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MRF Challenge - Series Launched At Chennai's Express Avenue Mall

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Chennai, Sep. 9, 2012: The true test of man and machine is in his pursuit of excellence. The MRF Challenge 2012 will put a spring in the step of young racing drivers across the globe. On 24th August 2012, the residents of Chennai witnessed the birth of a motorsport series like no other. India finally has its chance to shine in the International motorsport arena. The launch of this spectacular series was done by none other than Formula 1 driver, “The Fastest Indian in the World” and MRF Racing’s Brand Ambassador, Narain Karthikeyan, as he drove this awesome racing machine in front of an enthralled audience of over 10,000 fans assembled at Express Avenue Mall in Chennai, India.

The MRF Challenge 2012 brought the sounds and smells of the racing experience to the door step of the Chennai public. After a successful series last year with the MRF Formula Ford 1600cars, which also included a support race to the inaugural Formula 1 Indian Grand Prix, MRF has decided to up the ante in 2012. The upcoming series “THE MRF CHALLENGE 2012” will showcase high speed, cutting-edge race-car technology combined with Indian manufacturing excellence.

India has always had its share of motorsport fans, and this has been validated by the tremendous response to the Formula 1 Indian Grand Prix in 2011. It is estimated that approximately 40 million Indians watched the live coverage of the race coupled with an in-stadia presence of over one hundred thousand spectators. Building on this growing interest, MRF Limited, the largest tyre manufacturer in India and a USD 2.5 billion company, is all set to host The MRF Challenge 2012 racing series this year. The MRF Challenge 2012 series will consist of four rounds (and a total of ten races), the first two rounds at Buddh International Circuit, and the final two at the MMRT Circuit in Chennai, one of the oldest circuits in the country.

MRF has a rich legacy in the motor sports arena - a legacy built over twenty years of its association with the sport. The company’s focus has been in circuit racing with single-seaters, as well as in Rallying, both on the domestic front and in the Asia Zone and Asia Pacific Championships. On the international rallying front, Team MRF has won the FIA Asia Pacific Rally Championship three times, in 2003, 2005 and 2010. MRF also sponsors the Super Cross Championships and has had a long-standing association with karting community in India, having developed the first FIA-CIK approved karting tyres in India

This year MRF has commissioned Jayem Automotives Ltd in Coimbatore to build the ‘MRF FORMULA 2000’car. This car has been built under technical collaboration with Automobili Dallara of Italy, who is the world’s largest manufacturer of bespoke single-seater racing cars and is also considered the best in the business. It is the company that helped design, amongst other elite machinery, the Bugatti Veyron. They also build all of the GP2, GP3 and Indycars, as well as class dominating Formula 3 cars. Dallara has given the car a modern and dynamic design with all the very latest in cutting-edge technology which is available to them, while Renault-Sport has designed and manufactured its 210 BHP 2.0 litre 4-cylinder engine. This car will be a carbon fibre marvel with a six-speed Hewland sequential gearbox, making it an ultra-safe and reliable package. The car will boast performance equal to current international Formula 3 machinery.

The tyres have been specifically designed from the ground up for high-speed circuit racing. MRFs R&D Engineers have worked tirelessly to satisfy all the needs of the drivers. Straight-line speed and stability, as well as high-speed cornering grip have been optimized into the design of the tyres, in addition to a very high level of safety. For the purists and petrol heads who dissect every details of the car, it would interest them to know the front tyre size is 200 x 540-R13, and the rear size is 240 x 570-R13. These sizes are available in both dry and wet constructions –again made specifically for this series. The wheel size is 8Jx13, and the car will use OZ racing alloy rims.

MRF has also finalised the calendar for the series - Round One will be on the 27th and 28th of October as a support race for the Formula One Indian Grand Prix. Round Two will be held on the 1st and 2nd of December 2012 as a support race for the FIA GT1 Championship. The final two rounds will be held in Chennai on the 1st to 3rd of February & 8th to 10th of February 2013.

MRF Racing Brand Ambassador Narain Karthikeyan. “When MRF launched the Formula 1600 in 2010, I was very excited and justifiably felt that it was a huge step forward in domestic racing. Little did I know, or expect, that a very short 2 years later, they would move the bar so far ahead. The new MRF Formula 2000 cars are the absolute cutting edge in international racing technology. The platform it will provide to young racing drivers from all over the world will make it a unique series internationally. The new MRF slick racing tyres which are being developed specifically for the dynamic characteristics of this car are also shaping up really well. My first impressions of the car and tyres were very positive when I drove it for the first time a few days ago.”

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