Wheel to wheel, wing to wing, is the only way to describe how the MRF Challenge race weekend went about. It was time for the last three races of the third round that would decide the victors. Max Defourny who entered the third round with an 18-point lead was not in perect form at the Chennai track. After the first three races, England’s Jamie Chadwick was leading the championship, one point ahead of Defourny. Finland’s Patrick Pasma however, was in top form too, putting in stellar times.
Jamie who had proved her mettle with three wins in the Bahrain round was in a league of her own. The 20-year old won two races on Sunday, while Pasma won the opening race of the day. Belgian race, Michelangelo Amendola put in great efforts into pressuring the leaders and stood the podium in all three races giving him a much-needed boost up the leaderboard. While the first race was a smooth one, the second race was a bit chaotic with unavoidable crashes owing to a red-flagged race.
Jamie lacked the pace in the first race of the day, as Pasma and Michelangelo gunned for the podium. Jamie did take advantage of slow-starting Dylan Young during the second race. She managed to pass the pole-sitter right before turn one, pulling away for a clean win. Defounry who led the championsip pre-chennai was struggling to keep up, losing the point-lead to Jamie. Jack Doohan, son-of multiple time Moto GP champ Michael ‘Mick’ Doohan was also getting to grips of the track, started pole but was quickly overtaken by Jamie. Jack manged to complete the podium in third place.
With 280-points earned thanks to two back-to-back wins and a triple crown, Jamie made history, being the first female driver to grab the MRF Challenge Championship title. Belgium’s Max Defourny who came into the Chennai round with an 18-point advantage, failed to defend and ended up with 243 points for second place. Pasma took the third spot in the championship with 186 points, ahead of German Andreas Estner who scored 181.
“The championship win hasn’t sunk in yet. I would like to thank my team too and am happy that everything came together this weekend. In the last race, I made some mistakes which cost me a bit of the lead, but I quickly composed myself and made sure I won. I came into MRF Challenge for some experience and exposure, and not to win the championship. But after winning three races in Bahrain, I realised I was in with a chance and so went for it this weekend.”
In the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Racing Championship that was run concurrently, Chirag Ghorpade of Momentum Motor Sports topped the Formula LGB 1300 class race while P Raja Rajan of Performance Racing won in the Saloon car (Super Stock) category.
MRF Challenge (F2000):
Race-3 (20 laps): 1. Patrick Pasma (Finland) (35mins, 35.212secs); 2. Michelangelo Amendola (Belguim) (35:35.569); 3. Linus Lindqvist (Sweden) (35:36.281).
Race-4 (18 laps): 1. Jamie Chadwick (UK) (27:39.087); 2. Michaelangelo Amendola (Belgium) (27:40.106); 3. Jack Doohan (Australia) (27:46.896).
Race-5 (20 laps): 1. Jamie Chadwick (UK) (30:46.505); 2. Patrick Pasma (Finland) (30:47.574); 3. Michelangelo Amendola (Belgium) (30:48.164).
MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Racing Championship –
Formula LGB 1300
Race-3, 10 laps: 1. Chirag Ghorpade (Momentum Motor Sports) (15:35.070); 2. Tijil Rao (Momentum Motor Sports) (15:35.528); 3. K Suriya Varathan (M Sport) (15:36.030).
Saloon Cars – Super Stock
Race 2, 10 laps: 1. P Raja Rajan (Performance Racing) (20:26.602); 2. Rithvik Thomas (Race Concepts) (20:34.767); 3. Joel Joseph (Race Concepts) (20:41.701).
Support Race – MRF F1600
Race-2, 10 laps: 1. Lee Deegan (UK) (16:54.757); 2. A Bala Prasath (Coimbatore) (16:55.452); 3. Sohil Shah (Bengaluru) (16:55.654).
Race-3, 10 laps: 1. Nayan Chatterjee (Mumbai) (16:40.939); 2. A Bala Prasath (Coimbatore) (16:49.098); 3. Sohil Shah (Bengaluru) (17:00.516)