MRF Challenge: Alessio Picariello grabs pole in Bahrain
Deccan Chronicle| irfan haji
Tatiana Calderon also had a very impressive race, finishing fourth
Indias Tarun Reddy in action during the qualifying session of the Race 1 of the MRF Challenge in Bahrain on Thursday.
Sakhir (Bahrain): Belgian driver Alessio Picariello took the pole position for Race 1 of the MRF Challenge after winning the qualifying round by close margin at the Bahrain International circuit here on Thursday.
Indian racer Tarun Reddy had an impressive day and will start third from the grid while Russia’s Nikita Trotcki will start second after an intense race. Both Trotcki and Tarun missed out on chances to grab pole by 0.044 and 0.048 seconds respectively. Tarun finished second in the morning practice session.
Picariello, who emerged fifth in the morning practice session, established an initial lead with Great Britain’s Sean Walkinshaw following him closely. But Russian Nikita Trotcki, who was boosted by top finish in the practice session, zoomed past the two after the third lap. However, Belgian Picariello restored the lead midway through the qualifying race and maintained it despite pressure from race favourites Troitcki and Pietro Fittipladi.
But the surprise mover was Tarun who picked pace midway through the race to figure in top 10 and later accelerated hard in the closing stages to finish impressively on the third spot. Fittipladi was fifth in the qualifying round.
Tatiana Calderon also had a very impressive race, finishing fourth. The Colombian woman driver maintained tempo to better her performance of sixth finish in the practice session. Walkinshaw had to remain content with the seventh spot.
Due to a packed schedule only one practice session was possible for MRF Challenge and the races have been reduced from four in Abu Dhabi to two here. Both the races will be held on Friday. It was an exposure for young Indian drivers like Karthik Tarani who got to watch top GP2 drivers like Alexander Rossi from close quarters.
Tarani finished 12th while Arjun Narendran followed him closely in 14th place. These Indian drivers will get to race under lights on Friday.
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