The 2019 Valley Run
The country’s premiere drag racing event, the Valley Run was back and this time thankfully in the relatively good weather of December. Carwale has always been a part of it since the last two years and we followed tradition this year as well. The 7th edition of the Valley run promised to bring in even more excitement with faster cars and bikes along with plenty of entertainment as well. Fast cars, fast bikes and a bunch of like-minded petrol heads, this was the ideal weekend for us speed freaks at Carwale and all over the country.
Doing well at drag racing hinges on a few very important parameters, plenty of horsepower, traction off the line and getting the launch right. Considering these parameters we decided to choose the Audi RS5 as our weapon of choice. Now a twin turbo V6 may not sound like the ideal choice to take to the battle field especially against bi turbo V8’s but then there’s a lot more to the RS5. For starters, the new 2.9-litre twin turbo V6 puts out an astonishing 450 bhp and 600Nm of torque, so the power requirement is fulfilled. Then there’s the question of putting the power down, and that’s where the quattro permanent all-wheel drive system comes into the picture.
Driving the car to the event at Lonavla, Aamby Valley, it’s unreal how practical the RS5 is as a daily driven car. 465 litres of boot space was more than enough to swallow our weekend luggage. Being a weekend we were met with plenty of holiday traffic, but the RS5 managed to return an impressive 11 kmpl despite being a highly strung sportscar.
The rain ravaged roads enroute Aamby valley are enough t test the suspension of any car so for a low slung car like the RS5 it could be a problem right? Wrong. While we did have to be careful negotiating the really big potholes so as to not damage those delicious looking alloys, not once did it scrape any of those ugly speed breakers. Now this is what a daily drive sportscar should be like.
The league of extra ordinary gentlemen
The RS5 fell in the H2 category of cars. Any form of forced induction means the displacement has to be multiplied by 1.7, which meant the RS5 would be running against cars with 4700cc. That meant we were competing against BMW M3’s, M4’s, AMG C43’s and then some. Now these cars are already impressive in their stock form, but some were even modified to put out in excess of 450 bhp which meant we were up against some really tough competition.
Against the clock
It was all goosebumps as we lined up the RS5 for staging. To use all of that horsepower, we put the drive mode into dynamic and turned off the traction control so there would be no restrictions. The Christmas tree lit up and as the final amber bulb went off, I smashed the accelerator pedal. The RS5 shot off the line. The 8-speed gearbox has its sports program tuned to the tee as it shifted through the gears with the intensity of a tiger upon its prey. Crossing the line, the RS5 clocked its practice run at 12 seconds flat which was already impressive.
For the final run, we decided to dial in some revs before launch. Although the RS5 has launch control, we decided not to use it since we hadn’t tried it before. Revs held at 3000 rpm, this time the RS5 launched with even harder intensity. I could feel the quattro system work as it leapt off the line. The RS5 shoves you so hard into the seats it’s hard to believe how Audi can make a 2.9-litre engine with this level of performance. Crossing the line, we knew this was a satisfactory run but could we do better? Indeed we had. 11.9 seconds on the clock meant the RS5 had not only defeated its immediate rivals and won its class but was snapping at the heels of bigger machines in the higher category.
Driving the RS5 back from the event in normal traffic conditions, we couldn’t help wonder at what a marvel the RS5 really is. In simple words it is the exact definition of race on Sunday, work on Monday.