12 races are scheduled across 3 rounds. The single-seater racing category in India heads to Bahrain in November for Round 2, and Chennai in January for Round 3. MRF also confirmed prize money of Rs. 6,500,000 for winners.
Arun Mammen, Managing Director, MRF Tyres is excited about MRF Challenge 3rd season. Both preceding years have been a success and the company is keen to further build on this. This year’s start with a night race is a first for an Indian based motorsport series. Though Volkswagen Polo R Cup did head to Sri Lanka for a night race at the end of its season in 2011.
With World Endurance Championship being a popular motorsport series globally, it’s great for MRF Challenge racers to race on the same weekend in Bahrain. The R&D team has ensured the best possible tyres for races, and this further helps develop tyres for road cars. Among young racers, are four Indian racers on the grid.
MRF Challenge 2014 features 16 MRF Formula 2000 race cars made in India by JA Motorsport, Coimbatore in collaboration with Dallara, and Jayem Automotives Ltd, a strategic partner for Tata Motors. The Formula 3 style car MRF Formula 2000 is considered to be the fastest of its kind, powered by a 2.0 litre 210 BHP Renault Sport Engine coupled with a Hewland 6-Speed sequential gearbox. MRF Formula 2000 is crash tested to FIA F3 safety standards and races on MRF ZLO slick and wet tyres.
MRF Challenge drivers have won races in GP2 and British Formula 3, and include Arthur Pic, Tio Ellinas, Jon Lancaster, Conor Daly, Ryan Cullen, Carmen Jorda, Luciano Baccheta, Camren Kaminsky, Dylan Young, Harry Tincknell, and Rupert Svendsen-Cook.
Tarun Reddy, who won MRF 1600 Championship last month gets to race in Qatar as a result of winning the title. Lee Keshav, Vikash Anand, and Raj Bharath will join him. Unable to race each other until now, James Hunt and Niki Lauda’s sons, Freddie Hunt and Mathias Lauda get a chance to begin their own rivalry.
MRF Challenge 2014 dates are as follows:Round 1: October 17-18, 2014, Doha, Losail International Circuit (Night Race). Round 2: November 14-15, 2014, Bahrain, Bahrain International Circuit (World Endurance Championship Support Race). Round 3: January 24-25, 2014, Chennai, Madras Motor Race Track.