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MRF Challenge 2017 finale: Drivers relishing chance at MMRT in Chennai

190   //    01 Feb 2018, 21:11 IST

After a dominating weekend in Abu Dhabi, championship leader Felipe Drugovich is in pole position to close out the MRF Challenge 2017 title as the series heads to the Madras Motor Race Track (MMRT) in Chennai for the final round.

Drugovich was in top form as he won all 4 races in Abu Dhabi and brings an 86 point lead to Chennai with 110 points available.

Mr Arun Mammen, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, MRF Tyres, commented, "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. MMRT has always provided some great racing, including last year’s championship being decided on the last lap here, and we look forward to some more great battles this weekend.”

After rounds in Bahrain, Dubai, and Abu Dhabi, The MMRT in Chennai will 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 2nd place sees three drivers covered by just 9 points.

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Championship leader Felipe Drugovich

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 2nd 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.

The MMRT will feature updated pits & 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.

There will be 4 races this weekend with practice and qualifying taking place on Friday. Saturday will have two races on Sunday having the final two races of the season. They will be supported by the Indian Touring Car championship and Superbike races.   

The Indian based series, which features Formula 3 style cars, is developed and promoted by tyre giant MRF Tyres. It continues to be 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 the hone their skills in world-class circuits.


Please find below details of the MRF Challenge races: 

Friday, February 2

10:30 - 11:00: MRF Challenge Practice Session 1

13:30 - 14:00: MRF Challenge Practice Session 2

15:15 - 15:45: MRF Challenge Qualifying

Saturday, February 3

11:15 - 11:55: MRF Challenge Race 2

15:30 - 16:10: MRF Challenge Race 3

Sunday, February 4

12:15 - 12:55: MRF Challenge Race 3

16:15 - 16:55: MRF Challenge Race 4

MRF Challenge 2017 Calendar:

Round 1: November 16-18, 2017, Bahrain, Bahrain International Circuit (WEC Support Race)

Round 2: December 7-9, 2017, Dubai, Dubai Autodrome

Round 3: December 13-15, 2017, Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi

Round 4: February 2-4, 2018, Chennai, Madras Motor Race Track    

Driver Line-up:

  1. Nazim Azman (Malaysia)         
  2. Harri Jones (Australia)           
  3. Richard Wagner (Germany)              
  4. Robert Megennis (USA)                  
  5. Henning Enqvist (Sweden)                        
  6. Julien Falchero (France)          
  7. Daniel Nielsen Frost (Singapore)      
  8. Rinus Van Kalmthout (Netherlands)        
  9. Perdana Putra Minang (Indonesia)           
  10. Kurt Hill (Australia)           
  11. Dylan Young (Australia)           
  12. Pavan Ravishankar (Singapore)                                                                         
  13. Alex Karkosik (Poland)                                                                                                                                     
  14. Michelangelo Amendola (Belgium)                                                                                  
  15. Felipe Drugovich (Brazil)                                                                                  
  16. Presley Martono (Indonesia)                                                                            
  17. Louis Gachot (France)                                                                               
  18. Manuel Maldonado (Venezuela)
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