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Volkswagen Ameo Class 2019 Round 1: Changing Weather And Multiple Winners


Jeet Jhabakh dominated the weekend while Avik Anwar from Bangladesh claimed his first win in the series

This year has been very special for Volkswagen Motorsport India because the Ameo Cup is now recognised as a national racing event. This means that the winner will be crowned as an Indian national racing champion. Other than this technicality, the format for 2019 remains the same as previous years with Round 1 being held at the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu. The Ameo race car remains similar to last year with 18 racers on the grid, out of which nine are all-new to the series while the rest are from the previous season. While qualifying and race one took place on Saturday, Sunday saw two more races.

Race 1

Jeet Jhabakh, a familiar name from last season, took pole position after qualifying with a stellar lap time of 1:09:571, followed by Pratik Sonawane and Saurav Bandyopadhyay trailing behind with a difference of 0.003s and 0.056s, respectively.

A good launch off the line meant Partik could challenge Jeet for the top spot even before the first corner, but Jeet held his line and kept the pole advantage. Anmol Singh, who started from fourth, got up to second with Pratik falling back to fourth position behind Saurav. As the drivers put up a good fight, it started to rain after the first few laps, thereby increasing the challenge for the drivers. At the end, Jeet finished first followed by Anmol and Saurav in second and third. Race 1 was dominated by the pro drivers, with the first five positions going to them.

At the end of Race 1, Sirish Vissa, the head of Volkswagen Motorsport India, said, “The grid for the first race was one of the closest we have had with just 2.5 seconds separating 17 drivers. They also showed maturity keeping the cars on track in extremely challenging conditions with some rain”.

Sr.No Car Number Driver Best Lap City
1 5 Jeet Jhabakh 1:21:46 Hyderabad
2 6 Anmol Singh Sahil 1:10:15 Delhi
3 4 Saurav Bandyopadhyay 1:14:29 Mumbai

 

Race 2

Race 2 saw Jeet, Pratik and Saurav and other top qualifiers starting from behind due to the reverse grid format. Avik Anwar and Aiman Sadat, who started from the second and third position were fighting features while Pratik, who started fifth, drove aggressively and took the lead. But it was not Pratik’s day as he was handed a 10 second penalty for exceeding track limits, pushing him into seventh position. Avik crossed the line first, but it was the junior driver Aiman from Bangladesh that surprised everyone by claiming second in his first race weekend. Anmol Singh Sahil did not have the best start but slowly and meticulously moved up the order, clinching the final step on the podium. Race 2 was fairly clean, even though four racers (car number: 1, 3, 4 and 7) got a 10 second penalty for exceeding track limits at the first corner during the first lap itself.

 
Sr.No Car Number Driver Best Lap City
1 17 Avik Anwar 1:10:38 Dhaka
2 11 Aiman Sadat 1:11:33 Bangladesh
3 6 Anmol Singh Sadat 1:12:53 Delhi

Race 3

The grid position for the third race was based on the second best lap time achieved by the racers during friday’s qualifying sessions. This meant Jeet took pole, followed by Pratik and Saurav. Jeet did not have the best start but he strategically defended his pole position throughout the race to keep the pack behind him and claim the win yet again! The first lap saw Anmol snatching second position from Pratik and the trio held on to their positions till the end of the race. Saurav, who came fourth, put up a very good fight and was waiting for Pratik to make a mistake. However, Pratik had a redemption of sorts, and drove consistently defending Saurav till the end.

Sr.No Car Number Driver Best Lap City
1 5 Jeet Jhabakh 1:16:06 Hyderabad
2 6 Anmol Singh Sadat 1:15:35 Delhi
3 7 Pratik Sonawane 1:14:08 Pune

 

After the first race weekend of the Ameo Class 2019 National Championship, Vissa said, “ 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 races we all have come across.”

The second, third and fourth chapters of the race will take place at the Madras Motor Race Track in Sriperumbudur, Chennai over the course of the next three months. 

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