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.

IN EPIC BATTLE TO WIN – Round 3, Coimbatore

newsKarthik Tharani Singh held off a charging Goutham Parekh and Arjun Narendran to win a brilliant MRF 1600 Race 2 at the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore. Earlier in the day Goutham Parekh took advantage of starting in pole position to win Race 1 of the MRF FF1600 Championship with 18 year old Tejas Ram taking his first podium by finishing an impressive second ahead of Karthik Tharani Singh. Karthik continues to lead the Championship, albeit by just one point from Parekh with Narendran a further 17 points behind in 3rd place.

The races for Day 2 of Round 3 of the MMSC-FMSCI National Racing Championship was delayed after heavy rain hit the circuit early in the morning. Parekh started on pole position alongside Chetan Korada with MRF wet tyres fitted on for the first time this season. Parekh had a good start but the fast starting Arjun Narendran from 3rd on the grid was side-by-side as the two drivers headed into the first corner. Parekh held on to the lead with Narendran in 2nd and Tejas Ram in 3rd place. With visibility at a very low level the drivers did a great job to stay on track on a very wet circuit. Narendran had a spin at the back of the circuit and dropped down to 4th place. Tejas did well to put pressure on Parekh but could not get close enough to make a move. As the rain eased Parekh pulled away to take his 2nd win of the season. Tejas finished in 2nd place ahead of Karthik Tharani Singh, who had a lonely race in 3rd.

Championship challenger Parekh was thrilled with a win and 2nd place in tricky conditions. He commented, “Race 1 was a lot of fun and I was really enjoying myself out there. MRF have done a fantastic job on their wet tyres as the grip levels were really good. Race 2. In Race 2 I had a very bad start and it took some time to get my rhythm again. It was a great battle with Arjun and “Karthik and maybe if I had one more lap I could have tried for the win. Anyway am very happy with the weekend and can’t wait for the next round in Chennai.”

Championship Leader Karthik Tharani Singh was thrilled to finish the weekend on top after a tough qualifying session. He commented, “Qualifying was really bad and have spent the rest of the weekend catching up. Race 1 was good and third was the best I could do so am happy with that. In Race 2 I had a great start and after that it was tough with the conditions so tricky. I knew we had the pace in the wet so am thrilled with this win.”

After being dry for most of the afternoon the rain returned for Race 2 of the MRF 1600 race. The MRF Team did a great job to quickly change from dry to wet tyres as the rain got heavier. Karthik, starting from 2nd position, got off the line quickly to jump reverse grid pole sitter Narendran and lead into the first corner. Parekh and Tejas battled for third place and exchanged positions 3 times before Parekh got back ahead and went after the top 2. With 4 laps to go and rain not letting up Narendran was all over the back of Karthik as Parekh joined the battle. With two laps to go Parekh passed Narendran as he tried unsuccessfully get pass Karthik. Karthik did a brilliant job to hold off Parekh by 0.155secs to win with Narendran and Tejas in third and fourth places respectively. The top 4 drivers were covered by 2 seconds.

Kathik Tharani Singh leads the Championship with 120 points with Goutham Parekh in second on 119 points. Local Coimbatore favourite and 2014 Indian Touring Car Champion Arjun Narendran is in third position with 103 points.