December 05, 2017: The sixth edition of the MRF Challenge 2017 will head to Dubai for Round 2 of the MRF Challenge 2017. The FIA sanctioned MRF Challenge 2017 championship is the leading winter series for young motorsport drivers from across the globe and will return to the Dubai Autodrome for the third time. Round 2 will feature 4 action packed races around the twisty and demanding circuit.

Mr. Arun Mammen, Managing Director, MRF Tyres, commented, “It gives us immense pleasure to return to Dubai with the MRF Challenge. We have some of the best young drivers from across the world who are keen to drive at this exciting circuit. We have had three different winners from the first 4 races so the championship is definitely shaping up well. The Dubai Autodrome is challenging so it is a circuit where all our drivers look forward to racing at.”

Brazilian driver Felipe Drugovich currently leads the Championship on 80 points after two race wins and a second place in Bahrain. The battle behind is close with three drivers split by 4 points. GP3 driver Julien Falchero had one win and two podiums and is in second place in the championship on 65 points. Indonesian driver Presley Martono is in third place with 63 points ahead title contender Rinus van Kalmthout, who is on 61 points. Van Kalmthout was quickest in qualifying and race until he was forced to retire with a technical problem.

The MRF Challenge 2017 F2000 car will feature an updated car. For the first time the car will have a Hewland 6-speed sequential gearbox with integrated dash and paddle shift system. The car will also feature advanced aerodynamics with underbody diffuser. The 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 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.

Mr. J Anand, Managing Director, JA Motorsports, commented, “For the sixth season of the MRF Challenge we have focused on making the cars even faster, while also ensuring it is more enjoyable for the drivers. Mr. Adrian Newey has been kind enough to share some thoughts with us for increasing the downforce with new diffuser design. We have also introduced paddle shift gearbox for the first time. This has been received well during testing so we are confident that the car can be even faster this year. The series has been gaining a lot of traction internationally so it is heartening to see an Indian series getting so much attention.”

The Dubai Autodrome circuit is 5.39km long and one of the most challenging circuits in the region. It has a good combination of high-speed straights and technical corners. This creates a bigger headache for the engineers who have to find the right set up to favour both these areas. The venue is part of the Union Properties Motorcity development in the greater Dubailand area.

This year has seen a full grid of 18 cars. Returning drivers include Italian F4 runner up and title favourite Felipe Drugovich, Dylan Young, Manuel Maldonado, Rinus Van Kalmthout and Dylan Young. They will be joined by yet another F1 driver Bertrand Gachot son, Louis Gachot. Former drivers of the MRF Challenge include F3 drivers Harrison Newey, Mick Schumacher, Joey Mawson, V8 Championship leader Pietro Fittipaldi, Indycar driver Conor Daly etc.

The Indian based series, which features Formula 3 style cars, is developed and promoted by tyre giant MRF Tyres. It continues to be the only Indian based series racing not only internationally, but also at F1 venues. Both Bahrain and Abu Dhabi are on the Formula One calendar with the latter playing host to the F1 finale in in November.

Please find below details for the MRF Challenge races:

Thursday, December 7

  • 10:35 – 11:05: MRF Challenge Practice Session 1
  • 15:00 – 15:30: MRF Challenge Practice Session 2


Friday, December 8

  • 09:50 – 10:20: MRF Challenge Qualifying
  • 13:20 – 13:50: MRF Challenge Race 1
  • 16:25 – 16:55: MRF Challenge Race 2


Saturday, December 9

  • 09:30 – 10:00: MRF Challenge Race 3
  • 12:30 – 13:00: MRF Challenge Race 4


MRF Challenge 2017 Calendar:

  • Round 1: November 16-18, 2017, Bahrain, Bahrain International Circuit (WEC Support Race)
  • Round 2: December 7-9, 2017, Dubai, Dubai Autodrome
  • Round 3: December 13-15, 2017, Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi
  • Round 4: February 2-4, 2018, Chennai, Madras Motor Race Track


Driver Line-up:

  1. Nazim Azman (Malaysia)
  2. Harri Jones (Australia)
  3. Richard Wagner (Germany)
  4. Robert Megennis (USA)
  5. Henning Enqvist (Sweden)
  6. Julien Falchero (France)
  7. Daniel Nielsen Frost (Singapore)
  8. Rinus Van Kalmthout (Netherlands)
  9. Perdana Putra Minang (Indonesia)
  10. Kurt Hill (Australia)
  11. Dylan Young (Australia)
  12. Pavan Ravishankar (Singapore)
  13. Alex Karkosik (Poland)
  14. Michelangelo Amendola (Belgium)
  15. Felipe Drugovich (Brazil)
  16. Presley Martono (Indonesia)
  17. Louis Gachot (France)
  18. Manuel Maldonado (Venezuela)