- Round 1 of the 2018 Volkswagen Ameo Cup concluded at the Kari Speedway in Coimbatore.
- Dhruv Mohite won both the races with Affan Sadat Safwan Islam and Saurav Bandyopadhyay joining him on the podium.
- The championship will move to MMRT in July and August for Round 2 and 3 respectively.
The weekend at the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore witnessed an intense battle during the Round 1 of the 2018 Volkswagen Ameo Cup. The race 1 was held on Saturday while the race 2 with a reverse grid took place on Sunday. Dhruv Mohite from Kolhapur in car no. 19 emerged as the overall winner with a total time of 16:05:547 minutes. Joining him on the podium were Affan Sadat Safwan Islam from Bangladesh (16:10:334) and Saurav Bandyopadhyay from Thane, Maharashtra (16:10:930).
The race 1 was a debut for 13 out of 20 drivers taking the grid at the start line. Dhruv Mohite took pole position with a time of 1:09:170, with Jeet Jhabakh from Hyderabad on the first row followed by Saurav Bandyopadhyay and Pratik Sonawane on the second. When the lights turned green, Jeet’s aggressive move got him a lead even before the first corner. But Dhruv managed to fight back and gain the lead on the fifth lap and he maintained his position ahead of Jeet throughout the race to bag the first win of the season. For the third position, Pratik Sonawane and Saurav had an intense battle, but the Thane boy secured the third position in the ninth lap to land up on the podium in Race 1.
Sirish Vissa, head of Volkswagen Motorsport India, was very confident after the first race on how the cars and drivers performed. Meanwhile, Rayomand Banajee, the race coach said the following races would see more intense fights between the drivers. In race 2, the top eight finishers of race 1 started in a reverse grid.
So taking the pole position was Shivani Pruthvi followed by Akshay Bhivshet in the first row. Shubhomoy Ball and Affan Sadat Safwan Islam took the second row. Dhruv Mohite, starting eight in the second race fought his way to the lead after just four laps. But as predicted by Rayomand, an intense battle brought out the red flag at Lap 6 when Manoj Yanamdala met with a major accident on the last corner of the track. The race was temporarily halted and restarted with grid position same as the race position of the last two laps. When the race resumed with seven laps to go, Ayush Tainwala went into the gravel halfway into turn 1 causing the safety car to be deployed. Dhruv kept his lead after that to win the second race as well. The second position was very closely fought between Affan and Saurav with almost a photo finish. Affan started the race fourth and made his way into the second position just after lap 1. Saurav was in the sixth position at the start of the race and battled hard to achieve back-to-back podium finishes in round 1.
The second and third round of the championship will be held at the Madras Motor Race Track (MMRT) in July and August respectively. The fourth round will move to India’s F1 track, the Buddh International Circuit (BIC), Greater Noida in October.