Greater Noida, 25 Jan 2017: Round 3 of the MRF Challenge 2016 is back as the F2000 cars head back to the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) after a break of three years and the Australian driver Joey Mawson leads the championship after strong contender Harrison Newey and Mick Schumacher failed to finish in the last round at Dubai. MRF 1600 and Volkswagen Vento Cup will also be held on the week-end.
Arun Mammen, Managing Director, MRF Tyres, said: “BIC has always provided some great racing and we are thrilled to be back. The F2000 has made leaps and bounds since we last visited here and we are confident that fans will witness the fastest cars racing on this circuit since the F1 cars back in 2013. This weekend will also be a great learning for the young Indian drivers participating in the MRF 1600 Championship as they get a front row seat on how international drivers prepare for a race weekend and constantly improve as each session goes on.”
Mawson currently has 141 points with Newey on 113 points. Brazilian driver Felipe Drugovich is in 3rd place on 105 points after a strong showing in the last Round in Dubai. Schumacher headed into the last Round in the lead of the championship but a double DNF seriously dented his title hopes, as he now finds himself 39 points behind the leader.
This weekend will once again see the leading young drivers from across the globe competing against each other. 2015 Italian F4 Champion and F3 race winner Ralf Aron returns this weekend along with Japanese F3 Champion (National Class) Yoshiaki Katayama and Manuel Maldonado, cousin of former F1 race winner Pastor Maldonado.
In its fifth year, the MRF Challenge will feature MRF Formula 2000 race cars, which have been made in India by Coimbatore based JA Motorsport. The Formula 3 style car has been built by JA Motorsport in technical collaboration with Dallara, and is considered to be the fastest of its kind in Asia. The new car is powered by a 2 litre Mountune Duratec engine with max power of 230 bhp and shod on MRF Z.L.O. tyres. The car will also feature advanced aerodynamics with underbody diffuser and a Hewland 6-speed sequential gearbox.
Joining the MRF Challenge 2016 cars this weekend will be the MRF 1600 series. This will be the first round for the MRF 1600 championship and will feature 12 drivers on the grid. Leading the charge will be former Volkswagen Vento Cup winner Anindith Reddy, who will return for the second year. He will be joined by 2016 Volkswagen Vento Cup Champion Ishaan Dodhiwala, and young guns Nayan Chaterjee and Ananth Shanmugam.
Free Practice 1&2 will take place on Friday, January 27. Qualifying and Races 1&2 will take place on Saturday, January 28, with Races 3&4 taking place on Sunday, January 29.
MRF Challenge 2016 Calendar: Round 1: November 17-19, 2016, Bahrain, Bahrain International Circuit (WEC Support Race); Round 2: December 7-9, 2016, Dubai, Dubai Autodrome; Round 3: January 27-29, 2016, New Delhi, Buddh International Circuit; Round 4: February 17-19, 2016, Chennai, Madras Motor Race Track.
eom/david/Murali press release