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Harrison Newey and Mick Schumacher look to bounce back in India



January 25, 2017: India’s first and only Formula One circuit will play host to Round 3 of the MRF Challenge 2016 as the F2000 cars head back to the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) in Greater Noida after a break of three years. The FIA sanctioned Indian based series is one of the most successful winter racing championships with drivers from all over the world in participation. Australian driver Joey Mawson currently leads the championship after championship contenders Harrison Newey and Mick Schumacher both suffered DNFs in the last round in Dubai. It will be an action packed race weekend with the MRF 1600 and Volkswagen Vento Cup also in action this weekend.

Mr. Arun Mammen, Managing Director, MRF Tyres, commented, “We are thrilled to be back at the BIC as the championship begins to heat up. This circuit has always provided some great racing and this time will be no different. The F2000 has made leaps and bounds since we last visited here and we are confident that fans will witness the fastest cars racing on this circuit since the F1 cars back in 2013. This weekend will also be a great learning for the young Indian drivers participating in the MRF 1600 Championship as they get a front row seat on how international drivers prepare for a race weekend and constantly improve as each session goes on.”

Mawson currently leads the Championship on 141 points with Newey on 113 points. Brazilian driver Felipe Drugovich is in 3rd place on 105 points after a strong showing in the last Round in Dubai. Schumacher headed into the last Round in the lead of the championship but a double DNF seriously dented his title hopes, as he now finds himself 39 points behind the leader.  

This weekend will once again see the leading young drivers from across the globe competing against each other. 2015 Italian F4 Champion and F3 race winner Ralf Aron returns this weekend along with Japanese F3 Champion (National Class) Yoshiaki Katayama and Manuel Maldonado, cousin of former F1 race winner Pastor Maldonado.

In its fifth year, the MRF Challenge will feature MRF Formula 2000 race cars, which have been made in India by Coimbatore based JA Motorsport. 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. The new 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 car will also feature advanced aerodynamics with underbody diffuser and a Hewland 6-speed sequential gearbox.

Joining the MRF Challenge 2016 cars this weekend will be the MRF 1600 series. This will be the first round for the MRF 1600 championship and will feature 12 drivers on the grid. Leading the charge will be former Volkswagen Vento Cup winner Anindith Reddy, who will return for the second year. He will be joined by 2016 Volkswagen Vento Cup Champion Ishaan Dodhiwala, and young guns Nayan Chaterjee and Ananth Shanmugam.

Free Practice 1&2 will take place on Friday, January 27. Qualifying and Races 1&2 will take place on Saturday, January 28, with Races 3&4 taking place on Sunday, January 29.

MRF Challenge 2016 Calendar:

Round 1: November 17-19, 2016, Bahrain, Bahrain International Circuit (WEC Support Race)
Round 2: December 7-9, 2016, Dubai, Dubai Autodrome
Round 3: January 27-29, 2016, New Delhi, Buddh International Circuit
Round 4: February 17-19, 2016, Chennai, Madras Motor Race Track     

MRF Challenge 2016 Provisional Driver Line-up:

  1. Harrison Newey
  2. Juri Vips
  3. Zane Goddard*
  4. Mick Schumacher
  5. Dylan Young
  6. Kimi Schramm
  7. Manuel Maldonado
  8. Joey Mawson
  9. Pavan Ravishanker
  10. Yoshiaki Katayama
  11. Pedro Cardoso
  12. Felipe Drugovich
  13. Rinus Van Kalmthout
  14. Ralf Aron
  15. Chia Wing Hoong
  16. Presley Martono*




MRF 1600 Provisional Driver Line-up:

  1. Anindith Reddy
  2. Chetan Korada
  3. Jai Kumar Sampath
  4. Anshul Shah
  5. Nayan Chaterjee
  6. Arya Singh
  7. Ishaan Dodhiwala
  8. Angad Matharoo
  9. Alex Bora
  10. Ananth Shanmugam
  11. Vibhav Parker
  12. Antony George

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