Tag Archives: MRF Challenge

Motorsport: Viscaal upstages Schumacher in Race-1 of MRF Challenge

Newsroom24x7 Network

Sakhir (Bahrain): Bent Viscaal of the Netherlands pulled off a fine win in Race-1 of the FIA-approved MRF Challenge at the Bahrain International Circuit here today, pushing pole-sitter German David Schumacher to second spot with Denmark’s Valdemar Eriksen completing the podium.

The originally scheduled 10-lap race was reduced to nine laps of which five were run behind the Safety Car following a crash at the start involving Indian-American Yuven Sundaramoorthy whose stalled car and was hit from behind by India’s Chetan Korada. Both were forced to retire from the race.

The lengthy Safety Car period effectively reduced the race to a hectic sprint. Viscaal, having moved from second to first with a great start, held position and also posted the fastest lap of the race which earned him a further two points, while Schumacher overcame a poor start to finish second. Eriksen started sixth on the grid, but made four spots to move to second in the very first lap before being passed by Schumacher.

Behind the trio, there was a hectic scramble for positions as Australian Dylan Young moved from eighth to eventual fourth ahead of Britain’s Joshua Mason, Japanese-American Reece Ushijima, who had qualified third, championship leader Michelangelo Amendola from Belgium, Denmark’s Largim Ali and Jordanian Manaf Hijjawi, in that order.

“I made a good start to get to P1, but about four laps behind the Safety Car meant I didn’t get enough of racing which was a shame. I think we have taken a big step forward with the car and I thank my race engineer and the team,” said the 20-year old Viscaal.

Schumacher, 18, was disappointed with his start and said: “I didn’t get used to the clutch which is very hard. So, I nearly stalled the car when the lights went out. The race was also not quick enough. Let’s see what we can do in the next race.”

In contrast, Eriksen, only 16, was happy with his podium finish. “I had a great start, moving from P6 to P2, but on re-start after the Safety Car period, I was passed by David. Thereafter, I just cruised home. Hopefully, I will do better in the future,” he said.

Earlier, the 30-minute qualifying session in overcast conditions with wet patches in some of the corners following overnight rains, witnessed a straight shootout between Schumacher (01:59.765) and Viscaal (01:59.918), both of whom ducked under the two-minute barrier, thus bettering last year’s pole position timing of 02:00.248 set by Max Defourny.

At one stage, Viscaal looked set for pole position with about seven minutes left on the clock, but Schumacher, who was quickest in last night’s Free Practice-2, came up with a hot lap, about four minutes from close of the session to upstage the Dutch youngster.

One of the surprises of the session was Ushijima (02:00.815) who moved up the grid to third spot with a late flier while Hijjawi (02:00.905) came in fourth to complete the second row. Sundaramoorthy (02:01.000) did well to finish fifth ahead of Eriksen (02:01.034), and the pair was followed by Mason (02:01.174), Young (02:01.243), Amendola (02:01.264), Ali (02:01.608) and Korada (02:03.218).

The results:

Race-1 (9 laps): 1. Bent Viscaal (Netherlands) (23mins, 52.460secs); 2. David Schumacher (Germany) (23:54.517); 3. Valdemar Eriksen (Denmark) (23:59.008). Fastest Lap: Viscaal (02:00.349).

Qualifying: 1. Schumacher (01:59.765); 2. Viscaal (01:59.918); 3. Ushijima (02:00.815); 4. HIjjawi (02:00.905); 5. Sundaramoorthy (02:01.000); 6. Eriksen (02:01.034); 7. Mason (02:01.174); 8. Young (02:01.243); 9. Amendola (02:01.264); 10. Ali (02:01.608); 11. Korada (02:03.218).

HSB

MotorSport: David Schumacher to race in MRF Challenge, Bahrain International Circuit to host Round 2

Newsroom24x7 Network

Sakhir (Bahrain): David Schumacher, son of former F1 driver Ralf, is the latest addition to India’s only FIA-approved international series, the MRF Challenge which moves to the Bahrain International Circuit here with a total of four races spread over two days – December 13 and 14.

The 18-year old David Schumacher from Germany, has been in tremendous form in the past year, having emerged Rookie Champion with eight wins in his category while finishing ninth Overall in the 2018 Formula 4 ADAC Championship, followed by fourth Overall with four wins in the 2019 Formula 3 Regional European Championship.

David Schumacher is the latest among high-profile drivers who have utilised the MRF Challenge, organised by the Madras Motor Sports Club, as a stepping stone to further their racing careers. Mick Schumacher, Harrison Newey, son of Formula 1 designer ace Adrian Newey, Formula 1 test driver with Alfa Romeo Racing Tatiana Calderon and last season’s winner Jamie Chadwick, who is also the champion of the inaugural W Series this year, are some of the big names to have participated in the MRF Challenge, organised by the Madras Motor Sports Club.

David Schumacher said: “I am really excited to race with the MRF Challenge in Bahrain. The series is a good platform to race in the winter break. I am looking forward to get the chance to do my first race in Bahrain and to prepare for the season 2020.”

Looking ahead to Round 2, Mr Arun Mammen, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, MRF Ltd., said: “At the outset, we would like to welcome David Schumacher to MRF Challenge. He follows his cousin, Mick, son of multiple F1 champion Michael Schumacher, and who participated in the championship couple of seasons ago and is now looking to break into F1. 

David joins other teenagers from Europe and the United States who showcased their talent in the first round at Dubai last month with some very competitive racing. I am sure, these youngsters are looking forward to racing at the iconic Bahrain F1 circuit in Sakhir.”

The first round of the MRF Challenge last month in Dubai, comprising five races saw Belgian teenager Michelangelo Amendola dominating with three wins, besides topping the qualifying session and posting three fastest laps to pocket 119 points. The other two races were won by veteran Australian Dylan Young and 16-year old Indian-American Yuven Sundaramoorthy. Trailing Amendola on the points table is British teenager Joshua Mason (77), ahead of Young (65).

Interestingly, 16-year old Japanese-American Reece Ushijima, though failing to win and placed seventh in the championship behind Valdemar Erikson (Denmark), Sunderamoorthy and Jordanian Manaf Hijjawi, showed impressive pace by posting two fastest laps in his debut single-seater season, and would be the one to watch here in Bahrain.

Danish youngster Largim Ali is currently eighth in the championship after finishing fourth in two races while Chennai-based Chetan Korada, India’s lone entry, brings up the rear, having picked up points in all the five outings in Dubai.

Another new entrant for Round 2 is 20-year old Brent Viscaal from the Netherlands who took part in the FIA F3 Championship this year after having finished runner-up in the 2018 Euroformula Open Championship.  

HSB