l-to-r-aron-newey-mawson-mr-arun-mammen-md-mrf-tyres18 year old British driver Harrison Newey dominated qualifying and Race 1 of the MRF Challenge 2016 in Bahrain. Newey, son of legendary F1 designer Adrian Newey, was in a league of his own as he won comfortably ahead of Ralf Aron and Joey Mawson. Earlier in the day Newey set the fastest lap to qualify on pole position for the opening round of the championship.

It was qualifying that started the day off for the motorsport fans in Bahrain with all eyes on the MRF F2000 cars. As the times started to tumble Newey set a 2:00.316, the fastest time ever set by these cars at this circuit. Mawson, who led for more than half the session had no answer and settled for 2nd with a 2:00.628. Behind him on the grid were Aron, Mick Schumacher and Van Kalmthout.

As the drivers formed on the grid 5th placed Kalmthout encountered problems. When the lights went out Newey made the perfect start to lead comfortably into the first corner. Mawson managed to keep 2nd place ahead of a charging Schumacher and Aron. On lap 2 Aron passed Schumacher to move into 3rd place and then set his sights on catching Mawson. An interesting battle ensued with Mawson and Aron going side by side through corners 4, 5, 6, 7 before Aron finally got ahead. Behind them Juri Vips got past Schumacher but the German driver was trying everything possible to get back ahead. At the front Newey stretched out his lead to 5 seconds and was untroubled as he crossed the finish line to win the opening race of the season. Estonian driver Aron finished in 2nd place ahead of Mawson and Vips. Schumacher crossed the line in 5th place ahead of Felipe Drugovich.

newey-leading-the-pack-into-corner-1Harrison Newey, who took a commanding win, was ecstatic with his start to the season. He commented, “I could not have hoped for a better start to the season. In qualifying the car was just great and I was able to extract maximum from it. I had the perfect getaway and after that it was all about controlling the pace. I hope I can carry this same form for the rest of the weekend.”

Ralf Aron, was pleased to finish second after what he called a disappointing qualifying session. He commented, “Am absolutely thrilled to finish in 2nd place after a great battle with Mawson. I did not have the best start but managed to pick off Vips and Schumacher in the 2nd lap. It was a clean fight with Mawson and I am happy to start the season with a podium. I should have been higher up in qualifying but I will take this result.”

MRF Challenge 2016, Round 1, Bahrain, Qualifying:

Pos Driver Name Total Time
1 Harrison Newey 2:00.316
2 Joey Mawson 2:00.628
3 Ralf Aron 2:00.944
4 Mick Schumacher 2:01.209
5 Van Kalmthout 2:01.339