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201323 Oct


The MRF Challenge 2013 season will kick-start this weekend with the first round being held at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) in Greater Noida. The FIA sanctioned MRF Challenge will serve as the sole support race for the Formula One Indian Grand Prix. The four round calendar will include 14 races, and will see the leading single-seater racing category in India go international with two rounds to be held in Bahrain in November and December. The final round of the championship will be held in Chennai in February. MRF also confirmed a prize money of Rs 6,500,000 for the winners of the Championship.


Arun Mammen, Managing Director, MRF Tyres, commented, "We are extremely pleased to launch the second season of the MRF Challenge. After the resounding success in our inaugural season we are keen to build on it and further improve the show. We are proud of the fact that this is the first time that an Indian motorsport series will be held internationally. JA Motorsport has done an incredible job developing the MRF Formula 2000 race car and is constantly innovating to ensure the cars are world class. These cars are part of the most technologically advanced series of its type and one of the fastest in Asia."


Drivers from Formula Renault 3.5, British F3, European F3 will battle it out in this season's MRF Challenge. The line-up includes Formula Renault 3.5 driver Arthur Pic, 2013 GP3 race winner Tio Ellinas, British F3 multiple race winners Harry Tincknell and Rupert Svendsen-Cook and Sam Brabham, son of Le Mans legend David Brabham and grandson of Jack Brabham. There will be four Indians on the grid with 2012 Formula Pilota Asian Champion Parth Ghorpade, former F2 racer Parthiva Sureshwaren, and 2013 MRF 1600 winner and runner-up Ashwin Sundar and Vikash Anand.


Narain Karthikeyan, India's first Formula One driver seemed happy with the driver line up for this weekend’s race and was confident of another great season ahead. He commented, "The MRF Challenge 2013 promises to be the hottest championship in Asia this year with a great driver line-up. It is great to see the calibre of drivers committing to this series. Participation of drivers from across the globe is a testament to the credibility the series has built in just a year. MRF has done a great job in creating this world-class championship and I believe it will just get bigger in the years to come."


J Anand, Managing Director, JA Motorsports, was pleased with the way everything was shaping up for the first race of the season. He commented, "When MRF first came to me with their vision of the MRF Challenge, I was excited to see the commitment from India's largest tyre manufacturer towards motorsport. MRF was also very keen that we build everything in-house and put India on the motorsport map, as genuine experts in building Formula cars. In order to make this championship professional and transparent, we are bringing down F3 engineers and mechanics from Europe, and have a close association with Dallara and Renault Sport. We have developed the MRF tyres from last year and the test drivers have given us positive feedback with the new compounds. We are excited about a great season ahead."

The first round will feature two races as part of the Indian GP weekend at BIC this coming weekend. The second round will take place in Bahrain as the support race for the World Endurance Championship final race, the third round will also take place in Bahrain as part of the Gulf National Racing Festival and the final round will be held at the MMRT in Chennai. The second, third and fourth round will feature four races each.


Arun Mammen, Managing Director, MRF Tyres, added, "It is heartening to see young international drivers wanting to drive in the India-based MRF Challenge 2013. To be support race at the Indian GP and World Endurance Championship round is an honour for us and speaks volumes of our commitment to promote motorsport not only nationally but internationally as well. I would like to thank all our partners for helping us create this exciting series."

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