Chennai, Feb 13 (IANS): Former Formula 1 driver Narain Karthikeyan and Asia Pacific Rally Champion Gaurav Gill will participate in the MRF Challenge finale to be held at the MMRT here on February 15 and 16.
The MRF 1600 category will also be in action with the season opener along with the Freestyle Riders set to entertain the crowds with their stunts.
GP3 runner-up Tio Ellinas will battle with Formula 3 British race winner Rupert Svendsen-Cook for the rights to be crowned the 2013 MRF Challenge champion.
After three rounds and nine races, the series will head here for the final round with five races to go. Ellinas leads the championship ahead of Arthur Pic and Svendsen-Cook. However, Pic will be unable to race this weekend due to testing responsibilities. Ellinas and Svendsen-Cook are separated by a mere 22 points with 100 points still available this weekend.
Vikash Anand and Raj Bharath will be looking for a strong result in front of their home crowd.
“The MRF Challenge has been a great success this year. The final round promises to be a thriller with the title going down to the wire. The MRF 1600 will also have the season opener this weekend. I am very pleased that Narain has agreed to race this weekend in front of his home crowd as he will be the perfect motivation for these talented upcoming drivers,” said MRF Tyres managing director Arun Mammen.
Karthikeyan participated in the 2013 Auto GP World Series where he was a title contender and scored five wins and four pole positions. In 2014, he will drive in the Super Formula Series for Team Impul Hoshino Racing. This will be Karthikeyan’s first race here in more than a decade.
“I could not turn down the offer to race in front of my home crowd. It has been a long time since I raced in Chennai and I am looking forward to having fun this weekend,” said India’s first F1 driver.
In MRF 1600 Round 1, the series’ youngest winner Tarun Reddy will be back in action along with double duty for last year’s runner-up Vikash Anand. Sarosh Hataria earned his seat after winning the 2013 LGB F4 title and will be joined by Arjun Narendran, Mihir Dharkar, Advait Deodhar and Siddharth Trivellore.
The MRF 1600 is a 120 bhp car using a Ford Duratec 1.6 litre engine and Hewland JFR 5-speed sequential gearbox with a top speed of 205 kmph.Published 13 Feb 2014, 14:10 IST