By Andreas Vou
TIO Ellinas has been crowned MRF Challenge champion as the season came to an end at the Madras Motor Race Track in India after an enthralling race on Sunday.
After his impressive achievements in the GP3 series, where he finished in fourth place in the overall drivers’ standings, Ellinas was invited to the tournament last autumn as one of the big name attractions, and based on his weekend showing he certainly lived up to the bill.
The Cypriot had to put up a strong fight against Britain’s Rupert Svendsen-Cook, with both reaching the fifth and final race of the tournament on the same points.
Cook finished the race ahead of Ellinas but his celebrations were cut short as stewards deemed Cook to have forced his opponent off the track on the first lap during the final race, making Ellinas the provisional champion despite Cook’s protests.
The Brit was hit with a 30-second penalty for pushing Ellinas off the track and as a result was demoted to 12th position in the race classification.
Ellinas’ win has once again put Cyprus on the map while the 22-year old continues to receive offers to compete in the GP2 series, something that will become a real possibility if he begins to receive government funding.