Pune: Brazilian driver Felipe Drugovich continued his unbelievable run at the MRF Challenge in Abu Dhabi by winning the first three races of the weekend. GP3 French driver Julien Falchero finished second in two races and 3rd in the other but was no match for the flying Brazilian. Drugovich has a 71 point lead with 5 races still to go in the Challenge.
In the first race, Starting on pole position, Drugovich got the perfect start with Falchero losing out to Presley Martono. Rinus van Kalmthout’s weekend went from bad to worse when he collided with Robert Wagner putting both drivers out on the spot. This brought out the safety car.
When the safety car went in on lap 4, Drugovich easily pulled away while Martono had his hands full with Falchero. With just two laps remaining, Drugovich coasted to an easy win with Martono holding off Falchero for 2nd. Gachot finished in 4th ahead of Karkosik and Danial Frost.
The race two started in a reverse grid formation, wih Frost making the perfect getaway with Gachot slotting into second, ahead of Falchero and fast starting Drugovich. On lap 2 Gachot tried to pass Frost but ended up hitting him and putting him out at the spot. Falchero tried to take advantage and pass Gachot only for Drugovich to get past both drivers and storm into the lead. The safety car came out as Frost’s car was taken out of harm’s way.
For the third race in succession, Drugovich made the perfect start and led into turn 1 while Falchero lost out to Karkosik and Martono. On lap 3 Martono tried to pass Karkosik but both drivers collided, allowing Falchero to get past in to second place. Drugovich pulled away to another win while Falchero came in second, just ahead of a charging van Kalmthout.
After capping of a perfect day on track, championship leader, Felipe Drugovich, commented, “The car just suits this circuit and I love driving here. The second race was more challenging than the other as I took advantage of the chaos in front of me and got to the front. After that it was all about maintaining the pace and ensuring we finished in front.”
Race 1: 1. Felipe Drugovich 25 mins, 50.742secs; 2. Presley Martono 25:53.085; 3. Julien Falchero 25:53.605
Race 2: 1. Felipe Drugovich 25mins, 52.221secs; 2. Julien Falchero 25:53.605; 3. Alex Karkosik 25:56.089
Race 3: 1. Felipe Drugovich 21mins 58.696secs; 2. Julien Falchero 22:12.174; 3. Rinus Van Kalmthout 22:13.195.