Triple podium for Mawson in Bahrain

Joey Mawson with Mick Schumacher and Ralf Aron
Joey Mawson with Mick Schumacher and Ralf Aron

Australian Joey Mawson secured three podium finishes across four races on debut in the MRF Challenge at the Bahrain International Circuit.

The PODIUM-backed driver qualified second fastest on Friday before securing a pair of podiums with a second and third placing during the opening two encounters.

Saturday’s third race saw Mawson take full advantage of his front row start to lead the way until a Safety Car intervention midway through the race. On the first lap after the restart Ralf Aron got a tow on the back straight allowing him to use the aerodynamic advantage to make a pass. Mawson was then vulnerable to Mick Schumacher in third.

After fending off Schumacher’s challenge, Mawson set about chasing down Aron but was unable to do so in the short amount of laps.

In the final race Mawson was battling for his fourth podium of the weekend before an issue with the gear selector forced him to run wide dropping him to sixth, where he would eventually finish.

“It was a great experience, I feel that I learnt a lot across the weekend,” said Mawson.

“At the start of the weekend we found out that we were using stick shifters instead of paddle shift, so that was very different. Not just for me but for everyone, we all had to adapt quickly.

“I managed to come away with three podiums out of four races, it would have been nice to have had a win but to be right up there and show some really good speed is very pleasing.

“It was great to have some good close racing and I’m looking forward to the next round.”

After the first of four rounds, Mawson is third in the Championship standings on 61 points. Mick Schumacher leads on 75 ahead of Ralf Aron on 72.

The next event is in three weeks time (December 8-10) in Dubai.


oey Mawson will compete in the opening round of the MRF Challenge in Bahrain this weekend
Joey Mawson will compete in the opening round of the MRF Challenge in Bahrain this weekend

Australian Joey Mawson has gained a surprise opportunity to compete in the MRF Challenge.

The four-event Championship will see the PODIUM-backed driver compete alongside the final round of the World Endurance Championship in Bahrain this weekend.

He will then tackle the Dubai circuit on December 8-10 ahead of the penultimate event in New Dehli on January 27-29 and the final event in Chennai on February 17-19.

Competing aboard a Dallara Formula 3 chassis powered by a 2.0-litre Mountune 250hp Duratec engine, the MRF Challenge will provide Mawson with a solid grounding towards his plans of competing in the European Formula 3 Championship in 2017.

“To compete in the MRF Challenge is a great opportunity, one that really came out of nowhere but one that I’m also really excited about,” said Mawson.

“It’s a great way to get accustomed to a Formula 3 car while learning some new circuits.

“Over the past four years it has developed into a great ‘Summer’ Series for drivers who are in a similar position as me looking to make the progression into Formula 3.”

All entries in the MRF Challenge are centrally prepared and managed, similar to what Mawson experienced while competing in the 2013 French Formula 4 Championship.

“Having everything centrally managed removes the need to be in the best team with the best equipment. Everything is equal and it comes down to working closely with the mechanics you’ve got and making the most of every opportunity,” said Mawson.

“Racing in France was a great experience and I learnt a lot, not only about the cars but myself also. I’m really looking forward to the opening event this weekend.”

This weekend’s event will be the first time Mawson has visited the Middle East since taking victory in the final round of the 2012 CIK-FIA World Under 18 Karting Championship.

Practice begins on Thursday morning ahead of qualifying in the afternoon. Friday’s action will be highlighted by a pair of races before the round is concluded with races three and four on Saturday.

Local Time
Thursday November 17
11:00 Free Practice 1
12:30 Free Practice 2
14:15 Qualifying

Friday November 18
10:40 Warm-Up
13:40 Race 1
16:10 Race 2

Saturday November 19
9:45 Race 3
11:55 Race 4

Thursday November 17
17:00 Free Practice 1
20:30 Free Practice 2
22:15 Qualifying

Friday November 18
18:40 Warm-Up
21:40 Race 1
00:10 (Sat) Race 2

Saturday November 19
17:45 Race 3
19:55 Race 4