HOUSTON, TX (Dec 13, 2016) – Racecar driver Bobby Eberle has never been afraid to take on new challenges, and that applies more now than ever. This off-season the 48-year old is competing in the MRF Challenge racing series, hosted in the middle east, with a goal of being as prepared as possible for the 2017 Mazda Road to Indy season.
The season kicked off two weeks ago at the Bahrain International Circuit, most well-known for hosting Formula 1 Grands Prix for the last 12 years. Never having experienced the MRF F2000 car, the Bahrain circuit, nor racing in the middle east, the Texan did a remarkable job to secure an 11th place finish to round out his rookie weekend in the series.
This past weekend, the journey went to the Dubai Autodrome, and yet again Eberle proved his mettle by being closer to the front than ever before, securing a top-10 finish in just his second race weekend in the MRF Series.
“The event at the Dubai Autodrome was everything I hoped it would be,” Noted Eberle, who was crowned Pro Mazda National Class Champion earlier this year. “As soon as I saw the track, I knew it would be a challenge. It is loaded with many high-speed corners, and those are exactly the types of corners where I needed to improve. In the third race, I put down the sixth fastest lap of the race. It shows that the pace is coming, but there’s a lot more work to do. We were very close to the competition, and getting my first top ten finish was a great way to end the weekend.”
Eberle’s driver coach and mentor, Charles Crews, had similar thoughts on the second race weekend.
“What a tremendous weekend for Bobby,” Noted Eberle’s driver coach and mentor, Charles Crews. “We came out of the box strong and just got stronger each session. For what I thought might not be a track that would suit his strengths, Bobby really came through. His race pace was stronger than Bahrain and we have closed the gap to the front-runners. Managing to score points already is a dream come true, the level is so high here. These are kids who will be in Formula 1 in just a couple years, and here we are going toe to toe with them. The progress we have made in the first two rounds of MRF has been fantastic.”
Next up on the MRF schedule is another four race weekend at Buddh International Circuit, India’s latest and most modern race track, on January 28-29, 2017. The 3.2 mile circuit hosted the 2011-2013 Formula One Grands Prix, all of which were won by German Sebastian Vettel.
TSO Ladder Notes from Steve:
- Since 2013, the Houston, Texas based Bobby Eberle has made 45 career Pro Mazda presented by Cooper Tire starts, winning the last three Expert/National class championships.
- MRF Challenge is an off-season series that is organized by the Madras Motor Sports Club and based in India. The series attracts up-and-coming Formula 4, Formula 3, GP3, Pro Mazda level drivers from around the world. The first championship in 2013 was won by current Verizon IndyCar Series driver Conor Daly. This years championship includes Rinus Van Kalmthout, who will be making his Cooper Tires USF2000 Powered by Mazda debut with Benik-Carlin.
- The 48 year-old Eberle, who has a B.S. in Aerospace Engineering; M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering didn’t start his racing career until 2012, and over the last few years it is obvious that he is working very hard on and off the track to improve his craft.
- While very likely not a championship threat, it is great to have drivers like Eberle in the paddock to provide guidance and an example of what you can accomplish when you work hard to some of the younger drivers.
- You can follow Eberle on the following social media platforms: Twitter – Instagram – Facebook