Mick Schumacher, the 17-year-old son of Formula 1 legend Michael Schumacher, will be among the young stars racing this weekend at the first-ever Bahrain Motorsport Festival.
Schumacher will be competing in the India-based single-seater championship, the MRF Challenge.
The talented German youngster is one of at least 17 drivers expected to compete in the MRF, which will be holding the first round of its 2016/2017 season in Bahrain.
Schumacher has raced in the championship before, but this is his first time competing in Bahrain in the MRF’s fourth appearance at the Sakhir track. Earlier this year, Schumacher finished second in the championship standings of the Europe-based ADAC Formula 4.
According to the MRF’s provisional entry list for round one, some other big names are racing in Bahrain. They include Harrison Newey and Manuel Maldonado. Newey is the son of Formula 1 design guru Adrian Newey while Maldonado is the cousin of former Formula 1 driver Pastor Maldonado.
The rest of the field includes Juri Vips, Dylan Young, Kimi Schramm, Joey Mawson, Ralf Aron, Pavan Ravishanker, Gilles Magnus, Yoshiaki Katayama, Moraes Cardoso, Felipe Drugovich, Rinus van Kalmthout, Bobby Eberle, Bruna Tomaselli and Christophe Mariot.
In the 2016/2017 MRF season, the field will compete in one of Asia’s fastest racing cars, the MRF F2000, which has been redesigned for the new campaign. The car is powered by a two-litre Mountune Duratec engine with a max power of 250bhp.
Bahrain is the first of four meetings in the new championship. Round two will be held in Dubai in December, round three in New Delhi in January and the season finale in Chennai in February.
The MRF is one of two supporting categories to the Bahrain Motorsport Festival’s main events, which are the FIA World Endurance Championship’s (WEC) Bapco 6 Hours of Bahrain and the CIK-FIA World Championship and CIK-FIA World Junior Championship. The other supporting series is the Porsche GT3 Cup Challenge Middle East.
Racing in the MRF, Porsche GT3 Cup and WEC will be held Thursday to Saturday at BIC. Racing in the pair of karting world championships will take place over the same three days at Bahrain International Karting Circuit (BIKC).
Meanwhile, the star drivers competing in the FIA WEC Bapco 6 Hours of Bahrain have begun to arrive ahead of this weekend’s events.
Some of the biggest names in all of endurance racing have already touched down, including Andre Lotterer and Loic Duval of Audi Sport Team Joest, and Kamui Kobayashi and Kazuki Nakajima of Toyota Gazoo Racing, among others.
The WEC’s teams and drivers continued their final preparations today at BIC ahead of the weekend’s events, as did the participants in the other championships.
Those battling it out in karting conducted some free practices on BIKC’s 1.414-kilometre Commission Internationale de Karting (CIK) track. Among them were Bahraini drivers Hussain Hassan and Talal Beshara.