JRM Racing makes it debut at Le Mans with the Honda HPD ARX-03a driven by the trio of Karun Chandhok, David Brabham and Peter Dumbreck. The team is in the good hands of Nigel Stepney, chief engineer and team manager.
JRM Racing will start 11th on the grid after their best qualifying time of 3:35.421.
The practice session went well for JRM with David recording the team’s best time of 3:34.641, before handing over the wheel to Karun. Karun reported some instability on the rear of the car on his second run and ran wide into the gravel on the first corner. Peter Dumbreck posted the team’s fastest time of 3:37.088 in the Qualifying Session 1. Karun had another mishap, this time at Tertre Rouge when he drove over some debris and the car was in the air momentarily. Upon landing back on track, the gearbox cracked. This meant the team has to swap the gearbox, and they decided to swap the engine as well, which they would have to anyway do on race day. This would give the team more time on race day for further optimization.
This meant the team has to skip out on Qualifying Session 2, but Peter Dumbreck made up for the lost time, posting a 3:35.421 in Qualifying Session 3 which puts the team 11th on the grid.
The LMP1 Honda Performance Development ARX-03a is 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.
Check out Karun’s track guide to Le Mans!
Driver & Team Quotes
I didn’t go out in the car today as I completed more laps yesterday, so it wasn’t a major issue. It’s been a positive practice session as we put all the race gear in and made some changes that have given us a better direction for the race. We’ve come a long way already – I’m sure we can still make some headway before the race.
Yesterday I hit some debris through Tertre Rouge and the car felt like it took off. We didn’t know until we checked thoroughly overnight but the impact of coming back to ground cracked the gearbox. The team then decided to change the engine, which was pretty logical considering we were changing tomorrow anyway. Although I would have liked to drive tonight, I’m just looking forward to getting behind the wheel at my first Le Mans on Saturday.
It’s been a tough day with a fair few issues but we always knew that as a rookie team in the top class it was going to be that way. The team acted very professionally to get through all the changes and condense the programme into the final session. It will be good to have the day’s break tomorrow to fully understand the information we have and how we can make the most of the race.
Nigel Stepney, chief engineer and team manager
It’s a great feeling to qualify for our first-ever Le Mans. This being our debut, we knew there could possibly be some hitches so we took the precaution of having all our drivers do a minimum of five laps yesterday evening. As it happens this worked out well as we lost the earlier session when we changed the gearbox and the engine. Although we’re not 100% on the set up just yet, clearly our goal has got to be getting to the end and seeing where we are at the finish.