MRF Challenge: Felipe Drugovich dominates Race 1 in Round 2 at Dubai Autodrome
After the first round in November last month, the MRF Challenge winter championship was back for Round 2 at the Dubai Autodrome, with the one driver change as Louis Gachot finally got his race start.
The weekend was underway on Thursday with the two practice sessions, while qualifying was set for Friday morning. Starting Race 1 from pole, Indonesia's Presley Martono lost out to be fifth at the end of Lap 1.
Championship leader and front-row starter from Brazil, Felipe Drugovich took control of the race from Poland's Alex Karkosik, Netherland's Rinus van Kalmthout and Frenchman Julien Falchero.
In the lower half of the Top 10, America's Robert Megennis and Venezuela's Manual Maldonado came together, with the former pitting for repairs before coming out, while the latter retired immediately - the incident was noted for an investigation.
Meanwhile, it was a steady race at the front with Drugovich building on a commanding lead over Karkosik, who had van Kalmthout all over him in the end stages of the 10-lap race. The battle allowed the Brazilian to take a dominant third win of the season.
Eventually, Karkosik held on to second by 0.582s from van Kalmthout, with Falchero holding off Martono by 0.525s in the battle for fourth. Behind, making his race debut in the championship, Gachot was sixth, but was challenged hugely by Australia's Harri Jones.
It was a trail of cars in the fight for eighth, with Michelangelo Amendola leading the pack which had Danial Frost, Dylan Young, Henning Enqvist and Nazim Azman - the five cars separated by a mere 1.847s over the line.
The rest of the finishers had Perdana Putra Minang in 13th, followed by Kurt Hill, Richard Wagner, Pavan Ravishankar and Megennis - the latter finishing a lap down to Drugovich after his opening lap tangle.