Drivers ready for season finale on an unchartered territory

Kirti Patil
Friday, 2 February 2018

The finale of the series that began in Bahrain is sure to be an exciting contest even as Drugovich needs just one win after he won all four races in the penultimate round in Abu Dhabi.

PUNE: Brazilian racer Felipe Drugovich is on the cusp of winning single-seater Formula3 style car title and needs just one win from four races lined up this weekend at the Madras Motor Race Track in Sriperumbudur in the MRF Challenge 2017 championship.

The finale of the series that began in Bahrain is sure to be an exciting contest even as Drugovich needs just one win after he won all four races in the penultimate round in Abu Dhabi. The Brazilian has 86-point lead coming in to Chennai with 110 points available over the weekend.

“Chennai is always an unchartered territory for all new drivers as it is one of the most challenging circuits on the calendar. It has been refreshing to see another young batch of drivers prove their mettle in the MRF Challenge,” is how Arun Mammen, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, MRF Tyres, commented.

“MMRT has always provided some great racing, including last year’s championship being decided on the last lap here, and we are looking forward to some more great battles this weekend,” he said.

After rounds in Bahrain, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi, the MMRT is all decked up to play host to the finale of the sixth edition of the MRF Challenge in what has become a tradition for the series.

While Drugovich leads the championship, the battle for second place sees three drivers covered by just 9 points. Presley Martono has 174 points, with Rinus van Kalmthout and Julien Falchero tied on 165 points. Van Kalmthout suffered a disappointing weekend in Abu Dhabi but recovered to finish second in the final race.

Martono and Falchero both showed good pace as well so we can expect all three drivers to be fighting for the win this weekend.

UPDATED FACILITIES
The MMRT will feature an updated pits and paddock facilities along with a track being resurfaced recently. The 3.74km circuit is 11 meters wide and has 10 major curves.

Former winners at this circuit include F3 drivers Mick Schumacher, Harrison Newey, Formula V8 Champion Pietro Fittipaldi and Indycar driver Conor Daly.

The four-race weekend will see the first round of the Indian Touring Car championship and Superbike races being held simultaneously as support races.

The MRF Challenge is the only Indian based series racing not only internationally, but also at F1 venues. Both Bahrain and Abu Dhabi are on the Formula One calendar giving drivers a chance to hone their skills on the world class circuits.
 
Drivers Line-up: Nazim Azman (Malaysia); Harri Jones (Australia); Richard Wagner (Germany); Robert Megennis (US); Henning Enqvist (Sweden); Julien Falchero (France); Daniel Nielsen Frost (Singapore); Rinus Van Kalmthout (Netherlands); Perdana Putra Minang (Indonesia); Kurt Hill (Australia); Dylan Young (Australia); Pavan Ravishankar (Singapore); Alex Karkosik (Poland); Michelangelo Amendola (Belgium); Felipe Drugovich (Brazil); Presley Martono (Indonesia); Louis Gachot (France); Manuel Maldonado (Venezuela).

ITINERARY FINAL ROUND
- February 2:
10:30-11:00: Practice 1
1:30-2:00: Practice 2
3:15 - 3:45: Qualifying
- February 3:
11:15-11:55: Race 2
3:30 - 4:10: Race 3
- February 4:
12:15-12:55: Race 3
4:15 - 4:55: Race 4

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