Dubai: Dubai will play host to the second round of the Sixth MRF Challenge 2017 at the Dubai Autodrome from December 7 to 9.
With the opening round in Bahrain in November a huge hit, the FIA-sanctioned MRF Challenge 2017 championship is the leading winter series for young motorsport drivers from across the globe. This will be the third time that the Dubai Autodrome is hosting this series.
Arun Mammen, Managing Director, MRF Tyres, commented: “It gives us immense pleasure to return to Dubai with the MRF Challenge. We have some of the best young drivers from across the world who are keen to drive at this exciting circuit. We have had three different winners from the first four races, so the championship is definitely shaping up well.”
Brazilian driver Felipe Drugovich currently leads the championship with 80 points after two race wins and a second place in Bahrain. The battle behind is close with three drivers separated by a mere four points — GP3 driver Julien Falchero had one win and two podiums and is in second place with 65 points, Indonesian Presley Martono is in third place with 63 points ahead of title contender Rinus van Kalmthout, who is on 61 points.
The MRF Challenge 2017 F2000 car will feature an updated car. For the first time, the car will have a Hewland 6-speed sequential gearbox with integrated dash and paddle shift system. The car will also feature advanced aerodynamics with underbody diffuser. The 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 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.
“For the sixth season of the MRF Challenge we have focused on making the cars even faster, while also ensuring it is more enjoyable for the drivers. Adrian Newey has been kind enough to share some thoughts with us for increasing the downforce with new diffuser design. We have also introduced paddle shift gearbox for the first time. This has been received well during testing so we are confident that the car can be even faster this year. The series has been gaining a lot of traction internationally so it is heartening to see an Indian series getting so much attention,” J. Anand, Managing Director, JA Motorsports, commented.
MRF Challenge 2017 calendar:
Round 1: November 16-18: Bahrain, Bahrain International Circuit
Round 2: December 7-9: Dubai Autodrome
Round 3: December 13-15: Abu Dhabi
Round 4: February 2-4: Madras Motor Race Track, Chennai, India