CHENNAI, February 19: In a thrilling finish, British teenager Harrison Newey snatched a dramatic victory for a brilliant treble to emerge champion in the MRF Challenge 2016 that was run concurrently with the second round of the MRF MMSC Fmsci Indian National Racing Championship which concluded at the MMRT track, Sriperumbudur, near here on Sunday.
The highlight of the day’s proceedings was the presence of cricketing icon Sachin Tendulkar who put in a few laps of the circuit in a twin-seater racing car much to the delight of the crowd.In a tight finish, Harrison and championship leader Joey Mawson from Australia tied on 277 points, but the British driver was adjudged champion on the basis of his six wins. Mawson had three wins, including the one on Saturday. Mick Schumacher of Germany finished third in the championship with 213 points.
Harrison, the 18-year old son of noted Formula One engineer Adrian Newey, trailed Mawson by 27 points going into the fourth and concluding round of the MRF Challenge, but the British youngster won three of the four races this weekend to pip Mawson at the post.
Going into the fourth and last race of the weekend, Newey, who had won Race 3 in the morning session, trailed Mawson by 15 points. The Aussie looked certain to clinch the championship when he led until the 11th lap when he conceded track position to Newey and then to Schumacher, son of seven times F1 champion Michael Schumacher, to eventually finish third
in the race that saw Safety Car being deployed following an on-track incident.
Newey did himself a favour by putting in the fastest lap of the race which fetched him two crucial points that helped him tie with Mawson before the deadlock was broken on the basis of number of wins.
Earlier, starting from pole on the reverse grid, Sandeep Kumar scored an emphatic win in the MRF Formula 1600 to make up for his fourth place finish in the first race on Saturday. He drove a near-flawless race to win from Raghul Rangasamy and former champion Karthik Tharani.
Three rookie drivers, Arya Singh (DTS Racing) from Kolkata, Mumbai’s Bhushan Thareja (Momentum Motor Sports) and Hyderabad’s Arun Showry (Momentum Motor Sports) dominated the Formula LGB 1300 race by finishing the race in that order and the trio also topped the Rookie Cup class to complete a fruitful weekend.
Arya Singh made capital of the pole position and managed to hold off stiff challenge from Thareja while Bengaluru’s Yash Aradhya (Wallace Sports), who started from seventh on the grid, came up with a fine performance as he cut through the field to finish on the podium, but was subsequently excluded for “technical infringement”. Showry thus gained a spot from fourth to third.
Narendran of RAD Racing yet again underlined his supremacy in the Saloon car category by comfortably winning the race for a fine double, having won the first outing on Saturday. The race was interrupted by a Safety Car period, but Narendran, who had started fourth on the reverse grid, timed his run to near perfection for a comfortable victory.
MRF Challenge (F2000) – Race 3 (15 laps): 1. Harrison Newey (Britian) (23mins, 19.855secs); 2. Juri Vips (Estonia) (23:27.768); 3. Ralf Aron (Esonia) (23:28.971).
Race 4: Newey (27:33.142); 2. Mick Schumacher (Germany) (27:36.826); 3. Joey Mawson (Australia) (27:38.411).
National Championship – MRF F1600 (Race 2, 8 laps): 1. Sandeep Kumar (Chennai) (13:35.993); 2. Raghul Rangasamy (Mahabalipuram) (13:36.536); 3.Karthik Tharani (Chennai) (13:40.090).
Formula LGB 1300 (Race 2, 8 laps): 1. Arya Singh (DTS Racing) (18:00.626); 2. Bhushan Thareja (Momentum Motor Sports) (18:09.998); 3. Arun Showry (Momentum Motor Sports) (18:10.725). Rookie Cup: 1. Arya Singh; 2. Bhushan Thareja; 3. Arun Showry.
Saloon cars – Indian Junior Touring Cars (Race 2, 8 laps): 1. Hisham KP (DTS Racing) (19:29.060); 2. Kamlesh Parmar (Team N1) (19:44.851). Super Stock: 1. Varun Anekar (Race Concepts) (18:52.938); 2. Veeresh Prasad (Race Concepts) (18:55.226); 3. RP Rajarajan (Performance Racing) (19:11.183). Esteem Cup: 1. Narendran (RAD Racing) (18:51.292); 2. Anant Pithawalla (Team N1) (18:53.144); 3. Sudanand Daniel (Red Rooster Racing) (18:53.754).