Jamie Chadwick creates history in MRF Challenge 2018-2019

Jamie Chadwick creates history in MRF Challenge 2018-2019

  • Becomes first female driver to win championship

Chennai, February 10: Jamie Chadwick from Bath, England, scripted history in the MRF Challenge by becoming the first female driver to annex the championship in seven seasons as she finished the third and final round of the international series with a triple crown, including two back-to-back wins, at the MMRT, here on Sunday.

Chadwick, 20, who had won three of the five races in the previous round in Bahrain, survived a long day and 58 laps, by winning two while Finland’s Patrick Pasma took the honours in the other as the MRF Challenge 2018-19 drew to a close.

While Chadwick ended the championship with 280 points, including two bonus points for the fastest lap in the last race, Belgium’s Max Defourny who came into the final round here with an 18-point advantage, failed to consolidate and ended up with 243 points. Pasma took the third spot in the championship with 186 points, ahead of German Andreas Estner (181).

An elated Chadwick said: “It (winning the championship) hasn’t sunk in yet. I would like to thank my team too and am happy that everything came together this weekend. In the last race, I made some mistakes which cost me a bit of the lead, but I quickly composed myself and made sure I won.
“I came into MRF Challenge for some experience and exposure, and not to win the championship. But after winning three races in Bahrain, I realised I was in with a chance and so went for it this weekend.”

Earlier, Pasma (Finland) had to work hard for his second win of the weekend in Race-3 which was briefly interrupted by a Safety Car period after Joshua Mason spun and blocked the track in the seventh lap. Pasma, starting from pole position, built up a comfortable, if not commanding lead, over Belgian Michelangelo Amendola before the pack bunched up behind the Safety Car. On re-strart, Pasma was harried all the way by Amendola, but managed to hang on and post his second win of the weekend. Finishing third behind Amendola was Swede Linus Lindqvist, the 2018 British F3 champion.
However, from the championship title perspective, the focus was on the battle between Chadwick and Defourny with the British youngster managing to finish ahead of the Belgian in fifth position. Defourny came in seventh which helped Chadwick to extend her lead by five points with two races remaining.

Chadwick expanded her championship lead over Defourny to 18 by winning Race-4 that was stopped and restarted following two incidents in the very first lap leading to retirement of three cars and the race distance reduced to 18 laps from scheduled 20. Chadwick had a fine start from P2 on the grid, moving past pole-sitter Jack Doohan (Australia) and then defended her position to chalk up her second win of the weekend. Defourny registered his best finish of the weekend by coming home fourth behind Chadwick, Amendola and Doohan.

In the final race of the championship, Chadwick was again off to a superb start, squeezing into the lead from third position, past pole-sitter Pasma and Defourny, even as the pack dived into Turn-1. With each lap, Chadwick increased her lead even as Defourny dropped down the order and eventually finished sixth. In the latter part of the race, Chadwick was closely pursued by Pasma and Amendola, but the British girl hung on to her advantage to chalk up her sixth win in 15 starts.

TOBY SOWERY DOMINATES WITH DOUBLE WIN IN MRF CHALLENGE 2014 FINALE – Round 1, Chennai

Reddy, Sowery, Myasava, Mr18 year old Toby Sowery stormed his rivals in the MRF Challenge 2014 finale as he took two out of two wins in the final round at the MMRT in Chennai. Sowery finished ahead of young Indian Tarun Reddy & Brazilian Gustavo Myasava in Race 1 before triumphing again in Race 2 ahead of Myasava and Oscar King. Goutham Parekh won a thrilling opening race in the MRF FF1600 with the top 4 drivers being covered by less than 2 seconds as they crossed the finish line.

In Race 1 of the MRF Challenge 2014, there was chaos at the start as Oscar King, starting 3rd, hit Ryan Cullen who in turn hit pole sitter Sebastian Balthasar. Balthasar was out immediately as Cullen and King limped back to the pits and managed to get going again, albeit 2 laps down. There was more action at the back with Laura Tillett, Dylan Young and Freddie Hunt all crashing as well as they looked to avoid the stricken cars at the front. After 4 laps behind the safety car, championship leader Toby Sowery led away ahead of Tarun Reddy and Gustavo Myasava.

Sowery pulled away and had a 3 second lead with 5 laps to go. However a heavy drizzle at the back end of the circuit caught some drivers off guard and Reddy and Myasava were suddenly all over the leader. Sowery held on to win the race and extend his lead ahead of Reddy and Myasava, who finished less than a second behind the leader. Jordan Albert finished in 4th place on debut ahead of Raj Bharath and Vinicius Paparelli, who will start on the front row for the reverse grid Race 2. Indian driver Lee Keshav and Mahaveer Raghunathan finished in 7th & 8th positions respectively.

In Race 2 of the MRF Challenge 2014, Vinicius Paparelli started on reverse grid pole along with Raj Bharath. Raj took advantage of a slow start from Paparelli to take the lead into the first corner. Paparelli retired on Lap 2 to put Sowery in 2nd place with Myasava right behind him in 3rd. Raj, who was pulling away from the rest of the pack, went off on C1 on lap 3 thereby giving Sowery the lead. King passed Reddy on lap 5 to move into 3rd position with the top 2 drivers too far ahead. Freddie Hunt and Laura Tillett had a scary crash that sent Tillett into a roll but luckily both drivers walked away unhurt. Sowery crossed the chequered flag to win the race with Myasava & King. Reddy finished in 4th place ahead of a charging Cullen with Raj in 6th place. Lee Keshav was once again in the points with a 9th place finish.

Toby Sowery in actionToby Sowery commented, “It feels just fantastic to win here in Chennai and I just can’t get enough of this brilliant circuit. Both races were really tough but am happy that I was able to move ahead and stay there. The first race was close with rain at the back of the circuit which made me a little cautious. Reddy and Myasava caught me but managed to hold them off. Race 2 was easier after Raj went off and then it was just a matter of keeping Gustavo behind me. Tomorrow will be an important day for me so looking forward to it.”

In the MRF FF1600, Goutham Parekh, who started on pole managed to hold on to the lead ahead of Advait Deodhar and Karthik Tharani Singh, with Arjun Narendran in 4th position. Karthik Tharani made a bold move to pass Advait and go after Goutham. It was a 4-way battle with almost nothing to choose from with Goutham leading Karthik, Advait and Arjun. It finished in the same order with Karthik unable to find a way past and finishing 0.652secs behind the leader. At the end of the race the top 4 were separated by 1.864secs. Tomorrow’s Race 2 promises to be a thriller with the top 4 starting in reverse order.

Goutham Parekh was delighted to take his first win in the category after a hard fought race. He commented, “It was one of the hardest races I have been in and a great way to start to the championship. Karthik put a lot of pressure on me in the last few laps so am happy to have held him off. There was almost nothing to choose between the 4 of us so hope we can battle like this the whole year.”