- MRF Challenge set for exciting finale
- Title to be decided over six races
- Saloon cars to set National Championship rolling
Chennai, February 13: A clutch of hungry teenagers from across the globe, besides a couple of veterans, will be again going head-to-head as the third and final round of FIA-approved MRF Challenge, organised by the Madras Motor Sports Club, gets underway at the MMRT here on Friday, February 14, with a card of six races.
The previous two rounds witnessed thrilling battles while throwing up some exciting young talent like championship leader Belgium’s 17-year old Michaelangelo Amendola, Britain’s Joshua Mason, and first-timers in MRF Challenge Indian-American Yuven Sunderamoorthy, 16, who chalked up a fine win in Dubai, and Japanese-American Reece Ushijima who clocked two fastest laps, also in Dubai.
A newcomer to the MRF Challenge is England’s 16-year old Louis Foster who enjoyed a tremendous run in the British F4 Championship last year to finish third overall with six wins and 13 podiums. In 2018, he emerged “Champion Rookie” in the Ginetta Junior Championship with nine wins.
MRF Tyres Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, Mr. Arun Mammen said: “We have had some exciting races in the previous two rounds in Dubai and Bahrain. Now, with the championship still wide open, we expect more of close and thrilling competition up and down the grid, here in the final round at Chennai. Over the years, MRF Challenge, India’s only FIA-approved Formula racing championship which is also one of the best in Asia, has thrown up a clutch of talented youngsters who have utilized the MRF Challenge, run in the off-season winter months, as a platform to achieve their racing goals, and it has been no different this season too with drivers from the United States, Europe and Australia lining up. MRF Tyres’ commitment to motorsports is evident by our strong presence in various championships across the globe, be it racing or rally.”
After two rounds, Amendola, with three wins in Dubai, is well-placed at the top with 143 points. He is followed by Australia’s 30-year old Dylan Young (127) who notched his first and only win so far in seven MRF Challenge seasons. Behind the pair is Mason (115) who notched four podium finishes in the Dubai round.
The top three title contenders, however, have to watch out for Danish teenager Valdemar Eriksen and Jordanian Manaf Hijjawi, tied on 87 points, but well clear of Ushijima and Sunderamoorthy who have 70 apiece. Denmark’s Largim Ali (43) and the lone Indian in fray and Chennai native, Chetan Korada (19) close out the grid.
With six races to be run, there are plenty of points on offer and it puts premium on consistency given the close competition.
The weekend racing bouquet also includes the first round of MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Car Racing Championship for saloon cars (ITC, IJTC and Super Stock) besides two support events, the MRF F1600 and Volkswagen Ameo Super Race. In all, 12 races have been scheduled for this weekend.