Bahrain MRF: Picariello takes a dominating win in first race

Alessio Picariello took a dominating lights-to-flag victory in the first MRF Challenge race at the Bahrain International Circuit.

The Belgian racer took a surprise pole on Thursday, and was untroubled in the opening race at Sakhir, securihg a fine win ahead of Nikita Troitskiy.

At the start, Troitskiy lost a place to Tatiana Calderon as they battled for second, but the Russian came back beautifully to get past the Colombian.

With Picariello and Troitskiy far up the field, Calderon was under attack from Pietro Fittipaldi for the rest of the race.

Calderon nonetheless defended well to take the final place on the podium, with Fittipaldi having to settle with fourth, while debutant Matheus Leist finished a lonely fifth.

Sean Walkinshaw was sixth and Harrison Newey seventh, prevailing in a four-way battle that saw him constantly hounded by Max Fewtrell, Dylan Young and Sam Dejonghe.

Towards the end, Tarun Reddy joined the battle after having stalled before the formation lap got underway. The Indian started from pitlane and made up seven places to finish 11th.

The top 10 was completed by Young, Dejonghe and Fewtrell, the British driver having lost two places on the last lap.

Picariello also took the fastest lap honours, clocking a 2m03.076s. The non-finishers were Nerses Isaakyan and Jessica Hawkins.

POSDRIVERTOTAL TIMEGAP
1 ALESSIO PICARIELLO 20:38.123  
2 NIKITA TROITSKIY 20:41.830 +3.707
3 TATIANA CALDERON 20:44.767 +6.644
4 PIETRO FITTIPALDI 20:45.233 +7.110
5 MATHEUS LEIST 20:46.695 +8.572
6 SEAN WALKINSHAW 20:54.877 +16.754
7 HARRISON NEWEY 21:00.050 +21.927
8 DYLAN YOUNG 21:00.122 +21.999
9 SAM DEJHONG 21:00.543 +22.420
10 MAX FEWTRELL 21:01.014 +22.891
11 TARUN REDDY 21:01.227 +23.104
12 KARTHIK TARANI 21:05.586 +27.463
13 MATTHEW DRAPER 21:12.538 +34.415
14 ARJUN NARENDRAN 21:13.309 +35.186
15 JESSICA HAWKINS 21:17.684 +39.561
16 CHISTOPHE MARIOT 22:32.094 +1:53.971
DNF LAURA TILLET 17:12.177  
DNF NERSES ISAAKYAN 2:11.224  

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About this article
Series Indian Open Wheel
Event MRF Challenge: Bahrain
Track Bahrain International Circuit
Article type Race report