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Pratik Sonawane wins opening race of Ameo Class round two
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Pratik Sonawane wins opening race of Ameo Class round two

Pratik Sonawane sets best time during qualifying, turning the P1 start into a stellar maiden  race win on day one of the Ameo Class round two

Hari Kudchadkar

The round two of the Ameo Class moves to Chennai, and was held alongside the third round of the MRF FMSCI National Car Racing Championship 2019 and the fifth round of the FIA Formula 4 South East Asia. Pratik Sonawane who had finished on podium in the last race of the previous round was determined to turn the 15-lap opening race in his favour.

Pratik showed great skill during Friday's qualifying sessions, setting the fastest lap time of 1:53.729 followed by Saurav Bandyopadhyay (Thane) in the first row. Starting P3 and P4 were Hyderabad’s Jeet Jhabakh and Lucknow’s Siddharth Mehdiratta. Pratik had set a pretty impressive form, which was unmatched even during the race. He got off to a clean start and had to fend off both Saurav and Jeet during the first few laps. Pratik kept notching up his time after each passing lap, creating a healthy gap of close to four seconds between him and Saurav. The battle for second was raging between Saurav and Jeet, but Saurav managed to stay glued to his position till the end of the 15-lap race. Pratik crossed the finish line, taking his first win of the season. 4.5 seconds behind him was Saurav who finished second, while Jeet came in at third.

“We had lot of drama on Thursday due 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.” said Sirish Vissa, Head of Volkswagen Motorsport India.

“It was a gradual progress for me through the weekend and most importantly I had to adapt to the track conditions as it kept on changing. On Thursday, my practice session did not go off well. On Friday however, I started picking up the pace and understood where exactly I could gain time. Slow and steady I increased my pace according to my strategy and I am happy that worked in my favour.” He further said, “Like always Volkswagen has put a fantastic car together which is really very efficient and something to be dependable upon. During Free Practice session two, I was the second fastest. Luckily, I was able to improve during Qualifying Session and achieved pole position as well as my first win at Race 1 of Round Two 2019.” Said Pratik Sonawane.

The second race of the Volkswagen Ameo Class round two will be held tomorrow at the MMRT, Chennai.