Jamie Chadwick tops MRF Challenge free practice

Jamie Chadwick, making her MRF Challenge debut, came out on top in free practice 1 and 2, with teenager Petr Ptacek finishing behind her in both.

Jamie Chadwick of UK during a practice session on the eve of the first round of the MRF Challenge at the Dubai Autodrome.   -  Special Arrangement

Jamie Chadwick, the only female driver on the 12-car grid, put the marker down for the first round of the MRF Challenge championship by topping both the Free Practice sessions at the Dubai Autodrome on Thursday.

The 20-year-old Chadwick came out on top in the two, 30-minute practice sessions, clocking a best of 01.59.218 in the first outing and 01:59.774 in the next around the 5.390 Kms circuit as she made her debut in the MRF Challenge on a high.

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She survived a tough battle with Czech Republic’s 16-year old Petr Ptacek, who was second fastest in both the sessions — clocking 01:59.581 (FP1) and 01:59.918 (FP2).

Chadwick, who created history in 2015 when she became the first female and youngest winner of the British GT Championship, and Ptacek exchanged fastest laps in the closing minutes of FP-2.

“I learnt a lot today – new circuit, new car. I am happy with the way we ended up today in these conditions and I look forward to the races,” said Chadwick.

 

For Chennai's Chetan Korada, the lone Indian entry, the focus was on learning the tricky track — with its blind crests leading into corners — as it was his first race in the Dubai Autodrome.

Korada, who was 11th on the time sheets in both the sessions clocking his best laps of 02: 03.734 and 02:04.100, said: “It was my first run on this track and so, it was more about learning the circuit. However, with each lap, I managed to cut my timing. Overall, it was a reasonably good outing, all things considered. I hope to improve as we go along over the next couple of days.”

 

The results (Free Practice)

FP-1: 1. Jamie Chadwick (UK) (01min, 59.218secs); 2. Petr Ptacek (Czech Republic) (01:59.581); 3. Max Defourny (Belgium) (01:59.656); 4. Dylan Young (Australia) (01:59.697).

FP-2: 1. Jamie Chadwick (UK) (01:59.774); 2. Petr Ptacek (Czech Republic) (01:59.918); 3. Danial Frost (Singapore) (02:00.115); 4. Andreas Estner (Germany) (02:00.276).