The 2018-19 season of MRF Challenge resumes this week in Bahrain, with 12 up-and-coming drivers set to race on the Grand Prix layout of the Formula 1 venue.
Max Defourny heads to the second round as the universal favourite, having won two out of five races in the season opener in Dubai.
The 20-year-old Belgian sits comfortably at the top of the standings with 106 points, 28 clear of of Jamie Chadwick, who enjoyed a consistent run in the UAE but was unable to bag a win.
Chadwick is closely followed by Singapore’s Danial Frost, who is just eight points behind in the standings and has experience of last season’s campaign under his belt.
The next four drivers in the championship stand somewhere off the leading trio, but are themselves separated by just three points.
German driver Andreas Estner leads the quartet with 50 points, ahead of Finland’s Patrik Pasma (49), Belgian racer Michelangelo Amendola (49) and Czech Republic’s Petr Ptacek (47).
Estner and Pasma won one race apiece in the opening round, while Amendola and Ptacek are yet to open their victory tally.
Chetan Korada, the sole Indian driver on the grid and one of the handful around the world who race with prosthesis legs, will be hoping to continue the upward curve after scoring two points in Dubai.
Like the Dubai opener, the Bahrain round will see five races split in 3:2 ratio across Friday and Saturday. Two free practice sessions and a qualifying round will take place on Thursday to determine the grid for the races.
Bahrain marks the final international destination of the season, before the series make a stop in Chennai for the title decider on February 8-10.