Mick Schumacher continued his fine form from practice and qualifying to win the opening race of Round 3 of the MRF Challenge 2016 at the Buddh International Circuit. Schumacher won ahead of Felipe Drugovich and Harrison Newey. In Race 2 championship leader Joey Mawson extended his lead at the front with a convincing win in an action packed race. Estonian driver Ralf Aron finished in 2nd place ahead of Schumacher, who fought back from 8th on the grid.  The opening race of the MRF 1600 championship saw pole sitter Ananth Shanmugam winning ahead of Anindith Reddy and Nayan Chaterjee.   

Schumacher took his maiden pole in the championship after an intense battle with Newey. The 30 minute qualifying session saw Schumacher and Newey trade fastest laps before Schumacher did a 1:50.749 to seal the top spot, making it the fastest lap ever done by the F2000 at the BIC.

Starting on pole, the German driver got the perfect getaway to lead into the first corner, with front-row starter Harrison Newey losing out to Felipe Drugovich going into Turn 1. Drugovich started to apply pressure on Schumacher but could never get close enough to attempt a pass. Behind him, Newey and Mawson was all over the rear of Drugovich but could not find a way past. Schumacher managed to control the pace at the front to take his third win of the season. Drugovich finished ahead of Newey and Mawson. Rinus van Kalmthout equalled his best result of the season finishing fifth, ahead of Kimi Schramm and Aron.

In Race 2, Yoshiaki Katayama started on reverse grid pole position alongside Schramm. While all drivers had a clean start there was action at the third corner with Pavan Ravishankar colliding with Drugovich and bringing out the safety car in the process. When racing resumed, Mawson pounced on Schramm at the end of the long straight and took the lead. Schramm then lost a position to Aron and two laps later Schumacher and Newey also got by. Mawson pulled away at the front and comfortably took his second win of the season with Aron and Schumacher completing the podium. Newey finished in 4th with Schramm and Van Kalmthout rounding off the top 6.

Mick Schumacher was thrilled to win the opening race of 2017. He commented, “I am very happy with the win. I had a reasonable start and then it was important to control the pace. The circuit is very technical and very enjoyable to race on. I hope to continue this form for the rest of the weekend.”

In the opening race of the MRF 1600 championship, pole sitter Shanmugam had a dreadful start and dropped back to 3rd place with Reddy storming into the lead. Shanmugam first got past Nayan Chaterjee and then overtook Reddy to take the lead. He was unchallenged after that and crossed the finish line in first place to win on debut. Reddy settled for 2nd place with Chaterjee getting a podium spot also on his debut.

Qualifying and Races 1&2 will take place on Saturday, January 28, with Races 3&4 taking place on Sunday, January 29.  

MRF Challenge 2016, Round 3, New Delhi, Race 1:


Pos Driver Name Total Time
1 Mick Schumacher 22:33.728
2 Felipe Drugovich 22:35.421
3 Harrison Newey 22:36.193
4 Joey Mawson 22:37.754
5 Rinus van Kalmthout 22:47.032
6 Kimi Schramm 22:53.353
7 Ralf Aron 22:56.608
8 Yoshiaki Katayama 23:02.200
9 Manuel Maldonado 23:13.791
10 Pavan Ravishanker 23:17.453

MRF Challenge 2016, Round 3, New Delhi, Race 2:


Pos Driver Name Total Time
1 Joey Mawson 24:27.191
2 Ralf Aron 24:35.276
3 Mick Schumacher 24:38.651
4 Harrison Newey 24:40.735
5 Kimi Schramm* 24:46.904
6 Rinus van Kalmthout 24:49.730
7 Yoshiaki Katayama 24:50.401
8 Pedro Cardoso 24:50.608
9 Manuel Maldonado 24:56.279
10 Chia Wing Hoong 25:11.872
  • Under investigation

MRF 1600, Round 1, New Delhi, Race 1:

Pos Driver Name Total Time
1 Ananth Shanmugam 16:56.919
2 Anindith Reddy 17:02.527
3 Arya Singh 17:03.922
4 Chetan Korada 17:28.942
5 Anshul Shah 17:31.519

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