Pavan Ravishankar sets the pace in MRF Challenge 2017 season opener
Pavan Ravishankar clocked two minutes and 1.638 seconds at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir to be the fastest driver on the opening day of the MRF Challenge 2017 season.Updated: Nov 16, 2017 19:01 IST
Singapore’s Pavan Ravishankar topped the timesheet in the second practice session as MRF Challenge 2017 got underway at the Bahrain International Circuit in Sakhir on Thursday.
Ravishankar clocked two minutes and 1.638 seconds to be the fastest driver on the opening day of the season. With track temperatures warmer than last year, the Formula 2000 cars were out on the premier Formula 1 circuit in two 30-minute practice sessions.
Brazil’s Felipe Drugovich, 17, had set the fastest time in first practice and is looking ahead to qualifying and the four races on Friday and Saturday.
Drugovich clocked 2:01.684 as the drivers familiarised themselves with the 5.4-km circuit. Frenchman Julian Falchero impressed on his debut and was second (2:01.774). Behind him were Indonesia’s Presley Martono, Rinus van Kalmthout and Ravishankar.
The second practice saw Drugovich once again set early pace with 2:02.451. The times started to tumble as the drivers laid more rubber on the tarmac.
Seven minutes from chequered flag, Ravishankar set a time of 2:01.638 to become the fastest man of the day.
Poland’s Alex Karkosik ended less than one-tenth of a second off Ravishankar. Drugovich and Martono slotted in third and fourth respectively with Falchero and Dylan Young rounding off the top-6.
“It feels good to be back here in Bahrain. The car is different to the one we drove here last year but is much easier to drive and a lot more fun. We have to work to see how we can improve as the times with the top 4-5 drivers are very close,” Ravishankar said.
A single-make series, the MRF Challenge here is being held as a support race of the FIA World Endurance Championship’s last round of the season – 6 Hours of Bahrain.
First Published: Nov 16, 2017 19:01 IST