Pole Position man Alessio PicarielloThe MRF Challenge 2015 season will make its debut in Dubai as Round 3 of the MRF Challenge 2015 heads to the UAE this weekend. The FIA sanctioned MRF Challenge, lives upto its billing as India’s only single-seater international racing series with driver representation from 9 countries for the penultimate round in Dubai. The Dubai Autodrome will also become the 3rd international round this season, with Abu Dhabi and Bahrain already completed.

Brazilian driver and grandson of two-time F1 champion Emmerson Fittipaldi, Pietro Fittipaldi currently leads the Championship on 98 points. Russian driver Nikita Troitckii had a double podium finish in Bahrain and has jumped up to 2nd in the championship, on 86 points. Female Colombian driver Tatiana Calderon had a tough outing in the last round but is still 3rd in the standings, just 12 points off the leader. All eyes will be on Belgian driver Alessio Picariello, who stunned the field to dominate in Bahrain with pole position, fastest lap and 2 wins in 2 races. He has 56 points, more than 42 points behind the leader.

Mr. Arun Mammen, Managing Director, MRF Tyres, commented, “We are extremely excited to come to the Dubai Autodrome for the first time. The MRF Challenge 2015 has a very strong presence in the Middle-East and we are happy to continue this by having our first race in Dubai. We have a truly international grid with 10 countries being represented this weekend. The circuit will be a new challenge for the drivers and equal for everyone with none of the drivers having driven here before.”

India’s first F1 driver and MRF brand ambassador Narain Karthikeyan will also be present in Dubai to witness all the action from the Dubai Autodrome. Karthikeyan has played a pivotal role in development of the MRF F2000 cars and works closely with MRF to constantly improve the tyres.

Harrison Newey, son of famed Formula One engineer Adrian Newey finished strongly in Bahrain and will be looking to continue his form this weekend. Making his debut will be Giuliano Alesi, son of former F1 race winner and Ferrari driver Jean Alesi. The Indian contingent will be led by Tarun Reddy and Indian Touring Car Champion Arjun Narendran. Reddy currently lies 7th in the championship, more than 50 points behind the leader after a disastrous outing in Bahrain.

In its fourth year, the MRF Challenge 2015 will feature 16 MRF Formula 2000 race cars, which have been made in India by JA Motorsport based in Coimbatore, in collaboration with Dallara, world’s largest racing car manufacturer and also Jayem Automotives Ltd. 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 MRF Formula 2000 is powered by a 2.0 litre 210 BHP Renault Sport Engine and will have a Hewland 6-Speed sequential gearbox. The race car has also been crash tested to FIA F3 safety standards and will race with MRF ZLO slick and wet tyres.

The MRF Challenge has fielded a strong driver line-up in the last two seasons, with drivers going on to win races in GP2 and British Formula 3. The MRF Challenge Alumni include GP2 drivers like Arthur Pic, Tio Ellinas, Jon Lancaster, Conor Daly, GP3 drivers like Ryan Cullen and Carmen Jorda, Former Formula 2 Champion Luciano Baccheta and British Drivers Harry Tincknell (WEC) and Rupert Svendsen-Cook.

The Dubai Autodrome is a 5.39km circuit with a combination of high-speed straights and technical corners. There will be 4 races this weekend with 2 races on Friday and 2 on Saturday.


December 17, Thursday: Free Practice 1 & 2
December 18, Friday: Qualifying (9am), Race 1 (13:15), Race 2 (15:40)
December 19, Saturday: Race 3 (10:10), Race 4 (13:15)

MRF Challenge 2015 Calendar:

Round 1: October 29-31, 2015, Abu Dhabi, Yas Marina Circuit
Round 2: November 18-20, 2015, Bahrain, Bahrain International Circuit (World Endurance Championship Support Race)
Round 3: December 17-19, 2015, Dubai, Dubai Autodrome
Round 4: January 29-31, 2015, Chennai, Madras Motor Race Track

MRF Challenge Driver Line-Up:

S. No
Harrison Newey
Tatiana Calderon
Pietro Fittipaldi
Max Fewtrell
Laura Tillett
Arjun Narendren
Sean Walkinshaw
Alessio Picarello
Dylan Young
Jose Abadin
Nikita Troitckii
Nerses Isaakyan
Tarun Reddy
Giuliano Alessi
Matthew Draper
Rik Breukers