The final MRF Challenge weekend of the season gets off to a thrilling start!
The final weekend of the MRF Challenge was bound to be a special one, just the crowd at the grandstands would tell you that. The MRF2000 series, the main event for the weekend, would have six races in total held over the two days. Michelangelo Amendola, Rahul Rangasamy, Arjun Balu and Rithvik Thomas bagged wins in their respective categories. Saurav Bandyopadhyay was victorious in the Super Ameo Race, being held over the weekend as a farewell to the Volkswagen Ameo Cup car, which will be replaced by the Polo next season.
Michelangelo Amendola got an early lead in the first race, while Joshua Mason and Dylan Young followed close behind. By the second lap, Amendola had pulled out a healthy three second lead and was comfortable lapping a couple of seconds faster than the rest of the pack. Young, Mason and Louis Foster were having a very close battle for second, third and fourth place, in the meat of the race. Amendola pulled out almost a ten second lead before the end of the race, but slowed down a full three seconds on the last lap, a touch of showboating there Amendola? Young came in second, followed by Mason.
The second race was a reverse grid and saw Jordanian Manaf Hijjawi start on pole and hold the lead all the way to the chequered flag even after Joshua Mason tried every trick in the book to pressure him and get past him. Amendola seemed to have lost his pace in the second race and finished in fifth place. Mason came second behind Hijjawi and was followed by Valdemar Eriksen.
The final race of the day was arguably the most interesting one yet, Amendola got a clean start but Mason and Young got into a tussle. The top five were pretty closely bunched together by lap three, with Amendola being pressured by Mason who was very close behind. There was almost a three second gap to Young, Foster and Hijjawi who were having a battle of their own before Hijjawi fell back and let the other two rough it up. Amendola started pulling away around the sixth lap, consistently increasing the distance between him and Mason. Mason’s error cost him to give up places to both Young and Foster who were still at it all the way to the chequered flag. Amendola came home first with an astonishing 10 second lead, followed by Young and Foster.
The sole MRF1600 race of the weekend was won by Rahul Rangasamy, who had qualified on pole as well. Vishnu Prasad followed in to bag second place, around two seconds off the leader. Sohil Shah lost some ground after qualifying a in second place and ended up finishing in third place, a second behind Prasad. Fourth place was taken by Karthik Taarani who was putting in good laps but could not close up to Shah.
With a grid of about thirty cars, the ‘All Saloons’ category is the one for you if you like absolute manic on track. With the same tarmac being shared by the ITC’s, Super Stock’s and Ameo Cup cars, the race was a cracker as usual. Arjun Balu came first with a comfortable victory, bringing the car home in one piece after he lost boost on his car on the first lap. Saurav Bandyopadhyay took victory among the Ameo Cup cars, followed by Anindith Reddy and last year’s champion Dhruv Mohite. Our Ed, Sirish Chandran, was also on track in the Ameo Cup car but electrical issues meant a DNF for him.
The first day of the final weekend was definitely an exciting one, Amendola leads the championship with 209 points, followed by Young with 175 points and Mason with 130 points. With three races to be raced tomorrow it’s anyone’s guess as to who will win the MRF2000 Championship.