The result came after a slow start to the day for Chandhok. The rain and a red flag early in the session meant he had to wait before going out on track for the first time on Saturday.
As a result, he only completed 10 laps to check out the cold and slippery Shanghai track and prepare for the decisive qualifying session. In the end, it made little difference as the Indian secured pole by 0.016 over Rebellion.
Sunday’s race will be the first time Shanghai hosts a WEC round and it will also mark the end of the 2012 championship. Chandhok said: “I am absolutely thrilled with today’s result. It’s the first time we’ve finished as the fastest privateer car and it’s a great feeling as we have promised it for so long.
“We know Sunday won’t be easy as we are all very close here but we can be very happy with what we achieved today. I think we have improved massively during the season and it’s good to be starting ahead of our main rivals.
“Sunday’s race will be tough as the Strakka and Rebellion guys are very strong. The team is working hard and doing an excellent job and results like today’s gives a confidence boost for tomorrow,” he added.