challenging the train of cars ahead.
After holding off nine-time WRC champion Sebastien Loeb in his McLaren MP4-12C, Armaan pitted for the mandatory driver change on lap 14 but disaster was in store as a delay in driver change cost the team five positions.
“As soon as I tried to unbuckle (the seatbelt) myself, it refused to release despite repeated efforts. Then we had the crew on it and it took forever for me to come out and buckle Melroy (teammate) back in,” he said.
Thereafter, Melroy did his best to claw back lost time but simply ran out of laps and ultimately finished 10th overall and third in the Pro-Am class.
Having finished a brilliant race weekend, Armaan will now head to Munich, the headquarters of BMW AG, to mark the culmination of the Dynamic 1 contest run by BMW India. Armaan will join cricket legend and BMW brand ambassador Sachin Tendulkar, both racing the new BMW 1 series car and hosting the winners of the Dynamic 1 contest.
For Chandhok and his team, the weekend started off well as they finished eighth and 11th in the free practice sessions. Going into qualifying Saturday, the team struggled with lack of grip. Qualifying was a total struggle for Seyffarth Motorsport with the team finishing in a lowly 16th position.
The race pace seemed to be a lot better as the team moved up the order in the qualification race to finish a creditable eighth after starting 16th.
Chandhok said: “I am extremely happy to finish in fourth after our qualifying position yesterday. We could not find any grip in qualifying and had to make a host of changes for the race. The changes seemed to work as the car was much better in the race. To move up from 16th to eighth was excellent and the car felt great. I managed to set the fifth fastest lap in the race which clearly showed our car improved.”
Chandhok had a great start in the main race and quickly moved up to sixth at the end of the first lap. Jan Seyffarth took over for the second half of the race and held off Alvaro Parente of Loeb Racing to finish fourth.