Joey Mawson put on a dominant display to win Race 2 of the final round of the MRF Challenge 2016 in Chennai. His win in Race 2 over Ralf Aron and Daniel Ticktum gives him a 27 point lead over Harrison Newey in the championship, with just two races to go. Earlier in the day Newey, in front of his father and F1 design guru Adrian Newey, beat Mick Schumacher to win the opening race of the day. The opening race of the MRF 1600 championship saw Karthik Tharani beating Anindith Reddy to win the opening race of the day. The Championship will be decided tomorrow in front of none other than Indian cricketing legend, Sachin Tendulkar, who will be at the MMRT in Chennai.

Newey, who had shown tremendous pace in practice on Friday, followed it up by qualifying on pole position for the finale. He set a 1:30.253 to beat Schumacher by over a tenth off a second. Red Bull junior driver Dan Ticktum was the surprise in qualifying as he set a lap time of 1:30.759 to qualify 3rd. Championship leader Joey Mawson had a tough session and managed to qualify only in 7th position.

Starting on pole, the Newey got a decent start as Schumacher got bogged down heading into C1. Aron got past the German but could not match the pace of Newey in front. Schumacher continued to put pressure on Aron and finally on lap 7 he found a way past. With Newey too far ahead, Schumacher settled for 2nd ahead of Aron and Juri Vips. Mawson had a fighting race finishing fifth, after first overtaking Felipe Drugovich and then passing Ticktum with a brave move around the outside after Anand’s corner. Formula 4 SEA champion Presley Martono was an impressive eighth, ahead of Manuel Maldonado and Red Bull junior Neil Verhagen.

In Race 2, Ticktum started on reverse grid pole position alongside Mawson. With Newey cutting the gap down to just 12 points in the title fight, it was important that Mawson had a good start. He did just that as he got a great start to lead into the first corner ahead of Ticktum and Aron. Mawson pulled away as Ticktum held up the chasing pack behind him. Aron found a way past Ticktum but was unable to catch Mawson, who was over 4 seconds ahead. Newey moved up from 6th to 4th but was unable to make any more progress, making his title hopes even harder. Mawson crossed the finish line ahead of Aron and Ticktum, the latter getting a podium on his MRF Challenge debut. Newey finished in 4th place ahead of Vips, Drugovich and Schumacher.   

Joey Mawson was thrilled to win the second race of the day and extend his lead, with only two races to go. He commented, “It was a great start and after that it was all about managing the pace. I even got the fastest lap which helps me increase my lead. It is going to be important to stay out of trouble tomorrow but am really looking forward to it.”

In the opening race of the day in the MRF 1600 championship, Karthik Tharani was back to his winning ways as he held off a charging Reddy. At the start of the race, Tharani led from pole position, with fellow front-row starter Raghul Rangasamy closely following behind in second place. The two drivers were battling closely for the lead for the first couple of laps, before a mistake for Rangasamy allowed Reddy to pass him for 2nd position. Reddy then started setting fastest laps to hunt down race leader Tharani, who had pulled away from the front. Reddy was all over the gearbox of Tharani as they crossed the finish line. Rangasamy finished in 3rd place, ahead of Sandeep Kumar and youngster Arya Singh. Chetan Korada, Sidharth Trivellore and 2016 Vento Cup champion Ishaan Dodhiwala rounded off the top 8.

Races 3&4 will take place on Sunday, February 19. All the action will be streamed live this weekend and can be seen at

MRF Challenge 2016, Round 4, Chennai, Race 1:


Pos Driver Name Total Time
1 Harrison Newey 23:25.718
2 Mick Schumacher 23:29.961
3 Ralf Aron 23:34.870
4 Juri Vips 23:37.157
5 Joey Mawson 23:38.775
6 Daniel Ticktum 23:45.320
7 Felipe Drugovich 23:45.945
8 Presley Martono 23:59.059
9 Manuel Maldonado 24:00.753
10 Neil Verhagen 24:00.848

MRF Challenge 2016, Round 4, Chennai, Race 2:


Pos Driver Name Total Time
1 Joey Mawson 23:21.673
2 Ralf Aron 23:30.696
3 Daniel Ticktum 23:32.466
4 Harrison Newey 23:33.409
5 Juri Vips 23:33.965
6 Felipe Drugovich 23:36.228
7 Mick Schumacher 23:37.373
8 Neil Verhagen 23:50.919
9 Dylan Young 23:58.928
10 Presley Martono 24:09.706

 MRF 1600, Round 2, Chennai, Race 1:

Pos Driver Name Total Time
1 Karthik Tharani 13:40.482
2 Anindith Reddy 13:40.787
3 Raghul Rangasamy 13:42.240
4 Sandeep Kumar 13:44.321
5 Arya Singh 13:52.230

About MRF Challenge

In its fifth year, the MRF Challenge will feature MRF Formula 2000 race cars, which have been made in India by JA Motorsport, who are based in Coimbatore. 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 new 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 car will also feature advanced aerodynamics with underbody diffuser and a Hewland 6-speed sequential gearbox.

This year the grid has yet another promising line-up headed by the returning Newey and Schumacher. Joining them is German F4 Champion Joey Mawson, 2015 Italian F4 Champion and F3 race winner Ralf Aron, Japanese F3 Champion (National Class) Yoshiaki Katayama and Manuel Maldonado, cousin of former F1 race winner Pastor Maldonado.

MRF Challenge 2016 Calendar:

Round 1: November 17-19, 2016, Bahrain, Bahrain International Circuit (WEC Support Race)

Round 2: December 7-9, 2016, Dubai, Dubai Autodrome

Round 3: January 27-29, 2016, New Delhi, Buddh International Circuit

Round 4: February 17-19, 2016, Chennai, Madras Motor Race Track