MRF Challenge: Durgovich fends off Martono to win Race 3 at Dubai Autodrome
The final day in Round 2 of the MRF Challenge championship at the Dubai Autodrome started with Presley Martono on pole from points leader Felipe Drugovich, while Alex Karkosik and title rival Rinus van Kalmthout were in row two.
As the race went green, Martono kept his lead off the line from Drugovich, while van Kalmthout moved to third being followed by Harri Jones as Karkosik lost two places to be fifth at the end of Lap 1.
However, the battle wasn't over as Karkosik jumped back to third and Jones fourth, with van Kalmthout losing out in the tussle to fall at the back of the grid. At the same time, Drugovich cleared Martono for the race lead.
The Brazilian had built up some margin over Martono, but the Indonesian fought back in the end stages to close up to Drugovich to be within a touching distance. However, Martono's efforts went in vain, with Drugovich taking his fourth win of the season by 0.760s.
The fight for the last place on the podium saw Karkosik and Jones exchange positions multiple times, before the Polish driver took control to finish third - but the overtaking move on Lap 7 was noted to be under investigation by the stewards.
Behind, it was an upward movement for Danial Frost, who started the race from 10th to finish in fourth - his race included a move on Julien Falchero on Lap 8. After two average races, Robert Megennis had a fighting race to end up sixth.
The American led as many as five drivers in the pack - all separated by 2.689s - Michelangelo Amendola was right behind, with the Belgian having aforementioned Jones on his rear, followed by Manuel Maldonado, Nazim Azman and Pavan Ravishankar.
After his earlier mishap, van Kalmthout had to fight his way back from 17th to 12th, the Dutchman losing chunks of points to championship contenders Drugovich and Martono in the process.
The rest of the finishers had Louis Gachot in 13th, Perdana Putra Minang 14th Dylan Young 15th, Richard Wagner 16th, Kurt Hill 17th and Henning Envist 18th - the Swede finished a lap down after pitting on Lap 1.
Following the race, a message on the timing screens read as 'Race Under Investigation' - meaning the whole 10-lap race was noted to be under scrutiny of the stewards, with a possible change in the results.
UPDATE: Post-race decision from the stewards saw Frost and Falchero disqualified from the race for 'technical infringements', while Jones was handed 20 seconds time penalty for an illegal overtaking move in his fight with Karkosik.
The updated result had Megennis moving to fourth, followed by Amendola, Maldonado, Azman, Ravishankar, van Kalmthout and Gachot completing the Top 10. The rest of the order had Minang in 11th, Young 12th, Wagner 13th, Hill 14th, Jones 15th and Enqvist 16th.