The Formula One private testing organised by Pirelli Tyres was in full swing at the Bahrain International circuit here on Thursday. Formula One regulars such as Nico Rosberg (Mercedes), Jean-Eric Vergne (Toro Rosso) among others, went ahead with their routines methodically.
Due to the three-day testing of these F1 teams, which concluded on the day, the MRF Challenge third round schedule had to be tweaked.
Normally a three-day event, the Challenge has been pencilled into two days.
On Friday, there will be two free practice races, one qualifying and two races. This will be followed by two more races on Saturday.
“The schedule is tight”, said Tio Ellinas of Cyprus, who is placed second in the overall driver’s standings with 86 points, four behind leader Frances Arthur Pic.
To make the circuit different from before, organisers have made slight changes; the drivers will race 15 laps instead of the usual 10, though the circuit length will be a shorter 3.8km compared to the normal 5.4km.
Britain’s Rupert Svendsen-Cook, who is placed third in the driver’s standings, said one needs to be intelligent and tough to drive in the shortened race.
Tarun Reddy, who had come from Valencia after testing for MGR Motorsport for the British Formula Barc to be held in April 2014, will make his debut here. The 16-year-old will replace Parth Ghorpade, who is reportedly suffering from viral fever. Raj Bharath and Vikash Anand complete the Indian field.
Yudai Jinkawa of Japan is not taking part in the Challenge as he is participating in the Japanese Super Formula Series. Fellow countryman Kotaru Sakurai replaces him.
Drivers line-up (Indians unless mentioned otherwise):
Arthur Pic (Fra), Harry Tincknel (UK), Ryan Cullen (Iri), Tio Ellinas (Cyp), Rupert Svendsen-Cook (UK), Sam Brabham (UK), Sh. Salman Bin Rashid Al Khalifa (Bah), Camren Kaminsky (USA), Laura Tillett (UK), Sam Dejonghe (Bel), Christophe Mariot (Bah), Renan Guerra (Bra), Abdulla Al-Thawadi (Bah), Dylan Young (Aus), Kotaro Sakurai (Jpn), Shinya Michimi (Jpn), Carmen Jorda (Esp), Vikash Anand, Tarun Reddy & Raj Bharath.