MRF Challenge: Defourny still leads despite three wins for Chadwick in Bahrain
Max Defourny headed the drivers' points standings in 2018/19 MRF Challenge series despite three wins for Jamie Chadwick in Round 2 in Bahrain.
After a substantial lead in points for Defourny following Round 1 in Dubai, the Belgian racer ended Round 2 in Bahrain ahead as well but Britain's Chadwick truncated the gap to just 18 after her dominant run with three victories in the weekend.
Defourny started off well having scored a pole on Thursday night ahead of Chadwick and Andreas Estner but the Belgian did not make a great start in Race 1 on Friday when he lost the lead to Estner who rocketed past both Defourny and Chadwick.
The German held on to his lead to win with Defourny fighting back to finish second from Danial Frost after he overtook Chadwick early on. The Brit had Dylan Young and Petr Ptacek in the closing stages but managed to hold on to fourth.
Young finished fifth from Ptacek with Patrick Pasma, Michelangelo Amendola, Valdemar Eriksen, Sebastian Estner, Chetan Korada and Joshua Mason rounding the 12 drivers in a close battle between all the racers.
The Race 2 saw a bit of a scruffy start with Frost colliding with Ptacek to retire which also damaged Defourny car too in a reverse Top 6. Pole-sitter Ptacek lost out in the hit with Chadwick making the most to leap into the lead.
Defourny slotted in second but had Young on his tail all-through the 10 laps of racing. Their fight allowed Chadwick to claim her first win in the series with Defourny keeping second from Young who had Pasma and Amendola on his tail in the Top 5.
The two Estners were not far off behind with Sebastian leading Andreas in sixth and seventh respectively with Eriksen in eighth ahead of Ptacek who was in a salvage mode after the hit. Mason and Korada rounded out the 11 finishers.
Following the hit in the second race, Defourny had vibrations all-through in Race 3 but the Belgian still showed resilience as he led the way from pole until the flag to take a strong win from Andreas and Pasma in the Top 3.
Chadwick consolidated her position in the championship in fourth with Amendola in fifth, followed by Ptacek, Young, Sebastian, Eriksen, Mason, Korada and Frost - with the latter not having the proper feel after second race hit.
It was all-Chadwick show on the final day of the weekend in Bahrain. She jumped to second at the start of Race 4 and cleared reverse grid pole-sitter Ptacek for the lead which she held on until the end comfortably.
Ptacek settled for second from Andreas and Pasma. Points leader Defourny had a tough outing in fifth after he had to fight his way through Amendola with Frost, Young, Sebastian, Mason, Eriksen and Korada completing the 12 racers.
Chadwick made it two wins in a row and three overall in Race 5 with a dominant victory over challenger Defourny whom she cleared in Turn 1 and never looked back then. The Belgian settled for second but holds the points advantage still.
The two were in their own league as Frost completed the podium at a distance from Young who fended off Andreas until the chequered flag. Amendola was sixth from Ptacek, Mason, Eriksen and Korada with a DNF for Sebastian.
"I am really happy with the three wins here," said Chadwick. "I came here form Dubai feeling winless. We knew we had the pace and our aim here was to get some wins. I had a good start and could control the race. Max started to come at me, so I had to put in some good laps to win comfortably."
[Note: This story was also written by me on FormulaRapida.net]