MRF Challenge: Pulsating finale on the cards

Belgium’s Max Defourny and Britain's Jamie Chadwick, who have won six of the 10 races in the two rounds, will be the names to watch out for in the final round of the MRF Challenge.

Belgium’s Max Defourny leads the charts at the MRF Challenge.   -  Special Arrangement

The final round of one of Asia’s top single-seater racing championships, the MRF Challenge, will commence at the Madras Motorsport Race Track (MMRT) near Chennai on Friday with the third and concluding round.

The two flyaway rounds in Dubai (November) and Bahrain (December) showcased the skills of emerging talent such as Belgium’s Max Defourny and Britain's Jamie Chadwick.

The two 20-year olds between them have won six of the 10 races in the two rounds. Defourny leads the championship with 201 points ahead of Chadwick (183) and German teenager Andreas Estner (124).

Joining the championship for the final round are Saudi Arabia’s rising female talent Reema Al Juffali, who recently won the TRD 86 Cup race in Abu Dhabi, and 17-year old Dutch Glenn van Berlo, who is moving to single-seater racing from karting.

The weekend will also witness the first round of the FMSCI Indian National Racing Championship 2019 with the MRF Formula 1600, saloon cars in three categories, including the top-end Indian Touring Cars, and the Formula LGB 1300 which has attracted 20 entries.

The races in Dubai and Bahrain dished out extremely close contests up and down the grid, though Defourny and Chadwick have dominated the front-runners.

The Belgian has been the most consistent driver with three wins and six podium finishes in 10 outings while Chadwick also has never held back on the track, winning three races, all of them in the Bahrain round, besides as many podium spots.

One of the highlights of the weekend card is the trio of topnotch FMX riders, Hannes Akermann (Germany), and Australians Shaun Webb and David Ford who will be performing heart-stopping aerial stunts.

The MRF Challenge has entrenched itself as one of the leading winter series in the region as it offers a car powered by a 2-Litre Mountune Duratec engine producing 230 BHP with advanced aerodynamics. The car boasts of a Hewland six-speed paddle-shift gearbox equipped with Integrated dash and paddle-shift system. Fitted with the MRF Z.L.O. slick tyres, the F2000 is among the fastest racing cars in the region, and has, in the past, attracted many talented young drivers, notably Mick Schumacher, who is poised to break into Formula One.