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Series Report: MRF Challenge


Dubai, UAE, 9 December, 2016: 18 year old British driver Harrison Newey fought back to win Race 1 of the MRF Challenge 2016 in Dubai. Newey, who was cheered on by his father and legendary F1 designer Adrian Newey, had a close battle with Australian driver Joey Mawson before coming out ahead at the opening race of the season. Mick Schumacher came home in 3rd place. In Race 2 Felipe Drugovich justified his practice pace to win ahead of Joey Mawson and Juri Vips. Earlier in the day Mawson set the fastest lap ever done by the MRF F2000 around the Dubai Autodrome to claim pole position for the second round of the championship.

It was qualifying that started the day off for the motorsport fans in Dubai with all eyes on the MRF F2000 cars and the impending duel between Newey and Schumacher. Newey was in fine form in practice but the pack behind him closed the gap down overnight. Newey set a lap time of 1:56.020 only for Mawson to put in a stunning lap of 1:55.945 to take his first pole position of the season. Behind the top two were Schumacher, Juri Vips and Pedro Cardoso.

Starting on pole position, Mawson got a good start off the line but Newey tried to go around the outside heading into turn 1. Mawson just managed to hold on. Schumacher in 3rd stayed on the rear wing of Newey but was not close enough to challenge. Newey started to close in on Mawson and on lap 4 he passed the Australian driver after both were side by side for 3 corners. Schumacher applied pressure on Mawson but could not find a way past. Newey set a string of fastest laps and took the chequered flag ahead of Mawson and Schumacher. Cardoso held off fast charging Brazilian driver Drugovich for 4th place with Vips finishing in 6th place. Kimi Schramm finished in 7th place ahead of Dylan Young, Van Kalmthout and Manuel Maldonado. Indian driver Parth Ghorpade fought back from last place at the end of the first corner to finish in 11th position.

In Race 2 Vips started on reverse gird pole position alongside Drugovich. Vips held on to the lead but was passed by Drugovich down the back straight on lap 1. Behind them Mawson moved up the field rapidly from 5th on the grid to be 3rd at the end of Lap 1. On the next lap he passed Vips for 2nd and set his sights on Drugovich. Schumacher and Newey were involved in a battle of their own, albeit for 5th place. Schumacher then passed Cardoso for 4th place and started to catch Vips. Mawson tried everything but could not get past as Drugovich took his first win in the series. Behind the two, Vips just about managed to hold off a charging Schumacher to take the final podium spot. Cardoso kept Newey at bay to take 5th place.

MRF Challenge

Harrison Newey was happy to get his title ambitions back on track. He commented, “I was disappointed not to be on pole position today. I had a good start and was behind Joey (Mawson) for the first few laps. It was a hard but fair battle with Joey but I managed to get past. I am really happy to win here but it is important to pick up useful points in every race this weekend.”

Felipe Drugovich was thrilled to get his first win of the series. He commented, “It feels great to win here today. The pace has been there all weekend but it was just a matter of putting it together. I got past Vips down the back straight on the first lap and tried to pull away. Joey (Mawson) was really quick and was putting me under real pressure but was able to hold him off.”

MRF Challenge 2016, Round 2, Dubai, Qualifying:

Pos Driver Name Total Time
1 Joey Mawson 1:55.945
2 Harrison Newey 1:56.020
3 Mick Schumacher 1:56.260
4 Juri Vips 1:56.607
5 Pedro Cardoso 1:56.682


MRF Challenge 2016, Round 1, Dubai, Race 1:

Pos Driver Name Time Diff
1 Harrison Newey
2 Joey Mawson 2.572
3 Mick Schumacher 3.335
4 Pedro Cardoso 7.941
5 Felipe Drugovich 8.736
6 Juri Vips 10.631
7 Kimi Schramm 12.562
8 Dylan Young 19.621
9 Van Kalmthout 20.533
10 Manuel Maldonado 22.942


MRF Challenge 2016, Round 2, Dubai, Race 2:

Pos Driver Name Time Diff
1 Felipe Drugovich
2 Joey Mawson 0.712
3 Juri Vips 7.856
4 Mick Schumacher 8.179
5 Pedro Cardoso 10.622
6 Harrison Newey 10.965
7 Kimi Schramm 11.556
8 Van Kalmthout 15.459
9 Zane Goddard 15.696
10 Dylan Young 17.083
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