Indian racing driver Karun Chandhok will return to the historic Le Mans 24 hours race this weekend at the La Sarthe circuit in the North of France.

Chandhok will drive the Nissan V8-powered Oreca 03 in the race that is is widely regarded as part of the Triple Crown of Motorsport, along with the F1 Monaco Grand Prix and the Indianapolis 500.

Chandhok is the only Indian on the grid amongst 166 drivers this year and created history last year by becoming the first and only Indian to compete in and finish the race, when he finished in 6th place overall for JRM Racing.

Chandhok could not hide his excitement about returning to what he considers one of the best races in the world: "I'm very excited to be back at Le Mans," he said.

"Racing here last year, and being the first Indian to compete in and finish the historic 24 hours was one of the highlights of my career. This race is certainly right up there in terms of the Monaco F1 GP in terms of prestige but in terms of getting a result is much harder I think.

"It's such a long race and certainly feels like a very long 24 hours hoping that the car runs reliably."

Chandhok also says he is encouraged by the competitiveness of the LMP2 category and the effort the team is putting in: "It's been interesting for me to drive the LMP2 car this year," he added.

"The speed in the corners is pretty much the same as the LMP1 car and some times even faster as they are lighter, but the straight line speeds are a bit less.

"This is such a hard race to get right - the reliability of the car is probably more critical than outright speed although you do need both. I have two good team-mates in Brendon Hartley, who I know from both our time as Red Bull F1 test drivers, and Mark Patterson from America who is a Le Mans rookie but is learning fast."

This year's Le Mans 24 hours race will mark the 90th anniversary of the race, and holds a race distance of more than 5000km.



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