Toby Sowery of the UK won the 2014 round of the MRF Challenge Championship at the MMRT racetrack inIrungattukottai, Chennai. The 18-year old driver also became the youngest driver to have accomplished this feat after securing a podium position in the third and final round of the championship. Toby Sowery bagged the championship title with 221 points followed by Ryan Cullen who scored 174 points. India's Raj Bharath finished third.
Speaking about his win, Toby Sowery said,"It is just an unbelievable feeling to win this title. It felt great to fight with such good drivers in what was a highly competitive field. A big thank you to MRF and the organisers for doing such a great job and giving me such a good car to fight with. Every race, every round has been a challenge so I am happy to come away with the title. Driving in Chennai has been unbelievable and from the first session, I have felt comfortable on this circuit and am happy to win the title here. I hope to use this experience to help me in my next season as well. "
The action packed race saw Ryan Cullen pilot the 210PS Formula MRF 2000 racecar to the top step of the podium followed by Sowery and King. The MRF Challenge Championship presents itself as a stepping stone for budding race drivers to higher classes like Formula 2, GP2 and British Formula 3. The cars are built to FIA F3 crash safety specs and are powered by a Renault Sport engine which is mated to a 6-speed transmission by Hewland.
The MRF FF1600 category was won by by Arjun Narendran who said, "This weekend has been perfect for me with three wins. I was happy to be so competitive in the MRF FF1600 category as I was not happy with the races I did here last year. These cars are really good and the competition is so close and fierce that it is really enjoyable to battle with these guys."
|TOBY SOWERY CROWNED MRF CHALLENGE 2014 CHAMPION RYAN CULLEN BEATS RAJ BHARATH TO SECOND PLACE IN THE CHAMPIONSHIP ARJUN NARENDRAN HOLDS OFF GOUTHAM PAREKH TO WIN MRF FF1600 RACE January 25, 2015: 18 year old Toby Sowery was crowned MRF Challenge 2014 Champion after finishing on the podium in Race 3 at the finale at the MMRT in Chennai. Sowery is the third Champion of the MRF Challenge and at 18 years, the youngest as well. Ryan Cullen won his first race of the weekend ahead of Sowery and Oscar King in Race 3 while King took his first win of the series ahead of Matthew Solomon and Gustava Myasava. Arjun Narendran won his first MRF FF1600 race ahead of Goutham Parekh in another thrilling race with the top 2 finishing less than a second apart from each other. Sowery finished on top of the standings with 221 points with Cullen in 2nd place with 174 points. Raj Bharath finished in 3rd place, making him the highest Indian finisher in the MRF Challenge. Kyle Mitchell, who missed the final round, had 112 points with Tarun Reddy finishing 5th in the Championship with 87 points. In Race 3 of the MRF Challenge 2014, Cullen took the lead into the first corner ahead of Sowery and Gustavo Myasava. For the first time this weekend all drivers got through the first few corners safely. Behind the top 3 was King leading the Indians Tarun Reddy and Raj Bharath. Cullen and Sowery pulled away from the rest of the field while Myasava had a battle on his hands holding off King and Raj after Reddy was forced to retire with a fuel pump problem. On lap 7 both King and Raj got past Myasava but the top 2 were too far ahead. Cullen made up for the disappointment of yesterday to take his first win this weekend ahead of Sowery and King. Raj finished in 4th place with Myasava and Matthew Solomon in 5th & 6th places respectively. In Race 4 of the MRF Challenge 2014, Matthew Solomon started on reverse grid pole alongside Myasava. Solomon held on to the lead with Myasava and King right behind him as they finished the first lap. The top 6 drivers were closely bunched up for the first half of the race with Myasava applying constant pressure on the leader. On lap 8 as Solomon tried to defend against Myasava, King pulled off the overtaking move of the weekend as he drove around the outside of the two drivers to go into the lead. King pulled away from the pack to take his first ever win in the series. Solomon managed to finish in 2nd place, taking his first podium in the series as well. The battle for 3rd was a 4-way battle with Myasava getting the final podium spot ahead of Cullen, Sowery and Raj. MRF Challenge 2014 Champion Toby Sowery commented, "It is just an unbelievable feeling to win this title. It felt great to fight with such good drivers in what was a highly competitive field. A big thank you to MRF and the organizers for doing such a great job and giving me such a good car to fight with. Every race every round has been a challenge so am happy to come away with the title. Driving in Chennai has been unbelievable and from the first session I have felt comfortable on this circuit and am happy to win the title here. I hope to use this experience to help me in my next season as well. " In the MRF FF1600 Race 2, Arjun Narendran starting on reverse grid pole, led into the first corner ahead of fast starting British driver Hamish Robinson, who jumped into 2nd place from 5th on the grid. Race 1 winner slotted in into third place and quickly passed Robinson and set off after the leader. Advait Deodhar also passed Robinson and joined Parekh in catching the leader. As in Race 1 there was nothing to choose from the top 3. Narendran crossed the line to take his first win with Parekh finishing in 2nd place and Advait in 3rd. Karthik Tharani Singh survived a first lap crash which damaged his front wing to finish in 4th position, ahead of Robinson and Anshul Shah. Arjun Narendran was delighted to take his first win in the category and third win of the weekend after winning the two Indian Touring Car races as well. He commented, "This weekend has been perfect for me with 3 wins. I was happy to be so competitive in the MRF FF1600 category as I was not happy with the races I did here last year. These cars are really good and the competition is so close and fierce that it is really enjoyable to battle with these guys." MRF Challenge In its third year, the MRF Challenge 2014 will feature 16 MRF Formula 2000 race cars, which have been made in India by JA Motorsport based in Coimbatore, in collaboration with Dallara, world's largest racing car manufacturer and also Jayem Automotives Ltd, which is a strategic partner for Tata Motors Ltd. The Formula 3 style car has been built by JA Motorsport in technical collaboration with Dallara, and is considered to be the fastest of its kind in Asia. The MRF Formula 2000 is powered by a 2.0 litre 210 BHP Renault Sport Engine and will have a Hewland 6-Speed sequential gearbox. The race car has also been crash tested to FIA F3 safety standards and will race with MRF ZLO slick and wet tyres. The MRF Challenge has fielded a strong driver line-up in the last two seasons, with drivers going on to win races in GP2 and British Formula 3. The MRF Challenge Alumni include GP2 drivers like Arthur Pic, Tio Ellinas, Jon Lancaster, Conor Daly, GP3 drivers like Ryan Cullen and Carmen Jorda, Former Formula 2 Champion Luciano Baccheta and British Drivers Harry Tincknell (WEC) and Rupert Svendsen-Cook.|