Drugovich favourite for MRF crown in Chennai finale
The 2017/18 season of MRF Challenge will come to a close this weekend at the revamped Madras Motor Race Track in Chennai.
Brazil’s Felipe Drugovich heads into the season finale as the firm favourite for the title, having won eight of the 12 races held so far.
Drugovich started the season with back-to-back wins in Bahrain, but it was in Abu Dhabi where he did most of the damage, completing a clean sweep of four victories.
The 17-year-old sits firmly at the top of the standings with 260 points, 86 clear of his nearest rival. With only 110 points on offer in Chennai, he already has one hand on the prize.
While Drugovich is unlikely to be challenged for the top crown, the fight for second place is far from over.
Indonesia’s Presley Martono, Frenchman Julien Falchero and USF2000 runner-up Rinus van Kalmthout could all secure the runner-up spot, and are separated by just 11-points in the standings.
Both Martono and Falchero have won one race apiece, while Kalmthout is twice a winner, but lost ground with two unlucky retirements in Bahrain and Abu Dhabi.
Apart from the aforementioned trio and championship-favourite Drugovich, EuroFormula Open podium finisher Alex Karkosik and MRF Challenge regular Dylan Young are also capable of fighting for the top spots.
The Madras Motor Race Track is known for its old-school nature, despite upgraded pits and paddock facilities and a resurfacing of the track.
The circuit boasts of some tricky corners and can catch out the most experienced of drivers, as attested by the previous rounds at the South Indian venue.
With limited overtaking opportunities, Friday’s qualifying session will be crucial and could have a major bearing on the final standings.
"Chennai is always an uncharted territory for all new drivers as it is one of the most challenging circuits on the calendar,” Mr. Arun Mammen, Vice Chairman & Managing Director, MRF Tyres said.“
It has been refreshing to see another young batch of drivers prove their mettle in the MRF Challenge. MMRT has always provided some great racing, including last year’s championship being decided on the last lap here, and we look forward to some more great battles this weekend.”
Abu Dhabi MRF: Drugovich continues domination in Race 4
Chennai MRF: Martono beats Drugovich to final pole