David Schumacher, son of former F1 driver Ralf, is the latest addition to India’s only FIA-approved international series, the MRF Challenge which moves to the Bahrain International Circuit here with a total of four races spread over two days – December 13 and 14.
The 18-year old David Schumacher from Germany, has been in tremendous form in the past year, having emerged Rookie Champion with eight wins in his category while finishing ninth Overall in the 2018 Formula 4 ADAC Championship, followed by fourth Overall with four wins in the 2019 Formula 3 Regional European Championship.
David Schumacher is the latest among high-profile drivers who have utilised the MRF Challenge, organised by the Madras Motor Sports Club, as a stepping stone to further their racing careers. Mick Schumacher, Harrison Newey, son of Formula 1 designer ace Adrian Newey, Formula 1 test driver with Alfa Romeo Racing Tatiana Calderon and last season’s winner Jamie Chadwick, who is also the champion of the inaugural W Series this year, are some of the big names to have participated in the MRF Challenge, organised by the Madras Motor Sports Club.
David Schumacher said: “I am really excited to race with the MRF Challenge in Bahrain. The series is a good platform to race in the winter break. I am looking forward to get the chance to do my first race in Bahrain and to prepare for the season 2020.”
Looking ahead to Round 2, Mr Arun Mammen, Vice-Chairman and Managing Director, MRF Ltd., said: “At the outset, we would like to welcome David Schumacher to MRF Challenge. He follows his cousin, Mick, son of multiple F1 champion Michael Schumacher, and who participated in the championship couple of seasons ago and is now looking to break into F1. David joins other teenagers from Europe and the United States who showcased their talent in the first round at Dubai last month with some very competitive racing. I am sure, these youngsters are looking forward to racing at the iconic Bahrain F1 circuit in Sakhir.”
The first round of the MRF Challenge last month in Dubai, comprising five races saw Belgian teenager Michelangelo Amendola dominating with three wins, besides topping the qualifying session and posting three fastest laps to pocket 119 points. The other two races were won by veteran Australian Dylan Young and 16-year old Indian-American Yuven Sundaramoorthy. Trailing Amendola on the points table is British teenager Joshua Mason (77), ahead of Young (65).
Interestingly, 16-year old Japanese-American Reece Ushijima, though failing to win and placed seventh in the championship behind Valdemar Erikson (Denmark), Sunderamoorthy and Jordanian Manaf Hijjawi, showed impressive pace by posting two fastest laps in his debut single-seater season, and would be the one to watch here in Bahrain.
Danish youngster Largim Ali is currently eighth in the championship after finishing fourth in two races while Chennai-based Chetan Korada, India’s lone entry, brings up the rear, having picked up points in all the five outings in Dubai.
Another new entrant for Round 2 is 20-year old Brent Viscaal from the Netherlands who took part in the FIA F3 Championship this year after having finished runner-up in the 2018 Euroformula Open Championship.