Greater Noida, Oct 26: Arthur Pic continued his dream start in the MRF Challenge 2013 by winning the season opener at the Buddh International Circuit (BIC) here Saturday.
Pic had a race-long battle with Tio Ellinas as the two jostled for positions from the moment the lights went green. Japanese driver Yudai Jinkawa continued his good form from the MRF 1600 category to take the final podium spot after early pressure from Rupert Svendsen-Cook.
Pic had the perfect start from pole and went straight into the lead followed by Ellinas. Behind the top two there was some bumper to bumper action with Harry Tincknell being punted off as three cars went side by side into Turn 3.
Jinkawa went into third position with Guerra in a surprising fourth position ahead of Svendsen-Cook and Sam Dejonghe.
Svendsen-Cook and Dejonghe wasted no time getting past Guerra and set their sights on Jinkawa. Meanwhile at the front there was nothing to choose between Pic and Ellinas with two tenths off a second separating them.
Ellinas made a move on lap four as he dived down the inside to get past Pic only to run wide allowing the Frenchman to get back into the lead.
Sean Walkinshaw finished sixth giving him reverse pole for Sunday’s race. One of the most impressive drives was from Indian Ashwin Sundar who started 15th on the grid but managed to finish in a brilliant seventh position.
“It feels great to win the first ever race of the season. There was nothing to choose between Tio and me as our cars were similar. I had to concentrate really hard but managed to hold on. The car feels nice to drive so I would like to thank the MRF team for a job well done,” said a relieved Pic.
MRF Challenge 2013 Calendar:
Round 1: Oct 25-27, 2013, Delhi, Buddh International Circuit (Formula One Support Race)
Round 2: Nov 28-30, 2013, Bahrain, Bahrain International Circuit (World Endurance Championship Support Race)
Round 3: Dec 19-21, 2013, Bahrain, Bahrain International Circuit (Gulf Racing Festival)
Round 4: Feb 14-16, 2013, Chennai, Madras Motor Race Trust