Home MRF Challenge Michelangelo Amendola wins MRF Challenge Dubai season opener

Michelangelo Amendola wins MRF Challenge Dubai season opener

by Elliot Wood

Michelangelo Amendola won the first two races of the 2019-20 MRF Challenge season at Dubai Autodrome.

The 18-year-old Belgian set the pace in both free practice sessions, which were interrupted by red flags multiple times, then beat BRDC British Formula 3 race-winner Joshua Mason to pole by 0.090 seconds.

Amendola ended his second MRF season with his first podiums, and began his third with a first win.

Championship debutant Mason tried challenging Amendola for victory, but the leader’s circuit experience proved the deciding factor in victory.

Dylan Young, another MRF veteran, completed the podium in third, while Danish Formula 4 graduates Largim Ali and Valdemark Eriksen fought over fourth place.

Some distance behind them was American-Japanese driver Reece Ushijima, who made his car racing debut in BRSCC Northern Formula Ford 1600 at Anglesey in Wales last weekend.

He took pole on his debut and two podiums, and adapted quickly to the winged Dallara Formulino car that MRF uses.

USF2000 racer Yuven Sundaramoorthy struggled to seventh in the first race, then retired along with Young on the opening lap of race two.

This left just seven cars battling on track, with Amendola and Mason once again leading the way. With a race of experience under his belt, Mason was able to get closer to Amendola this time and they finished just 0.689s apart.

Jordanian karting champion Manaf Hijjawi, who will race on the support bill of the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix next weekend, finished a distant third, with Ali and Ushijima completing the top five.

There will be three more MRF races at Dubai, which will take place on Saturday.

Results round-up
Race 1
1 Michelangelo Amendola 10 laps
2 Joshua Mason +1.122s
3 Dylan Young +2.133s
4 Largim Ali +4.968s
5 Valdemar Eriksen +6.449s
6 Reece Ushijima +11.194s
7 Yuven Sundaramoorthy +17.473s
8 Manaf Hijjawi +18.936s
9 Chetan Korada +50.840s
Pole: Amendola, 1m58.409s
Fastest lap: Amendola, 1m58.783s

Race 2
1 Amendola 10 laps
2 Mason +0.689s
3 Hijjawi +5.840s
4 Ali +6.946s
5 Ushijima +7.134s
6 Eriksen +10.952s
7 Korada +28.230s
Ret Young
Ret Sundaramoorthy
FL: Amendola, 1m58.909s

Championship standings
1 Amendola 56? ?2 Mason 36? ?3 Ali 24? ?4 Hijjawi 19? ?5 Ushijima 18? ?6?Eriksen 18? ?7 Young 15? ?8 Korada 8? ?9 Sundaramoorthy 6