Presley Martono takes pole position in MRF Challenge season finale
Presley Martono will now start with MRF Challenge championship leader Felipe Drugovich, who came second on Friday, for the first race of the weekend.Updated: Feb 02, 2018 20:31 IST
The qualifying round of the fourth and last leg of the MRF Challenge saw Presley Martono dominate the proceedings at the Madras Motor Racing Track (MMRT) here on Friday. The Indonesian driver clocked 1 minute and 30.¬017 seconds to bag his second pole position of the season.
Martono will now start with championship leader Felipe Drugovich, who came second on Friday, for the first race of the weekend. Van Kalmthout and Julien Falchero will be in the second row with Ravishankar and Danial Frost locking out row three.
At the end of the race, Martono said, “I have heard great things about the MMRT and it sure did live up to its expectations. The track is challenging and unforgiving even if you put two wheels off. Qualifying was key and starting at front will give me advantage. Felipe and Rinus are both quick but I will do everything to stay in front.”
Drugovich, who can secure the championship crown for himself if he wins only the first race on Saturday, appeard disappointed at missing out on the pole position but said he was hopeful of a good show going ahead.
“I am happy to be starting on the front row but disappointed not to be on pole. We tried to find the right balance but we are not there yet. Our race pace is good so looking to get a good start and will take it from there,” the Brazilian said.
Earlier, the day began with the drivers squandering no time in going out for the opening practice session. With most drivers experiencing the circuit for the first time, they appeared circumspect in the beginning before pushing the speed limit. Brazilian driver Drugovich was the fastest driver in this session with a timing of 1:30.771. Van Kalmthout and Martono finished on second and third place, respectively.
In the second practice session, Drugovich again set the early pace but it was Martono who went fastest, clocking 1:30.595. Van Kalmthout came close second while Drugovich was pushed to the third place.
MRF Challenge: 1. Presley Martono (Indonesia) (01min, 30.017secs); 2. Felipe Drugovich (Brazil) (01:30.377); 3. Rinus van Kalmthout (Netherlands) (01:30.468)