United States’ Conor Daly was crowned the MRF Challenge 2012 champion after an action packed final race at the MMRT in Sriperumbudur on Sunday.
The 21-year-old finished on 164 points to push Great Britain’s Jordan King into second place with 159 points. Daly, starting from second position, won the race while King, who before the start led Daly by 14 points, was unable to ensure a fourth place finish which would have given him the championship.
Drama unfolded early in the first lap when King ran wide on the first corner to hand Daly the initiative. He clawed his way back into the top eight only to see Daly move into the race lead following a mistake by Belgium’s Sam Dejonghe who was running first until then.
The task seemed all the more daunting as he had to pass four more cars on a track which offered limited opportunities to overtake. His challenge virtually ended in the 13th lap when he was bogged down by traffic and lost two more places as one of the cars abruptly slowed down ahead of him.
“I am very very happy,” said Daly of his triumph. “We struggled in the qualifying and that put us way back. So the whole team had to work very hard for this,” he said even as he acknowledged that he was “extremely lucky” and “whatever happened to King was very unfortunate.”
Earlier, the day was off to a topsy-turvy start when the first race witnessed two restarts. Collisions between Indian Parth Gorphade and Brazilian Gustavo Myasava, which resulted in the former’s car being overturned, and between Brit Luciano Bacheta and Japanese driver Yudai Jinkawa meant that the contest was reduced to a 13-lap affair. King however remained unaffected and cruised to victory.
Elsewhere, Bacheta sealed the third spot in the championship after a sixth place finish in the second race.
Race three: 1. Jordan King (GBr), 20:41.794s, 2. Jon Lancaster (GBr), 20:43.054s, 3. Josh Hill (GBr), 20:43.883s; Race four: 1. Conor Daly (US), 31:51.117s, 2. Jon Lancaster (GBr), 31:52.494s, 3. Josh Hill (GBr), 31:52.998s.
Final standings: 1. Conor Daly (US), 164 pts., 2. Jordan King (GBr), 159, 3. Luciano Bacheta (GBr), 102.