Abu Dhabi MRF Challenge: Matsushita takes a commanding race one win

Honda protégé Nobuharu Matsushita took victory in the first MRF Challenge Formula 2000 race ahead of F3 driver Pietro Fittipaldi at the Yas Marina circuit.

Japanese GP2 racer Matsushita dominated the 10-lap race, finishing over four seconds ahead of Fittipaldi, who made a crucial move at the start to get ahead of front-row starter Jake Dennis.

A brief safety car period brought the field together, but Matsushita was in a league of his own and quickly stretched out a lead at the front to take a comfortable win.

The fight was on for second place as Dennis was all over the back of Fittipaldi, but the Brazilian driver fended off the Briton at the end.

Starting fifth, Tatiana Calderon overtook Nikita Troitskiy at the start, but the Russian managed to take back the place to finish fourth, as Calderon completed the top five.

Indian Tarun Reddy kept Sebastian Balthasar at bay to take sixth as the former GP3 driver was seventh, chased closely by Sean Walkinshaw in eighth.

The top 10 was completed by Alice Powell and Adrian Newey's son Harrison Newey.

Matsushita also clocked the fastest lap of the race with a time of 2m12.476s.

Race results:

Pos.
Driver
Gap
1
Nobuharu Matsushita
10 Laps 
2
Pietro Fittipaldi
4.453
3
Jake Dennis
4.760
4
Nikita Troitskiy
8.672
5
Tatiana Calderon
8.844
6
Tarun Reddy
12.021
7
Sebastian Balthasar
13.007
8
Sean Walkinshaw
13.640
9
Alice Powell
16.416
10
Harrison Newey
16.530
11
Max Fewtrell
24.351
12
Nerses Isaakyan
27.324
13
Matt Draper
31.676
14
Arjun Narendran
40.296
DNF
Dylan Young
 
DNF
Karthhik Tarani
 
DNF
Laura Tillett
 

 

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About this article
Series Indian Open Wheel
Event MRF Challenge: Abu Dhabi
Track Yas Marina Circuit
Drivers Pietro Fittipaldi , Jake Dennis , Nobuharu Matsushita
Article type Race report