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Life comes full circle for 2017 MRF Challenge winner Felipe Drugovich

Brazilian racing driver Felipe Drugovich clinched the 2017 MRF Challenge crown in Chennai on Saturday.

other sports Updated: Feb 03, 2018 20:52 IST
Ankit Kumar Singh
Ankit Kumar Singh
Hindustan Times, Chennai
MRF Challenge,Felipe Drugovich,Formula One
Brazilian driver Felipe Drugovich has been crowned the 2017 MRF Challenge champion.(HT Photo)

A year ago, when Felipe Drugovich came to India for the 2016 season of the MRF Challenge, he was happy to race at the said level and hone his skills.

In 12 months, things changed dramatically for the Brazilian as this time he came into the season ender at Madras Motor Racing Track as the title contender. And by finishing third in the first race of the concluding leg of 2017 MRF Challenge on Saturday, the 17-year-old secured the championship to make it a memorable visit for him.

READ | Presley Martono takes pole position in MRF Challenge season finale

Later, he finished sixth in the second race of the day, but by then he had achieved what he came here for.

“Last time when I came here, it was more about learning and improving my skills. After the end of the last season, I went back home and did a lot of preparation and fortunately, everything has gone smoothly for me this season from the outset,” Drugovich said after taking his tally of season points to 283, which makes him unassailable with two races to go.

Ecstatic at his achievement, the teenage driver now wants to have fun without taking any pressure in Sunday’s races. “It’s a pretty good feeling to secure the title early. Now I don’t have any pressure. Want to have fun driving like any youngster does,” he said.

READ | Formula One makes changes to 2018 time schedule due to FIFA World Cup

The Brazilian driver credited his uncle for his growth in motor sports. “It was my uncle who initiated me into motor sports. He was a racing driver himself and watching him race motivated me a lot. I was only eight when I first sat behind the wheels for the first time. Since then, I have not looked back,” the youngster said.

Felipe, who competed for Neuhauser Racing in ADAC Formula 4 in 2016, has the ultimate dream of competing in Formula One, but for now he is quite pleased with his progress.

“Like any driver, my dream is to get into F1 someday. But, it’s a long way to go. I want to take one step at a time,” he concluded.

Drivers’ standings:

1. Felipe Drugovich (Brazil) 283 points

2. Presley Martono (Indonesia) 219

3. Rinus van Kalmthout (Netherlands) 212

First Published: Feb 03, 2018 19:04 IST