-Pratik Sonawane wins the first race
-Saurav Bandhyopadhyay clinches first win for the season in race 2
-Third round to be held in August at MMRT
After an exciting Round 1 at the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore, the one-make Ameo Cup championship moved to the faster and more challenging Madras Motor Race Track (MMRT) in Chennai for Round 2. The first round witnessed Jeet Jhabakh winning Race 1 and 3 while Avik Anwar won the second race. Meanwhile, the first race of Round 2 concluded yesterday with Pratik Sonawane (Pune), Saurav Bandhyopadhyay (Thane) and Jeet (Hyderabad) finishing in the top three positions, in that order. The second race was held today with Saurav Bandhopadhayay clinching his first win for the season followed by Pratik Sonawane in the second position and Bangladeshi guest racer Avik Anwar in third.
The race witnessed Pratik Sonawane on the pole position after recording the fastest lap time in the qualifying round held on Friday. Meanwhile, Saurav Bandhyopadhyay accompanied him on the first row with Jeet Jhabakh and Siddharth Mehdiratta in the second row. Pratik got off to a good start by taking a strong lead. He was followed by Saurav and Jeet battling it out amongst themselves for the second position. However, Saurav maintained a defensive line in the initial laps and eventually charged ahead of Jeet. Thereafter, Pratik, Saurav and Jeet maintained their positions until the chequered flag was waved, with Pratik securing the first position.
The second race started on a reverse grid with the top twelve finishers from Race 1. So, Harsh Seth took the pole position followed by Avik Anwar in the first row and Anuranjan Velmurugan and Najeeb Shaikh in the second row. The race witnessed quite a few interesting turn of events that kept the audience at the edge of their seats right till the end. For instance, Harsh who had a pole advantage, made several mistakes in the first lap and dropped back to the 12th position. This worked in favour of Avik who took the first position and maintained it until the last lap. Meanwhile, Pratik, who started on the 12th position, progressed to the second position by the time he hit the last lap, using every lap to his advantage. On the contrary, it was a bad day for the championship leader, Jeet, who had to retire early in the race due to a collision with another car.
But, the race saw Saurav putting up a commendable show. Starting off in the 11th position, the Thane guy aggressively charged ahead of the others before finally overtaking Pratik and Avik in the last lap to clinch his first winning title of the season. Meanwhile, Avik's happiness over a good start was short-lived as he succumbed to pressure from Pratik in the final lap to settle in the third position.
Commenting on the second round, Mr. Sirish Vissa, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport India said, “It was a phenomenal race for us. The top drivers have shown consistent pace and preparations for the races. We are mid-way through the season and the battle for championship is only expected to intensify from here onwards. I am hoping that this extremely close battle continues on to the last race.”
The third and fourth rounds will be conducted in August and October, respectively at MMRT in Chennai.