The Volkswagen Polo R-Cup India 2014 came to an exciting and dramatic end on the weekend of 13-14 December, with Karthik Tharani crowned this season’s champion. The 20 year-old student took the spoils at the Formula 1 Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, ahead of Karminder Pal Singh who led the driver rankings before the championship finale.
Tharani was 70 points behind Singh at the start of the last round, but narrowed the gap between his compatriot, thanks to two race wins by the end of day one. Going into day two, Singh was leading by only 33 points. Race finishing positions of third, fourth and seventh were not enough for him to keep his championship lead.
Indian national karting champion Ameya Bafna triumphed in the second and third races ahead of Tharani, but was ineligible for points. Tharani therefore collected the full set of points for the victory as he came home in second place, helping him overturn Singh in the driver rankings.
As is usual in Polo racing, the last round of the Volkswagen Polo R-Cup India 2014 championship wasn’t without on-track drama. In race one, Anshul Shah lost control and rolled his car on the very first corner. Race two saw all the racing Polos switch to wet tyres to deal with the drizzly conditions.
Tharani went into a wet race three in pole position, but soon lost the lead to Lee Keshav. Tharani overcame Keshav, though, to clinch back the lead with Bafna following close behind at the head of the chasing pack. As the pair headed into turn three on the last lap, they were side-by-side with Bafna taking the inside line. Tharani ultimately lost the lead, but his job was done and the championship title was his.
Tharani meanwhile was pleased with his result: ‘I came to the last round of the season determined to put up the best show and with a win and a second place yesterday, I was even more motivated for today’s race. Ameya and I had a good battle on the last lap but he proved to be the better one.
‘Nonetheless, I was happy to earn the most important points which helped me lift the championship today. I would like to thank Volkswagen Motorsport India for giving us all a truly international racing platform and developing us throughout the season.’
Volkswagen Motorsport India runs the Volkswagen Polo R-Cup India 2014 series in conjunction with JK Tyres. The field of young largely Indian racers drive identical and centrally-prepared 1.4-litre TSI-engined, 178bhp Polo R-Cup cars.
JK TYRE VOLKSWAGEN POLO R-CUP INDIA 2014,
DRIVERS’ CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS
1 Karthik Tharani, 358
2 Karminder Pal Singh, 347
3 = Bonnie Thomas, 296
3 = Anindith Reddy, 296