-Avik Anwar from Bangladesh wins Race 2
-Jeet Jhabakh finishes first in Race 3
-Volkswagen clinches seven out of nine podium finishes in FMSCI ITC category
The Round 1 of the 2019 Volkswagen Ameo Class National Championship came to an end today at the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore. It witnessed three races held over a span of two days. The first race concluded yesterday and you can read about it here. The remaining were conducted today with Avik Anwar from Bangladesh and Jeet Jhabakh from Hyderabad winning Race 2 and Race 3, respectively.
The day began early with Race 2 being advanced due to a rain prediction at the earlier scheduled time. It saw the drivers starting on a reverse grid with Viraj Jhala from Nashik taking the pole position followed by Avik in the first row and Aiman Sadat from Bangladesh and Siddharth Mehdiratta from Lucknow in row two. The race flagged off with Pratik Sonavane charging ahead of the rest from the third row following an aggressive start with Avik and Aiman pursuing him closely. While Pratik did manage to cross the line first, he was awarded a 10 second penalty that pushed him down to the seventh position. As a result, Avik was declared the winner. He was followed by junior Bangladeshi driver, Aiman, who clinched his first podium finish even though this was his debut race. Meanwhile, Anmol Singh Sahil bagged the third position despite a difficult start from the seventh position.
The third and final race of Round 1 saw a smooth start with Jeet Jhabakh strategically maintaining his pole position throughout. He was followed by Anmol who seized the second position from Pratik in the first lap itself, pushing him down to the third. Thereafter, Jeet, Anmol and Pratik held their positions right upto the finish line. The race also witnessed an intense battle between Saurav Bandhyopadhyay and Pratik with Saurav trying to overtake him but Pratik managed to maintain his position and grabbed his first podium finish of the season.
Overall, Round 1 concluded on a positive note with minimal obstacles. Moreover, this year, the best lap for 16 drivers out of the 18 was within a second which is an achievement for Volkswagen Motorsports. What's more, Volkswagen Motorsports, for the first time, entered the FMSCI Indian Touring Championship and went on to bag seven out of nine podium finishes in the race-specced Vento. This feat was achieved by Karthik Tharani, Ishaan Dodhiwala and Dhruv Mohite.
Commenting on this occasion, Sirish Vissa, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport India said, “The Race 2 was quite difficult for few of our competitors because they ran far-off the regulations in terms of exceeding the track limits, but the three winners really did a good job and managed to achieve the first three positions. I am really impressed to see Bangladesh achieve the first two positions and make their country proud. All of the drivers in the last race have set a benchmark in terms of driving standards by putting on one of the cleanest race we all have come across.” He added, “This year, we are also happy to be recognized as the class of Indian National Racing Championship which means whoever wins the series this season will be recognized as the Indian National Racing Champion, so that is something which I am really proud of. The crowning glory for us is the fact that the best lap for the first 16 drivers out of 18 was within a second. This is a testament to how well the technical team prepares the cars and how evenly matched all of them are.”
The Round 2 of the season will move to Madras Motor Race Track (MMRT) in Chennai in July followed by Round 3 at Buddh International Circuit (BIC) in Greater Noida. For more updates, stay connected to Carwale.