MRF Challenge: Van Kalmthout clears Gachot to win Race 2 at Dubai Autodrome
The Race 2 in Round 2 of the MRF Challenge at Dubai Autodrome saw Louis Gachot start on a Top 6 reverse-grid pole with Presley Martono alongside him, while Julien Falchero and Rinus van Kalmthout started from row two.
Once again, Martono lost out at the start, dropping to fifth ahead of Felipe Drugovich, while Gachot led the way from fast-starter van Kalmthout, who managed to clear both Martono and Falchero off the line.
Gachot's lead didn't last for long as van Kalmthout cleared him on the second lap itself to take control of the race and build on a healthy margin over the rest of the field. The Dutchman in the end had 11.118s buffer over Gachot to take his second win of the season.
Meanwhile, Gachot had Falchero all over his rear in the last few laps, but the former Formula 1 driver's son was able to fend off his fellow countryman by a mere 0.074s over the line - the trio completing the podium, with Gachot taking his maiden tour of the rostrum.
Behind the Top 3, Drugovich made his way to fourth until the final lap when he dropped out to finish ninth, while Martono recovered to be fourth ahead of Danial Frost, who made up four places to finish in the Top 5.
Like Frost, Harri Jones and Michelangelo Amendola also benefited from Drugovich's final lap mishap along with Alex Karkosik, who dropped from fourth to ninth midway into the race in a space of few laps.
As a result, Jones ended up sixth to take his best result so far with Amendola in seventh ahead of Karkosik and Drugovich. The Top 10 was rounded off by Nazim Azman, who had to fend off Dylan Young - the two separated by a mere 0.164s.
The 10-lap race saw all 18 drivers finishing the race with battles all-through the field. The final classification saw Henning Enqvist in 12th, followed by Manual Maldonado, Robert Megennis, Pavan Ravishankar, Richard Wagner, Perdana Putra Minang and Kurt Hill.