2019 MRF National Racing Championship: Volkswagen Motorsport claims 1-2 finish on ITC debut
The first day of racing in the opening round of the 2019 MRF MMSC FMSCI National Car Racing Championship was interrupted by rain today at the Kari Motor Speedway near Coimbatore, but not before a promising debut by Volkswagen Motorsport as a factory team in the Indian Touring Car(ITC) category.
Racing in the newly developed Vento TC4-A race cars, the team had three entrants in the revamped category. The Turbo class from last year has been dropped and the Super Stock category now races in a separate event. VW Motorsport had a 1-2 finish in the race today, with last year's Ameo Cup winner, Dhruv Mohite winning. Following him was Karthik Tharani who finished second. The third car driven by Ishaan Dodhiwala couldn't make the chequered flag.
Dhruv Shivaji Mohite winner of the first ITC race at Round 1 of the 2019 NRC
"This is my first season in the ITC and I am happy to win my debut race. I had a good start and after opening up a good lead, I held my position as I had a team-mate (Tharani) behind me rather than a competitor," Mohite said of his win.
Veteran racer Arjun Balu, in his newly redeveloped turbo Honda City, started at second between Mohite and Tharani. A missed gear at the start, and braking issues meant he finished third. Mohite finished with a time of 17m 20.10s, Tharani followed after 7.06s and Balu after a further 17.21s.
Jeet Jhabakh wins the first race of Ameo Class Round One 2019
Earlier in the day, Jeet Jhabakh took pole position in the first race of the newly affiliated Ameo Class, followed by Pratik Sonawane and Saurav Bandyopadhyay. In the race, after a first corner battle, Jhabakh maintained his postion to win, while Sonawane dropped to fourth. This let Anmol Singh and Bandyopadhyay take second and third respectively.
Bangladesh's Aiman Sadat topped the Junior category ahead of Viraj Jairaj Jhala and Chetan Surineni
Speaking of the Ameo races, Sirish Vissa, 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. MRF have made minor changes to the tyres for this season to achieve even better performance from the car. The team has been hard at work in the off-season with the development of the 2019 race car and results are evident. The drivers are happy with the way the cars have performed and mechanically the cars have been brilliant from the get go."
Before the rain washed out the LGB Formula 1300 event, the Super Stock event saw a clean sweep by the Race Concepts outfit. Rithvik Thomas, Prateek Benya and R Rajashekar from the team took the top three positions
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