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Jeet Jhabakh wins opening Volkswagen Ameo Class race in Coimbatore
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Jeet Jhabakh wins opening Volkswagen Ameo Class race in Coimbatore

Hari Kudchadkar

Jeet Jhabakh wins opening Volkswagen Ameo Class race in Coimbatore

Volkswagen Ameo Class 2019

Year 2019 marks the 10th year of racing for Volkswagen Motorsport India and the popular racing series is back again and with a national championship status. The Volkswagen Ameo ‘Cup’ will now be a full-fledged class in the MRF MMSC FMSCI National Racing Championship starting today. The driver who comes out strong at the end of the four round series will now be crowned a national champion. The first round commenced today at the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore and was held alongside the second round of the MRF National Championship which includes the Formula LGB1300, Super Stock touring cars and Indian Touring car series.

Hyderabad’s Jeet Jhabakh was in top form today morning, hustling his race Ameo around the 2.1km track with a best time of 1 minute and 09.571 seconds to set the bar in qualifying. With a similar groove, Pune’s Pratik Sonawane was able to join Jeet on the first row for a P2 start with Saurav Bandyopadhyay starting P3 on the grid for race one.

Nine drivers from the previous season were joined by nine more that were selected to race this season. 18 drivers were battling it out on an already damp track in an effort to open up the leaderboard. Jeet got off to a brilliant start, and kept a healthy lead over the pack throughout his 15 lap sprint. Pratik lost pace on launch due to a technical issue and feel to fourth behind Saurav and Anmol Singh. The pack spread out somewhere around the 4th lap with Jeet far into the lead while Pratik and Saurav fought for second. Saurav manged to maintain his position, but Pratik lost pace giving up his slot to a quick Anmol. There was quite a bit of contact between the cars due to the track conditions, adding to a lot of damage on the cars.

Anmol then took his chance at overtaking Saurav and was successful at slotting in behind the leader, finishing the first race in second place. Jeet took the top step on the podium, a terrific start to the season. Saurav managed to stick to third place while Pratik Sonawane finished in fourth place.

“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.” said Sirish Vissa, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport India.

Volkswagen Ameo Class 2019 Round 1 Race 1: Results:

  1. Jeet Jhabakh (17:48.937)
  2. Anmol Singh Sahil (17:52.579)
  3. Saurav Bandyopadhyay (17:55.182)
  4. Pratik Pandurang Sonawane (17:55.483)