Karminder Pal Singh posts his second win of the season; Ishaan Dodhiwala finishes second to stay in the battle for the title

Karminder Pal Singh leads the pack of drivers during Race 6 of Vento Cup 2016

  • Karminder stuns with a surprise victory in the first race of the third round of MMSC Volkswagen Vento Cup 2016 at Madras Motor Race Track in Chennai
  • Ishaan Dodhiwala settles for second despite starting from pole position; Aditya Pawar claims final position on podium

Chennai, August 20th, 2016: Round 3 of the MMSC Volkswagen Vento Cup 2016 started off with top drivers dropping lap times every session as compared to the Round 2 timings. On one hand, the freshly laid track had started settling down, allowing the drivers to push harder session after session. On the other hand, the drivers were getting used to the new race track that Volkswagen Motorsport India had returned to the last time around after three seasons. The result of this was clearly seen in the Qualifying where Ishaan set a fastest lap time of 1 min 55.821 in his first flying lap of the session clinching pole position for the first race. Karminder took the second spot on the grid followed very closely by Keith Desouza and Aditya Pawar. The top four drivers were separated from each other by just 0.33 seconds guaranteeing top class competition in the race scheduled later in the day.

(L-R) Aditya Pawar (3rd), Karminder Pal Singh (1st) and Ishaan Dodhiwala (2nd) after Race 6 of the season

While Ishaan was the favourite for the first race of the weekend, it was Karminder who stunned everyone with a surprise victory. As the lights went off, Ishaan got off the grid with a lot of wheel spin which allowed Karminder to get past him with the inside line on the first corner. From then on, Karminder kept his lead all the way to the chequered flag and made no mistakes that could cost him his position. Ishaan stayed on his tail for most of the race but with no success of getting past. Behind them was where the maximum action was – Keith Desouza, starting third on the grid, had a bad launch and dropped all way down to sixth position allowing Aditya, Niranjan and Jeet to get past. After exchanging positions with Niranjan on a couple of occasions, Aditya got back in third position and held it till the end. Keith made his moves from sixth to fifth on the second lap of the race itself and then up in fourth on the eighth lap. However, by then Aditya had built a strong lead which Keith was not able to challenge and had to settle in for the fourth position.

Karminder Pal Singh in action during Race 6 of Vento Cup 2016

On winning the race, Karminder said, “My launch off the grid was the best today – that helped me get past Ishaan in the first corner itself. From then, I just wanted to drive a clean race and make no mistake. I went off a little bit mid-way through, but fortunately Ishaan made the same mistake and I retained my lead in the race.”

Sirish Vissa, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport India said, “It was a tight competition today – the top drivers are really within a fraction of a second of each other. This is the perfect recipe for a title battle for the title.” Commenting on the improved pace, he added “In the Qualifying, we already have a lap time under 1 min 56 and I am expecting the race pace to come in the late 1 min 56 timing range tomorrow. The Madras Motor Race Track has been improved a lot. That, along with our improved Vento Cup race car with the new tyres, new suspension and its updated setup has helped us find that extra pace.”

With reverse grid rule applying for the second race of the weekend, it will be last year’s Junior Cup winner Pradeep Rao starting on pole position, followed by Niranjan Todkari in second, guest driver Dhruv Behl in third and Junior Cup driver Jeet Jhabakh in fourth.

Sr. No. Car Number Name Best Lap Total Time
1 16 Karminder Singh 01:57.547 20:26.665
2 8 Ishaan Dodhiwala 01:57.532 20:28.120
3 7 Aditya Vijay Pawar 01:57.921 20:34.500
4 11 Keith Desouza 01:57.055 20:38.051
5 5 Jeet Jhabakh 01:58.220 20:43.330
6 15 Dhruv Bhel 01:57.899 20:44.280
7 18 Niranjan Todkari 01:57.116 20:44.511
8 20 Pradeep Rao 01:59.302 20:57.942
9 3 Amit Mete 01:59.059 21:00.538
10 21 Raunak Ajinkya 01:59.555 21:01.425
11 12 Gowdham Murugan 01:59.353 21:06.188
12 6 Hatim Shabbir 01:58.976 21:09.378
13 10 Arfath Mohammad 02:00.705 21:14.517
14 1 Rashad Khan 02:00.297 21:15.074
15 17 Arunshowry Vallabhaneni 01:59.243 21:18.498
16 9 Sree Venkata Teja 02:04.583 21:51.513
17 22 Debabrata Sarkar 02:02.126 22:10.495

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 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 and 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.