After a strong start to the second half of the 2017 MRF Challenge’s Emirati double-header, Singapore’s Danial Nielsen Frost was back in action on Friday on the final day of Round 3 at the Yas Marina circuit in Abu Dhabi.
Though denied his best finish ever when he was taken out of race 2 whilst in the lead, the teenager bounced back to close the round out with two seventh place finishes from the third and fourth race, respectively.
The day kicked off with the second of the round’s four races in the morning from pole position courtesy of the reverse grid order from Race 1 held on the previous day. A strong getaway as the five lights went out allowed Frost to keep the lead and pull away from the rest of the field on the opening lap. Maintaining his lead into the second lap, the youngster’s race was ruined when another driver tagged his number #88 car from behind causing an unfortunate and premature end to an otherwise fault-free race.
Despite the setback, the youngster was determined to have a better outing for Race 3. Starting from the sixth row of the grid based on his second best qualifying lap time, Frost found himself embroiled for a battle for position from the get go. The midfield jostle for position saw Frost move up into the top-10 by the third lap. Gaining another two positions towards the mid-way point of the 30-minute race, Frost went one better in the latter stages. Running in seventh for several laps, Frost had to concede the spot towards the closing stage of what was a dramatic race. With several cars suffering bumps and bruises, including Frost’s, the teenager made the most to nurse what was a damaged car to retain track position through to the finish where he finished eighth. Following penalties for other drivers, Frost was later classified seventh.
The final race of the round was again a night affair with the young drivers racing under the Yas Marina floodlights for one final time. With their best race lap time from the previous races determining the starting order, Frost had it all to do from the seventh row. This did not deter the Singaporean teenager who made the most of a superb start to gain five positions on the opening lap. Though caught in a closely bunched battle in midfield, Frost held his nerve eventually gaining eighth spot on lap 3. He then moved up another position by the mid-way point and was involved in a battle royale all the way to the chequered flag, closing out Round 3 with a hard-fought seventh. With penalties affecting other drivers, Frost was later awarded a sixth place finish for the final race.
Frost comments, “It was another long day today with three races on the cards. After yesterday’s results, I started Race 2 from pole position and had a good getaway off the line. Unfortunately on the second lap, I got clipped from behind by another driver and was taken out of the race, which is definitely not how I wanted to end that race. Race 3 was all about making the most from the start knowing where I had to start. I am really happy I managed to gain quite a few spots at the beginning and manage the pace to finish in P7 despite having damage to my car. The grid for the final race for the round meant I would have it all to do again starting way down the order. I had a really great start again and got five spots on the first lap. After that there were quite a few exciting battles but I managed to gain two more positions and finish seventh. I’ll take it given that we had two really intensive learning race weekends, first with Dubai then here in Abu Dhabi.
These two rounds have both been such an amazing experience for me, and for sure I have learned a lot! I want to thank my parents who have been super supportive; my sponsors DenJet, Marlborough College International, FightXpress and Seal Superyachts, my coach, James, my engineer Mike Rowe and mechanics who have worked so hard and been so supportive & encouraging! Now we have one long break before the final round in Chennai, India in February.”
With the conclusion of the two rounds, the 2017 MRF Challenge will head to Chennai, India for the fourth and final round in early February.