To start their maiden weekend in the UK’s LMP3 Cup, Karun Chandhok and Steve Tandy started with a seventh place finish in practice at Donington Park, completing a handy 38 laps on the new Ligier JS P3 machinery.
In qualifying, the Indo-Brit duo were ninth with a time of 1m05.228s, slightly off pace from their practice time, as Paul Bailey/Andy Schulz claimed pole from United Autosports’ Christian England/Andrew Evans and Tony Wells/Matt Bell.
The second qualifying on Sunday had Baily and Schulz taking another pole from the pair of England/Evans and Bell/Wells.
With an improved time of 1m04.738s, Chandhok and Tandy were eighth in the order for the final race.
It was a steady first race for the pair of Chandhok and Tandy, who slowly picked their rivals to make their way up to fifth in the order.
At the front, the pit stops changed the course of the race with Colin Noble and Alastair McCaig emerging with early leaders England/Evans chasing them for the top spot.
Behind, Chandhok/Tandy got up to fourth after a mistake from Sarah Moore (with Richard Dean), while Jamie Spence (with Jason Rishover) cleared Bell (with Wells) for third.
The #79 pair of Noble and McCaig eventually took the win after Evans suffered damage and dropped off the pack, allowing Spence and Rishover finish second.
A late drama saw Bell suffer through a slow puncture, putting Chandhok in the position to sneak through and complete the podium on T-Sport’s maiden outing in the LMP3 Cup.
I really enjoyed it, considering we hadn’t turned a wheel before this morning. It’s been a lot of fun,” he said after the race. “T-Sport are a good team and with testing they should be up there.
“With a little set up we got within three tenths of fastest lap, so when they come back there’s no reason why they can’t be one of the top teams.”
A problem at the start of the race for pole-sitters Baily and Schulz saw them drop down the order, allowing England and Evans to take charge from teammates Bell and Wells.
Behind, a good start from Tandy and Chandhok saw them in seventh battling with the pairs of Spence & Rishover and Mike Newbould & Thomas Randle.
Prior to the pit stops, the Indo-British pair lost a place to Newbould and Randle at the same time as Spence and Rishover retired from the race.
Meanwhile, the pit stop once again changed the scenario of the race with Noble and MaCaig emerging as the winners to take the lead.
The once-leading pair of England and Evans started to drop out to eventually retire from the race, after crashing at Turn 2 bringing out the red flag, which resulted in an early end to the second race.
The remaining United Autosports of Bell and Wells were second with Dean and Moore completing the Top 3.
Meanwhile, Chandhok and Tandy had an intense battle at hands, being chased by Jack Butel & Dean Gibbs and Newbould & Randle.
But the early end to the race meant Chandhok and Tandy ended up fourth, gaining a place due to the incident with the #2 car.