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Volkswagen Ameo Cup Round 2: A Weekend Of Two Halves


Pratik Sonawane, Saurav Bandypadhay take top honors over the weekend

 

At the opening round of the 2019 Volkswagen Ameo Cup, we saw Jeet Jabhak take first blood with two dominant wins in Race 1 and Race 3 at the Kari Motor Speedway. We also saw Avik Anwar claim his maiden win in Race 2. Round 2 saw qualifying happen on Friday, with Race 1 on Saturday and Race 2 on Sunday. Could Jeet maintain his early but tightly knit championship lead over Anmol Singh? Or was there another twist in the title race? Here’s how the weekend panned out.

Race 1

Pratik Sonawane from Pune kicked off the racing weekend with an astonishing lap to claim his first pole position of the season with a time of 1:54.790. It was a whopping  0.766 seconds faster than Saurav Bandyopadhay (Mumbai) in 2nd while championship leader Jeet Jhabakh from Hyderabad lining up in 3rd position

Pratik got off well at the start and maintained a steady lead till the finish to take his first win of the season. Behind Pratik, the rest of the field had a relatively clean and consistent race despite an initial battle for 2nd between Saurav Bandyopadhay and Jeet Jhabakh on the first lap. Jeet stretched his points lead from Anmol Singh from Ghaziabad, who had a relatively quiet race to finish 5th.

Sirish Vissa, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport India, said, “We had a lot of drama on Thursday due to which the drivers lost some practice time. But the technical team put all the cars back together very quickly to ensure that no time was lost from Friday onwards. It has been a challenging week for us as a team and especially for the drivers as the weather conditions here challenging with high humidity and high temperatures.” He further said, “I am happy to witness the way the drivers managed to remain cool-headed in such challenging situations. This shows the amount of mental preparations the drivers have made. Overall it was a decent race.”

Sr.No.

Car Number

Name

Total Time

City

1

7

Pratik Pandurang

Sonawane

15:36.937

Pune

2

4

Saurav

Bandyopadhyay

15:41.501

Mumbai

3

5

Jeet Jhabakh

15:45.786

Hyderabad

Race 2

Race 2 was a stark difference from the straight forward Race 1. The top 12 finishers in Race 1 were placed in a reverse grid, which meant that Pratik Sonawane, Saurav Bandyopadhay and Jeet Jabhakh lined up 12th, 11th and 10th, respectively. On the other hand it meant that Harsh Seth was on pole followed by Avik Anwar in the first row and Najeeb Shaik and Anuranjan Velmurugan in row two.

The race kicked off with action all over the field; Avik snatched the lead at the start and looked to be holding on to it while pole sitter Harsh dropped down the field to 12th. The top three from Race 1 started clawing their way up the field with Jeet in the top 5, followed closely by Pratik and Saurav.  Eventually these three drivers were all fighting intensely for 2nd and catching race leader Avik in the process. The race reached a thrilling climax on the final lap with both Saurav and Pratik overtaking Avik and taking the first two spots on the podium respectively. Championship leader Jeet Jhabakh retired from the race due to terminal car damage sustained through contact with another car in the early stages and was unable to continue. This chaotic race will have a huge impact on the title race.

Sr.No.

Car Number

Name

Total Time

City

1

4

Saurav

Bandyopadhyay

15:49.972

Mumbai

2

7

Pratik Pandurang

Sonawane

15:52.896

Pune

3

17

Avik Anwar

15:53.007

Dhaka

After Race 2, Vissa 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 the championship is only expected to intensify from here onwards. I am hoping that this extremely close battle continues on to the last race”.

The next chapter of the intensely competitive Volkswagen Ameo Class 2019 will take place at MMRT with Round 3 and Round 4 being held in August & October respectively.

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