MRF ChallengeThe MRF Challenge 2015 heads to Chennai for an exciting finale with championship leader Pietro Fittipaldi and female star Tatiana Calderon all set to battle at the Madras Motor Race Track in Chennai this weekend. After 3 thrilling rounds in Abu Dhabi, Bahrain and Dubai, India’s only international motorsport series, the FIA inscribed MRF Challenge will crown their fourth champion this weekend with 4 remaining races and all to play for. The 14 race championship, which involves one of the strongest line-up of young and upcoming drivers, will also see prize money of Rs. 6,400,000 handed out to the winners of the Championship.

Pietro Fittipaldi, grandson on 2-time Formula One champion Emerson Fittipaldi currently leads the championship with 168 points with Calderon in 2nd place on 150 points. Nikita Troitckii, who was disqualified in the final race of the last round, is a further 13 points behind, on 137. 4 time race winner this season Alessio Picariello is on 134 points and will be one to watch after finishing on the podium in the last 5 out of 6 races.

Mr. Arun Mammen, Managing Director, MRF Tyres, commented, “Coming back to race in front of the home crowd is always an exciting feeling for us. The drivers really enjoy coming here and it is the ideal venue for the title showdown. If you look at the names associated with the MRF Challenge it is clear to see that we are doing the right things and garnering the deserved recognition. There are 4 drivers in with a chance and this circuit is famous for throwing up surprises in title run-ins. I wish all the drivers the best of luck in what has already been a highly successful season.”

The MRF Challenge will witness the debut of Mick Schumacher, son of legendary Formula One driver and 7-time world champion Michael Schumacher. The 16 year old will race outside Europe for the first time when he steps into the MRF F2000. He will be joined by Harrison Newey (son of leading F1 designer Adrian Newey) and Giuliano Alesi (son of former Ferrari F1 driver Jean Alesi). Karting star Max Fewtrell and BRDC driver Enzo Bortoleto, both 16 year old, will also be young guns to look out for. India will be led by local boy Tarun Reddy, who has had only one podium finish this season. Also returning will be Laura Tillett and Dylan Young, who has a podium finish at the MMRT.

This weekend will also see Round 1 of the MRF F1600 Championship. The MRF F1600 championship has become the most sought after single-seater series in the country, with the winner getting a full season in the MRF Challenge 2016 and in addition will be sent for the Mazda Road to Indy shootout, the winner of which will receive a scholarship of USD 200,000. This promises to be one of the most competitive seasons in the series with a full grid of 16 cars.

Reigning champion Karthik Tharani Singh is the running favourite, after being unbeaten in the last two years (2015 MRF FF1600 Champion & 2014 Volkswagen Vento Cup Champion). Runners-up in the last year’s championship, Goutham Parekh and Arjun Narendran will also return for another shot at the title. 2015 Volkswagen Vento Cup winner Anindith Reddy will join the grid this year, along with former MRF F1600 race winner Lee Keshav. Tejas Ram, Sudharshan Rao, Abhinay Bikkani and Akshay Gupta will be looking to upset the favourites.

Spectators are also in for a treat with the MRF FMX riders all set to thrill the fans in between the races. MRF FMX riders Callum Shaw from New Zealand and Gabriel Villegas from Chile will perform stunts on their Yamaha YZ 250 like the ‘Superman’, ‘Whip’, ‘Backflip’, ‘9Knack’ and many more as they soar through the air doing flips.

MRF Challenge

In its fourth year, the MRF Challenge 2015 will feature 16 MRF Formula 2000 race cars, which have been made in India by JA Motorsport, based in Coimbatore. The Formula 3 style car has been built by JA Motorsport in technical collaboration with Dallara, world’s largest racing car manufacturer,and is considered to be the fastest of its kind in Asia. The MRF Formula 2000 is powered by a 2.0 litre 210 BHP Renault Sport Engine and will have a Hewland 6-Speed sequential gearbox. The race car has also been crash tested to FIA F3 safety standards and will race with MRF ZLO slick and wet tyres.

The MRF Challenge has fielded a strong driver line-up in the last three seasons, with drivers going on to win races in GP2 and British Formula 3. The MRF Challenge Alumni include GP2 drivers like Jordan King, Nobuharu Matsushita, Arthur Pic, Tio Ellinas, Jon Lancaster, Conor Daly, GP3 drivers like Ryan Cullen and Carmen Jorda and British Drivers Harry Tincknell (WEC) and Rupert Svendsen-Cook.

MRF Challenge 2015 Calendar:

Round 1: October 29-31, 2015, Abu Dhabi, Yas Marina Circuit
Round 2: November 18-20, 2015, Bahrain, Bahrain International Circuit (World Endurance Championship Support Race)
Round 3: December 17-19, 2015, Dubai, Dubai Autodrome
Round 4: January 29-31, 2016, Chennai, Madras Motor Race Track

MRF Challenge 2015 Entry List:

1. Harrison Newey
2. Guiliano Alesi
3. Tatiana Calderon
4. Pietro Fittipaldi
5. Max Fewtrell
6. Alessio Picariello
7. Laura Tillett
8. Aleksanteri Huovinen
9. Dylan Young
10. Matthew Draper
11. Nikita Troitckii
12. Nerses isaakyan
13. Tarun Reddy
14. Enzo Bortoleto
15. Mick Schumacher

MRF F1600 Entry List:

1. Anindith Reddy
2. Chetan Korada
3. Jai Sampath Kumar
4. Arjun Narendran
5. Tejas Ram
6. Anshul Shah
7. Goutham Parekh
8. Neha Dabas
9. Sudarshana Rao
10. Ria Dabas
11. Raghul Rangaswamy
12. Karthik Tharani Singh
13. Prashanth K
14. Brad Dias
15. Sandeep Kumar
16. Siddharth Potharaju
17. Lee Keshav (TBC)