Dubai, 9 Dec 2016: 18 year old British driver Harrison Newey fought back to win Race 1 of the MRF Challenge 2016 in Dubai. Newey, who was cheered on by his father and legendary F1 designer Adrian Newey, had a close battle with Australian driver Joey Mawson before coming out ahead at the opening race of the season. Mick Schumacher came home in 3rd place. Earlier in the day Mawson set the fastest lap ever done by the MRF F2000 around the Dubai Autodrome to claim pole position for the second round of the championship. Schumacher’s championship lead at the top has been cut down to 9 points with Mawson in 2nd and Newey one point further back in 3rd.
It was qualifying that started the day off for the motorsport fans in Dubai with all eyes on the MRF F2000 cars and the impending duel between Newey and Schumacher. Newey was in fine form in practice but the pack behind him closed the gap down overnight. Newey set a lap time of 1:56.020 only for Mawson to put in a stunning lap of 1:55.945 to take his first pole position of the season. Behind the top two were Schumacher, Juri Vips and Pedro Cardoso.
Starting on pole position, Mawson got a good start off the line but Newey tried to go around the outside heading into turn 1. Mawson just managed to hold on. Schumacher in 3rd stayed on the rear wing of Newey but was not close enough to challenge. Newey started to close in on Mawson and on lap 4 he passed the Australian driver after both were side by side for 3 corners. Schumacher applied pressure on Mawson but could not find a way past. Newey set a string of fastest laps and took the chequered flag ahead of Mawson and Schumacher. Cardoso held off fast charging Brazilian driver Drugovich for 4th place with Vips finishing in 6th place. Kimi Schramm finished in 7th place ahead of Dylan Young, Van Kalmthout and Manuel Maldonado. Indian driver Parth Ghorpade fought back from last place at the end of the first corner to finish in 11th position.
Harrison Newey was happy to get his title ambitions back on track. He commented, “I was disappointed not to be on pole position today. I had a good start and was behind Joey (Mawson) for the first few laps. It was a hard but fair battle with Joey but I managed to get past. I am really happy to win here but it is important to pick up useful points in every race this weekend.”
Results: MRF Challenge 2016, Round 2, Dubai, Qualifying: 1. Joey Mawson 1:55.945; 2. Harrison Newey 1:56.020; 3. Mick Schumacher 1:56.260;4. Juri Vips 1:56.607; 5. Pedro Cardoso 1:56.682.
MRF Challenge 2016, Round 1, Dubai, Race 1: 1. Harrison Newey; 2. Joey Mawson (time difference 2.572); 3. Mick Schumacher (3.335); 4. Pedro Cardoso (7.941).