- Tense first race of the day saw many clashes throughout the grid
- Ishaan gets stronger in the standings with a win in the morning and a podium in the second
The second race of the MMSC Volkswagen Vento Cup 2016 Round 2 started under extremely hot conditions. With air temperatures above 35 degrees Celsius and temperatures inside the car going well above 50 degrees, it was not an easy day to race. Yet, the second race of the weekend saw a lot of nerve-racking driving from all the racers on the grid.
Starting on pole position was Chinese guest driver Li Huiwei followed by compatriot He XiXi in second. Title favourites Ishaan Dodhiwala and Karminder Pal Singh started in third and sixth positions respectively. Between them was guest driver Sirish Chandran in fourth and Aditya Pawar in fifth position. As the lights went off, Li Huiwei took a hole-shot and drove hard to build a strong lead ahead of the other drivers. He Xixi stayed behind and defended his position for three laps before Ishaan overtook him to get into the battle for victory. By then, Li Huwei had built a lead of more than four seconds over Ishaan. Ishaan was persistent and kept giving his best. As both of them entered the last lap, there was 0.6 seconds gap between them. Li Huwei made a small mistake in the first section of the circuit and that allowed Ishaan to take the lead which he then carried to the chequered flag.
Behind the top two was a five-way battle for the third position between guest driver He Xixi, Aditya Pawar, guest driver Sirish Chandran, Karminder Pal Singh and Keith Desouza. Aditya Pawar and He Xixi got involved in a collision which put both of them out of the battle. Sirish Chandran put up a great fight and emerged third, ahead of the seasoned drivers – Karminder and Keith.
After winning the second race of the season, Ishaan Dodhiwala said “It was a very difficult race today. Getting past He Xixi wasn’t easy. Once that was done, my target was to get to Li Huwei. I did close up to him by the last lap and the small mistake that he made gave me the chance to get past. For sure, this one was the toughest race of the season so far.”
Guest driver Sirish Chandran, commented after finishing third, “The conditions were really difficult today. The temperatures were really high and retaining concentration till the end was definitely very tough.” Talking about the finish, he said, “All the drivers were pushing hard and the competition was really high. I am used to rallying where you are up against the clock, the conditions around you and the rally stage. Here, you are up against 20 other drivers who are driving as hard as you are and that’s the tough part. It was great to have finished on the podium in the end after putting in all those efforts.”
The last race of the weekend turned out to be the cleanest one. Niranjan Todkari took a solid victory by going from pole position to chequered flag without losing his lead throughout the race. This was the first win for Niranjan in the 2016 season and with this the Vento Cup 2016 has already seen four different winners in five races so far. Following him were Keith Desouza and Ishaan Dodhiwala who also retained their second and third spot on the grid all the way to the finish line.
Volkswagen Vento Cup 2016 – Round 2 Race 4 results:
|Sr. No.||Car Number||Name||Best Lap||Total Time|
|11||9||Sree Venkata Teja||02:09.764||23:05.529|
|17||21||He Xi Xi||02:02.956||DNF|
Volkswagen Vento Cup 2016 – Round 2 Race 5 results:
|Sr. No.||Car Number||Name||Best Lap||Total Time|
|8||21||He xi xi||02:01.453||17:34.695|
|14||9||Sree Venkata Teja||02:07.358||18:23.305|
About Volkswagen Motorsport India: Taking ahead 50 years of enriching global motorsport legacy of Volkswagen, Volkswagen Motorsport India commenced operations with the Polo Cup India in 2010. The series started off with a first- ever iconic race being held at Shri Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex at Balewadi in Pune, the hometown of Volkswagen in India. The vast global expertise, coupled with rich dynamic history of the Group has enabled Volkswagen Motorsport India to progress swiftly and become the best one make series in a short span of time. The Volkswagen Polo R Cup enhanced awareness as well as underlined the technological advancement of Volkswagen in India. In 2015, Volkswagen Motorsport India shifted to Vento Cup and continued to provide a vital platform for the talented young racers to demonstrate their capabilities nationally and internationally by nurturing them. In the one-make series, all participating cars are technically identical with the same performance making it possible for only the most skilled drivers to leave an impact. Successes in Indian Rallying: Under the Customer Sport Initiative, Volkswagen Motorsport India started providing teams and individuals running Volkswagen Polo rally cars in the Indian Rally Championship (IRC) with technical assistance and spares from 2013. The Volkswagen Polo won the 2013 and 2014 season in the 1600-cc class.