Brazilian driver Felipe Drugovich clinched the MRF championship in fine style in Chennai, India at the end of January. The seventeen year old won ten rounds out of sixteen in the winter championship, standing on the podium thirteen times.
The 2017/18 MRF Championship is the fifth running of the MRF challenge Formula 2000 championship. The opening weekend was held at the Barhain International Circuit, it is the support race for the FIA World Endurace Championship, and it finished at the Madras Motor Racing Track in Chennai India.
Each round has four races, and the season boasts sixteen races in total over four race weekends, each held at different venues.
The Championship is run by Madras Motor Sports Club, and the championship uses its own tyres; MRF.
The Championship attracts many rising stars from all over the world, including son of seven time Formula One Champion, Mick Shumacher, Indy Car and multiple GP3 winner Conor Daly, and British Formula Three Champion Toby Sowey.
2017/18 Champion Drugovich got his campaign off to a good start, winning the opening round in Barhain, while Dutch driver Rinus Van Kalmthout had fastest lap. From then on, the two drivers became the dominant duo throughout the series.
Drugovich spoke to L&T Motorsport after his Championship win: “I think the championship is very good for the amount of track time during the European winter, so you can really stay active during that time, it is also a FIA series. It was great to get a decent amount of tyres (five sets per weekend) as the MRF is a tyre brand.”
” The car is good with decent downforce, Dallara chassis, so you could actually call it a Formula Three car. There weren’t many technical issues with the car, which was great.”
“The championship visits many great F1 tracks, such as Abu Dubai and Barhain. Abu Dubai is a really fun track to drive. Chennai was another great track, very tight, slow corners, great for learning”
The Brazilian will take what he has learned from the championship and put it to good use as he prepares for his season in European Formula Open. “It is good to start the season “Warm” Drugovich told L&T Motorsport.
American driver Conor Daly also spoke very highly of the Championship, Daly won the series in 2013 after some great battles with British driver Jordan King.
” The best thing I thought about the Championship, was that in order to get it going, they searched for sponsors, which meant the drivers didn’t have to. That meant there were a lot of good drivers. I’m glad it’s taken off and the good drivers continue to go. It was an interesting experience for me and I met some great people” said Daly of the championship.
Australian driver Joey Mawson is another to have competed in the championship. ” MRF is a great championship. You get a lot of track time at some great F1 circuits. You get to keep race fit during the off season but the real bonus is the great weather!”
The MRF Championship is developing and improving all the time, this year, a brand new pit facility at the home of MRF, and final round in Chennai. was welcomed by drivers, mechanics and Engineers.
” It’s a splendid pit facility, enabling Chernai to gain it’s FIA grade two licence” says experienced MRF engineer Chris Weller.
With the series becoming more and more popular, it will be fascinating to see how this great championship will develop. This years MRF championship will begin in October and end in January.
photo credits: MRF racing and Hindustan Times