Dubai, 10 Dec 2016: Australian driver Joey Mawson stormed to the top of the championship with a win in the final race of Round 2 of the MRF Challenge 2016 in Dubai. Mawson won ahead of Felipe Drugovich fellow Aussie Zane Goddard as championship rivals Harrison Newey and Mick Schumacher were both forced to retire. However 18 year old Newey survived all the action around him to win his second race of the weekend when he crossed the chequered flag in Race 3. Newey beat Race 2 winner Drugovich and Mawson in Race 3 of the weekend.
In Race 3, Mawson started on pole position with Newey alongside him. Newey got the perfect start and got past the Australian as they headed into turn 1. Behind them Mick Schumacher and Juri Vips collided in turn 1 forcing both drivers to retire. This brought out the safety car. At the restart Mawson got the jump on Newey and took the lead into turn 1. Mawson started to push for a gap but ran wide and lost out to both Newey and Drugovich. Newey crossed the finish line to take his second win of the weekend with Drugovich in 2nd and Mawson in 3rd. Pedro Cardoso finished in 4th place ahead of Van Kalmthout and Dylan Young. Indian driver Parth Ghorpade finished in a strong 7th place with Zane Goddard, Pavan Ravishankar and Yoshiaki Katayama rounding off the top 10.
In Race 4 pole sitter Young got bogged down as Van Kalmthout stormed into the lead with Mawson settling into 2nd place. Newey also had a good start and was up to 3rd position by the end of the first lap. On lap 3 Newey started to slow and eventually had to retire with a technical problem on his car. Mawson wasted no time passing Van Kalmthout with Drugovich folloing through as well. Meanwhile Schumacher, who started last, put in brilliant couple of opening corners and was 5th by the end of lap 1. He moved up to 3rd and looked to be challenging for 2nd place when he had a puncture and had to retire in what has been a disastrous day for the German. Mawson had an easy run to the finish line to win his first race of the series. Drugovich got his 3rd consecutive podium finish as he finished in 2nd place. Van Kalmthout crossed the line in 3rd place but was given a 10 second penalty that dropped him to 8th place. Goddard got 3rd ahead of Vips and Young.
Joey Mawson finished on the podium in all 4 races and got pole position as well. He commented, “The whole weekend has just been great. The car has been great all weekend and I really enjoy driving here at the Dubai Autodrome. My competitors had a tough day but I am sure they will fight back and I look forward to driving in India next.”
Harrison Newey was happy to win his 2nd race of the weekend. He commented, “I am really happy to win in what was an eventful race. Joey (Mawson) has always been a great competitor so it was good to finish ahead of him. It was a shame with the problem in the second race today.”
Mawson currently leads the championship with 141 points with Newey on 113 and Drugovich in 3rd on 105 points. Schumacher’s double DNF drops him to 4th place with 102 points. Next race is in New Delhi on Jan 27-29.
MRF Challenge 2016, Round 1, Dubai, Race 3: 1.Harrison Newey; 2. Felipe Drugovich 1.767 (Time difference to first); 3.Joey Mawson 2.812; Pedro Cardoso 3.727; 5.Van Kalmthout 10.077; 6.Dylan Young 11.748; 7.Parth Ghorpade 14.532; 8.Zane Goddard 15.218; 9.Pavan Ravishankar 15.601; 10.Yoshiaki Katayama 16.399.
MRF Challenge 2016, Round 2, Dubai, Race 4: 1.Joey Mawson; 2.Felipe Drugovich 4.685; 3.Zane Goddard 13.225; 4.Juri Vips 13.925; 5.Dylan Young 19.154; 6.Kimi Schramm 20.844; 7.Yoshiaki Katayama 21.152; 8.Van Kalmthout 21.224; 9.Manuel Maldonado 34.495; 10.Bobby Eberle 46.652.
eom/david/MRF press release