- RINUS VAN KALMTHOUT DOMINATES RACE 3 IN BAHRAIN
November 18, 2017: French GP3 driver Julien Falchero won his first race of the MRF Challenge in Bahrain when he got past Rinus van Kalmthout in the final race of Round 1 in Sakhir Bahrain. Van Kalmthout had earlier dominated Race 3 to win ahead of championship leader Felipe Drugovich and Falchero. Drugovich leads the championship on 80 points, with Falchero in 2nd on 65 points, Presley Martono on 63 points and van Kalmthout on 61 points.
In the opening race of the day, van Kalmthout made the perfect getaway to lead into the first corner with Drugovich holding off Falchero. Behind them Alex Karkosik managed to pass Dylan Young as Martono lost places. Van Kalmthout pulled away with Drugovich and Falchero locked in battle. He was not troubled and crossed the finish line more than 8 secs ahead. Falchero came alongside Drugovich but was unable to pass the Brazilian and had to settle for 3rd place. Karkosik finished in a lonely 4th place. After a slow start Martono recovered to finish in 5th place ahead of Young and Pavan Ravishankar. There were battles all through the field in what was a highly exciting race.
(Link to Race 3 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w_cmTTKJvYk)
The final race of Round 1 once again saw van Kalmthout having the perfect start with Falchero slotting into 2nd ahead of Drugovich. Drugovich passed Falchero only to be repassed by the Frenchman. The Safety Car was called out when Young hit Enqvist in the first corner. At the restart Falchero passed van Kalmthout with a great move into the first corner. On lap 4 Martono passed Drugovich for 3rd place and closed in on the leaders. Harri Jones and Michael Amendola collided on lap 7, which brought out the Safety Car for the second time. Van Kalmthout tried to get past Falchero at the restart only for Martono to get past in the first corner. Van Kalmthout fought back and got past Martono at turn 4. Falchero held on to take his first win in the championship ahead of van Kalmthout and Martono. Drugovich finished in 4th place ahead of Karkosik and Manuel Maldonado.
(Link to Race 4 – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfNP59GfGE4)
Race 4 winner Julien Falchero was thrilled to take his first win. He commented, "We were struggling yesterday with the car but the entire team helped to give me a great car today. We had the pace to win both races today and I took advantage of the Safety Car to jump van Kalmthout to win. So very happy with the result and look forward to the next Round in Dubai”
Race 3 winner Rinus van Kalmthout was relieved to win after suffering problems while leading yesterday. He commented, “After yesterday’s disappointment today was a very good day. In the first race I had the lead and I managed to go faster and faster to win comfortably. It was unfortunate that the Safety Car came out so early but am very happy with 2nd place. ”
MRF Racing would also like to congratulate our 2015 Champion Pietro Fittipaldi on winning the Formula V8 3.5 title.
MRF Challenge 2017, Round 1, Bahrain, Race 3:
- Rinus van Kalmthout – 20:18.394
- Felipe Drugovich – 20:26.178
- Julian Falchero – 20:26.224
- Alex Karkosik – 20:29.630
- Presley Martono – 20:35.324
MRF Challenge 2017, Round 1, Bahrain, Race 4:
- Julian Falchero – 24:44.559
- Rinus van Kalmthout – 24:45.020
- Presley Martono – 24:45.851
- Felipe Drugovich – 24:47.371
- Alex Karkosik – 24:50.189