Having already signed up to contest the main GP2 Series season with Tiago Monteiro's Ocean Racing Technology Team, Karun Chandhok will get the chance of an early debut with his new outfit when he takes part in the Asia Series finale in Bahrain.
The event will mark the first race outing of the year for the Indian driver, with the deal to race in Bahrain having come about by a desire from both parties to get extra seat time ahead of the start of the regular season.
“It's been nearly seven months since the last GP2 race of 2008 so I'm really looking forward to this weekend,” Chandhok said. “While the GP2 European series is the most important programme, Tiago and I both felt it would be useful to do a weekend of the Asian series together as a pre-cursor to the main series.
“ORT are a new team and it will be the first time I'll be working with the engineers and mechanics on a race weekend so it will be a good test for us to understand each other's working practices.”
Chandhok ran strongly in Bahrain last season with iSport but came away from the weekend without any points, something he will be keen to avoid this time around.
“I qualified on the front row and was leading both races last year, but came away with no points!” he said. “We were really unlucky not to win after a safety car period in race one cost me the lead and then Diego Nunes took me out of the lead in race two. I like the Bahrain International Circuit and have generally been strong there in the past so it'll be interesting to go back there this time with ORT. Hopefully we can have a bit more luck!”