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Martono sets pace at MRF Challenge practice
December 08, 2017
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Dubai: Indonesian driver Presley Martono continued his impressive start to the MRF Challenge 2017 by going fastest in practice at Round 2 at the Dubai Autodrome.

This weekend’s FIA inscribed MRF Challenge race promises to be a thriller with the top seven drivers all closely bunched together. Martono’s time of 1:56.996 was just enough to beat Rinus van Kalmthout’s morning practice time of 1:57.046.

The drivers wasted no time going out in the opening practice session of the weekend. With most drivers experiencing the circuit for the first time, they wasted no time in pushing the MRF F2000 to the limit. Last year’s race winner Felipe Drugovich set the tone with a 2min lap time as the lap times began to tumble.

Van Kalmthout set a 1:59.453 to set off a chain of fastest laps from Martono, Drugovich and newcomer Louis Gachot. After several changes at the top it was van Kalmthout who set the fastest time with a 1:57.046. Martono, Drugovich, Julien Falchero and Alex Karkosik completed the top 5, with less than a second covering them.

Free practice 2 saw Drugovich once again setting the early pace as he immediately went fast with a 1:58.451. The session was as competitive as the first one with drivers taking turns to set the fastest lap. With two minutes remaining, Martono became the first driver to dip under the 1:57 mark and went fastest with a time of 1:56.996. Van Kalmthout finished in 2nd place ahead of Karkosik, Falchero and Danial Prost. Championship leader focused on longer race runs and finished in 7th place.

Friday’s qualifying will be important with more than 7 drivers in with a chance of pole position. The races also promise to be exciting with the pack so close together.

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