Mick Schumacher struck back in Free Practice 2 to go fastest ahead of Harrison Newey at Round 4 of the MRF Challenge 2016 at the Madras Motor Race Track in Chennai. He was fastest overall and ahead of Newey and championship leader Joey Mawson in Free Practice 2. In the opening practice session of the weekend Newey had beaten Schumacher and championship leader Joey Mawson. Mawson currently leads the championship by 27 points over Newey with Schumacher a further 40 points behind. Raghul Rangasamy and Sandeep Kumar topping FP1 and FP1 in the MRF 1600 championship.

In the opening practice session of the weekend the drivers took their time as they familiarized themselves in one of the most challenging circuits on the calendar. Newey was the first to set a competitive time as he did a 1:33.249. Brazilian driver Felipe Drugovich was quick to respond and did a 1:32.398 to go on top. Meanwhile Schumacher continued to make steady progress and jumped to the top of the charts. Newey struck back to do an impressive lap of 1:31.799. Schumacher was close behind with a 1.31.813 with Mawson a further tenth behind. Drogovich ended up in 4th place ahead of Australian driver Dylan Young. Behind them was Juri Vips, Daniel Ticktum and Ralf Aron.

Free practice 2 saw the top drivers wasting no time in getting up to speed and Newey was one of the front runners to go fastest with a 1:31.883. The three title protagonists traded fastest laps through session with Mawson, Newey and Schumacher all being on top at some point through the session. It was Schumacher who finally finished on top with a 1:30.861. Newey finished in 2nd place ahead of Mawson. Vips finished in 4th place ahead of Red Bull junior driver Dan Ticktum, British driver impressing on his first visit to the circuit. It is very close at the top with 4 drivers within three tenth off a second of each other.

The MRF 1600 was also in action with Raghul Rangasamy setting the fastest time in FP1. He set a 1:40.401 to be comfortably ahead of Sandeep Kumar and 2015 champion Karthik Tharani. Anindith Reddy was in 4th place ahead of a returning Siddharth Trivellore. In FP2 it was Sandeep who set the fastest lap on his final lap to just beat Raghul. Sandeep did a 1:39.787 to beat his closest rival by 0.024seconds. Behind them was Tharani, Anindith and Chetan Korada.

Qualifying and Races 1&2 will take place on Saturday, February 18, with Races 3&4 taking place on Sunday, February 19. All the action will be streamed live this weekend and can be seen at www.mrfracing.in

MRF Challenge 2016, Round 4, Chennai, Free Practice 1:

Pos Driver Name Total Time
1 Harrison Newey 1:31.799
2 Mick Schumacher 1:31.813
3 Joey Mawson 1:31.981
4 Felipe Drugovich 1:32.391
5 Dylan Young 1:32.398

MRF Challenge 2016, Round 4, Chennai, Free Practice 2:

Pos Driver Name Total Time
1 Mick Schumacher 1:30.861
2 Harrison Newey 1:31.112
3 Joey Mawson 1:31.226
4 Juri Vips 1:31.238
5 Daniel Ticktum 1:31.760

MRF 1600, Round 2, Chennai, Free Practice 1:

Pos Driver Name Total Time
1 Raghul Rangasamy 1:40.401
2 Sandeep Kumar 1:40.758
3 Karthik Tharani 1:41.063
4 Anindith Reddy 1:41.190
5 Siddharth Trivellore 1:41.458

MRF 1600, Round 2, Chennai, Free Practice 2:

Pos Driver Name Total Time
1 Sandeep Kumar 1:39.787
2 Raghul Rangasamy 1:39.811
3 Karthik Tharani 1:40.230
4 Anindith Reddy 1:40.348
5 Chetan Korada 1:40.457

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