The third round of the MRF Challenge which featured Formula F2000 race-cars was held at the Madras Motor Racing Track in Chennai. The 12-car grid series sees top drivers from all over the world battling it out for the silverware. With a win and two podiums in the second round it was Max Defourny who was leading, with Jamie Chadwick in second spot. During the qualifying round on Friday, Finnish driver Patrick Pasma managed to put in the best time putting him on pole for the first race of the day, while Michelangelo Amendola started second on the grid.
Pasma got off to a great start during the first race and held on to the lead for the 20-lap dart, giving him a comfortable win over Michelangelo who was on his tail the whole time. “I had a good start and managed to open a big gap. I am very happy that I scored my second win of the championship,” said 18-year old Pasma from Finland. Young Belgian race, Michelangelo was in a close fight with the leader, but had to settle for second spot. 16-year old Jack Doohan, the son of former five-time World 500cc champion Mick Doohan, completed the podium with a commendable performance.
During the second race, it was Britain’s Dylan Young leading the pack, with Jamie starting in second position. Unfortunately, Young could not pull away from the start line quick enough and had Jamie passing him before end of the main straight. Jamie is one of the only two female drivers on the grid. She managed to pull away for a stellar lead and made it stick for a first place finish. Dylan finished a almost a second behind Jamie, while Andreas Estner had to settle for third place. The race win gave Jamie a point lead over Max, putting her on top of the leaderboard. With three more races to be run tomorrow (Sunday), Jamie who has won four races in 12 starts, has 218 points to Belgian Max’s 217 points making it a neck and neck decider.
“I had a good start today and went into the lead. I then managed to hold on to my advantage. In the context of the championship, every point matters to me. So, I am happy. Tomorrow, with three races to be run, it is going to be a long day and I hope I can collect the points,” said Jamie Chadwick.
Meanwhile, Chennai collegian, 20-year old Ashwin Datta (Momentum Motor Sports), pulled off a sensational win in the second race of the Formula LGB 1300 category of the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Racing Championship, after starting 11th on the grid. Off to a blistering start, Datta sliced his way into the lead by the end of the second of the 10-lap race and then held off a fighting Karthik Krishna (Hasten Performance) with K Suriya Varathan (M Sport) coming in third.
Race Concepts enjoyed a 1-2-3 finish in the Super Stock (Saloon cars) class with Rithvik Thomas finishing ahead of team-mates Joel Joseph and Prateek Benya.
MRF Challenge (F2000):
Race-1 (20 laps): 1. Patrick Pasma (Finland) (30min, 42.140sec); 2. Michelangelo Amendola (Belgium) (30:47.192); 3. Jack Doohan (Australia) (30:53.293).
Race-2 (20 laps): 1. Jamie Chadwick (UK) (30:51.643); 2. Dylan Young (Australia) (30:52.669); 3. Andreas Estner (Germany) (30:53.260).
MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Racing Championship:
Formula LGB 1300
Race-1, (8 laps): 1. Tijil Rao (Momentum Motor Sports) (20:04.219); 2. Ashwin Datta (Momentum Motor Sports) (20:05.309); 3. K Suriya Varathan (M Sport) (20:06.090).
Race-2 (10 laps): 1. Ashwin Datta (Momentum Motor Sports) (19:50.799); 2. Karthik Krishna (Hasten Performance) (19:51.142); 3. K Suriya Varathan (M Sport) (19:51.332).
Saloon Cars – Super Stock
Race 1, (10 laps): 1. Rithvik Thomas (Race Concepts) (20:33.163); 2. Joel Joseph (Race Concepts) (20:39.841); 3. Prateek Benya (Race Concepts) (20:59.922).
Race-1, 10 laps: 1. Nayan Chatterjee (Mumbai) (16:47.925); 2. Sohil Shah (Bengaluru) (16:57.206); 3. Arya Singh (Kolkata) (16:57.719).