MRF Challenge: Patrick Pasma takes pole

Patrick Pasma grabbed the pole for Saturday's race in the final round of the MRF Challenge 2018-19.

Patrick Pasma in action at the MMRT on Saturday.   -  Special Arrangement

Finland's 18-year-old Patrick Pasma upstaged the MRF Challenge field with a blistering lap of 1:30:559 seconds to grab the pole position ahead of Saturday's race in the final round of the championship at the Madras Motor Race Track, near Chennai, on Friday.

Pasma, who is currently fifth in the championship having won just one race in 10 starts in the first round at Dubai in November last year, did well to shrug off two difficult free practice sessions, including a puncture in the first, to take P1 in the 30-minute qualifying run.

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Pasma finished well ahead of championship front-runners, Max Defourny from Belgium (01:31.119) and UK’s Jamie Chadwick (01:31.103), who slotted in mid-grid positions.

Finishing second behind Pasma was Belgian Michaelangelo Amendola (01:30.682) followed by last year’s British Formula 3 champion Linus Lundquist from Sweden (01:30.810) who had earlier topped both the Free Practice sessions, and Aussie teenager Jack Doohan (01:30.928).

Reflecting on his performance, Pasma said: “It was alright, though it wasn’t perfect. In the first free practice we had a flat tyre, so it was really tricky. In the second free practice, we made a few changes and it was better. So, the pole position is a good base for tomorrow’s race.

“The track was really technical for us and you really have to be precise. There is no scope for any errors.”

Mumbai’s Nayan Chatterjee put in a hot lap of 01:40.346 to top the first of the two free practice sessions in the MRF F1600 category and carried forward the form into the second session which also he topped with a best of 01:39.744.

Rithvik Thomas of Race Concepts (Bengaluru) was the quickest among the Saloon cars (Super Stock) in the FMSCI Indian National Racing Championship with a flying lap of 02:02.116 seconds in the second of the two free practice sessions, while team-mate Joel Joseph topped the time sheets in the first, clocking a best of 02:02.396.

The results

MRF Challenge (F2000): Qualifying – 1. Patrick Pasma (Finland) (01min, 30.559secs); 2. Michelangelo Amendola (Belgium) (01:30.682); 3. Linus Lundquist (Sweden) (01:30.810).

Free Practice-1: 1. Linus Lundqvist (Sweden) (1:31.611); 2. Jamie Chadwick (UK) 1:31.662; 3. Max Defourny (Belgium) (01:31.705). Free Practice-2: 1. Linus Lundqvist (Sweden) (01:31.871); 2. Patrick Pasma (Finland) (01:31.943); 3. Max Defourny (Belgium) (01:31.962).

MRF MMSC FMSCI Indian National Racing Championship: MRF F1600 (Free Practice-1): 1. Nayan S Chatterjee (Mumbai) (01:40.346); 2. A. Bala Prasath (Coimbatore) (01:41.176); 3. Arya Singh (Kolkata) (01:41.484). Free Practice-2: 1. Nayan S Chatterjee (Mumbai) (01:39.744); 2. A Bala Prasath (Coimbatore) (01:40.455); 3. Arya Singh (Kolkata) (01:40.631).

Formula LGB 1300 (Qualifying): 1. Tijil Rao (Bengaluru) (01:53.714); 2. Ashwin Datta (Chennai) (01:54.925); 3. K Suriya Varathan (Coimbatore) (01:54.993).