Drugovich and Martono seize the day

Rinus van Kalmthout encountered gear shift problems in Race 3, but recovered to secure a 12th-place finish.

Close buddies and rivals Felipe Drugovich and Presley Martono indicate their satisfaction after claiming the races run on Saturday. - V.V. Ramanan

Championship leader Felipe Drugovich of Brazil took the first race of the day ahead of Presley Martono, and the Indonesian repaid the compliment in the final race, on the second day of the Dubai leg of the MRF Challenge at the Dubai Autodrome on Saturday.

Starting behind pole-sitter Rinus van Kalmthout in Race 4, Martono whizzed past the Dutch teen in the first lap and led all the way to snap up his first win of the season, notwithstanding the safety car which came on in lap 2 to 4 because of an incident involving Danial Frost. Kalmthout took home the spoils for the third place.

Read: Kalmthout wins Race 2, Martono secures pole for Race 3

“I learnt a lot in these two days and improved as the races went by. And you can see what happened in the final race. I belonged here”, said a cheery Martono after receiving the magnificent trophies from Arun Mammen, vice chairman and managing director of MRF Tyres.

Earlier in Race 3, Drugovich overhauled Martono in the first turn of the second lap and it was a close tussle thereafter before the former took the chequered flag for his fourth win of the season and second at the 5.39km GP circuit here.

The consistent Alex Karkosik followed the duo, but Frost and Julien Falchero, originally placed behind the Pole, were later disqualified for a technical infringement.

Kalmthout, who had a Friday to savour, encountered gear shift problems in the third lap and fell back badly before gallantly making it up to finish 12th.

The next set of races in this series for Formula 2000 cars, running on MRF’s Z.L.O. tyres, will be held at the Yas Marina Circuit in Abu Dhabi on December 14 and 15.

The results (top five)

Race 4: 1. Presley Martono (Ina) 24:14.432s , 2. Felipe Drugovich (Bra) 24:15.133, 3. Rinus van Kalmthout (Ned) 24:16.045, 4. Harri Jones (Aus) 24:20.146, 5. Julien Falchero (Fra) 24:20.689.

Race 3: 1. Drugovich 19:45.535, 2. Martono 19:46.295, 3. Alex Karkosik (Pol) 19;52.310, 4. Robert Megennis (USA) 20:00.896, 5. Michelangelo Amendola (Bel) 20:01.825.

Points tally (provisional after two legs): 1. Drugovich 150, 2. Martono 132, 3. Kalmthout 124, Falchero 102, 5. Karkosik 71.

(The writer is in Dubai at the invitation of MRF Tyres)

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