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MRF Challenge – Day One

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  • Patrick Pasma grabs pole position in MRF Challenge
  • P1 for Tijil Rao in Formula LGB 1300

Chennai, February 08: Patrick Pasma, the 18-year old from Finland, upstaged the MRF Challenge field with a blistering lap of one minute, 30.559 seconds at the MMRT track here today, to grab the pole position ahead of tomorrow’s race.

Pasma, who is currently fifth in the championship having won just one race in 10 starts in the first round at Dubai in November last year, did well to shrug off two difficult free practice sessions, including a puncture in the first, to take P1 in the 30-minute qualifying run.

Pasma finished well ahead of championship front runners, Max Defourny from Belgium (01:31.119) and UK’s Jamie Chadwick (01:31.103), who slotted in mid-grid positions.

Finishing second behind Pasma was Belgian Michaelangelo Amendola (01:30.682) followed by last year’s British Formula 3 champion Linus Lundquist from Sweden (01:30.810) who had earlier topped both the Free Practice sessions, and Aussie teenager Jack Doohan (01:30.928).

Reflecting on his performance today, Pasma said: “It was alright, though it wasn’t perfect. In the first free practice we had a flat tyre, so it was really tricky. In the second free practice, we made a few changes and it was better. So, the pole position is a good base for tomorrow’s race.

“The track was really technical for us and you really have to be precise. There is no scope for any errors.”

Mumbai’s Nayan Chatterjee put in a hot lap of 01:40.346 to top the first of the two free practice sessions in the MRF F1600 category and carried forward the form into the second session which also he topped with a best of 01:39.744.

Rithvik Thomas of Race Concepts (Bengaluru) was the quickest among the Saloon cars (Super Stock) in the MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Racing Championship with a flying lap of two minutes, 02.116 seconds in the second of the two free practice sessions, while team-mate Joel Joseph topped the time sheets in the first, clocking a best of 02:02.396.

Former FMSCI president Akbar Ebrahim dominated both the free practice sessions in the Indian Touring Cars category, stopping the clock at 01:57.880 and 01:57.077 in the two outings.

The results:

MRF Challenge (F2000): Qualifying – 1. Patrick Pasma (Finland) (01min, 30.559secs); 2. Michelangelo Amendola (Belgium) (01:30.682); 3. Linus Lundquist (Sweden) (01:30.810).

Free Practice-1: 1. Linus Lundqvist (Sweden) (1:31.611); 2. Jamie Chadwick (UK) 1:31.662; 3. Max Defourny (Belgium) (01:31.705). Free Practice-2: 1. Linus Lundqvist (Sweden) (01:31.871); 2. Patrick Pasma (Finland) (01:31.943); 3. Max Defourny (Belgium) (01:31.962).

MRF MMSC fmsci Indian National Racing Championship: MRF F1600 (Free Practice-1): 1. Nayan S Chatterjee (Mumbai) (01:40.346); 2. A. Bala Prasath (Coimbatore) (01:41.176); 3. Arya Singh (Kolkata) (01:41.484). Free Practice-2: 1. Nayan S Chatterjee (Mumbai) (01:39.744); 2. A Bala Prasath (Coimbatore) (01:40.455); 3. Arya Singh (Kolkata) (01:40.631).

Formula LGB 1300 (Qualifying): 1. Tijil Rao (Bengaluru) (01:53.714); 2. Ashwin Datta (Chennai) (01:54.925); 3. K Suriya Varathan (Coimbatore) (01:54.993).


Motorsports in India is synonymous with MRF. In fact, the development and popularity of various forms of the sport could be directly attributed to the pioneering efforts of the company, be it racing, rallying, motocross or karting. To encourage motorsport enthusiasts MRF has spared no money in offering World-class facilities. The development of MRF Power House – a modern motorsports facility has been a boon to the Indian drivers, who wished to compete and test themselves against international standards. The centre is a testament to the commitment of MRF to raising the bar of Indian motorsports.

Being the largest promoters of motorsports in India, MRF has the added advantage of being able to use the racetrack to test the tyres.

MRF is the only tyre company in India to have developed formula car tyres, world- class rally tyres for tarmac and dirt, motocross tyres and also FIA-CIK karting tyres. Today, the company caters to almost all segments of the tire industry and is proud to be the manufacturer of the largest range of tyres. Heavy-duty truck and bus tyres, passenger car tyres, two-wheeler tyres and farm tyres are just some of the tyres that MRF manufactures.

The one thing that puts MRF head and shoulders above its competition is the fact that MRF is the only tyre company in India without any foreign technical collaboration. The company is where it is today, thanks mainly to its know-how and its ability to develop indigenous technology. With this technology, MRF now supplies original equipment tyres to multinational manufacturers such as Honda, Hyundai,Renault, Nissan, Mahindra, Tata, Volkswagen, Toyota,Suzuki and Ford. In total, MRF exports to more than 90 countries. MRF has been the undisputed leader in the tyre industry for more than three decades now, notwithstanding the competition from various multinational and Indian tyre brands.

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