27 July 2010 ~ 0 Comments

Volkswagen Polo Cup India 2010:
Prasad and Shankar win at Coimbatore

Following the historical inaugural round of the Volkswagen Polo Cup India 2010 on 29–30 May on a street circuit in Pune, Vishnu Prasad and Karthik Shankar were the most successful drivers at the second race weekend of the new championship at the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore on 17–18 July. In the first race, 17 year-old Prasad clinched a commanding start-finish victory after starting from pole position. Sahil Shelar took second place in the 20-lap race in front of Shankar.

Great start
Vishnu had a great start and led comfortably with Sahil Shelar and Karthik Shankar close behind him. Sailesh Bolisetti made a brilliant overtaking move to pass Mohammed Fahad Kutty for 4th position on lap 11. The safety car came out on lap 12 after Suraj Bhagat stopped on track at the second corner due to a collision. It was back to racing when the safety car veered back into the pits with five laps to go. Vishnu had no trouble picking up from where he left off and crossed the chequered flag to win his first race in the Volkswagen Polo Cup India 2010.

A delighted Prasad said: ‘I had a great first race today. And I would like to thank Volkswagen for organising the event and the technical expertise from the coaches. Although I had few bad starts, it was a close race right till the end, and I fought hard to keep my 1st position.’ ‘This is my first time on the podium and I hope to be back here after the second race this afternoon. I am looking forward to starting in the reverse grid, it should make for a very interesting race,’ a pleased second placed Shelar said. Third placed Shankar commented, ‘It feels good to be back on the podium, for he third time. My focus remains on the championship and I hope to be on the podium as often as I can.’

Nail-biting finish
In race two, 24 year-old Shankar secured first place in front of Prasad and Parth Ghorpade. Mohammed Fahad Kutty had finished the race in 1st position, but he received a 30-second penalty for overtaking during the formation lap that resulted in him moving to 13th place. In the end it was a nail-biting finish as Vishnu Prasad finished on Karthik Shankar’s tail after the duo battled for the last 5 laps. The second race started as a reverse grid based on the results of the first race. Despite this, Shankar who started from 6th position on the grid to went on to win the race and was followed closely by Prasad and Ghorpade.

Shankar pulled-off some brilliant overtaking manoeuvres to get past Imran Majid and Alisha Abdullah. Prasad practically tailgated Shankar in the last five laps of the race and proved to be a formidable challenger for the top position. The reverse grid also proved to be a boon for Ghorpade who started in fourth position and ended the race in 3rd position to round off the top 3 podium honours. Sailesh Bolisetti, who started 5th on grid and was quickly, working his way up the grid had a disappointing finish to his race as he spun out on the 6th lap after a close battle with Imran Majid.

Tough fight
A delighted Shankar commented, ‘I had a clean start, but struggled with some understeer in the beginning of the race which cost me some time. Vishnu gave me a tough fight right to the end of the race but I was optimistic about my chances after the first race. I guess Lady Luck worked in my favour.’ Second placed Prasad said, ‘It was a tough race right from the start. I always knew I had a good car but had to make sure that I was always pushing. I was able to gain two positions in C1, catching up with Shankar.’ Third placed Ghorpade commented, ‘Although I had a bad start and lost a few positions in the beginning, I managed to fend off the pack to find a place on the podium.’

After two rounds, Shankar leads the points table with 94, followed by Prasad with 87, while first round winner Sailesh Bolisetti rounds of the top three with 77 points. The third round of the Volkswagen Polo Cup India 2010 will be held in August, with the qualifying round on 28 August 28 and race day on 29 August at the Kari Motor Speedway in Coimbatore. The Volkswagen Polo Cup India 2010 is run by Volkswagen India Motorsport in conjunction with JK Tyres. All 20 young competitors drive identical and centrally-prepared 129bhp TDI Polo Cup racing cars.

[Source: Volkswagen Motorsport India]

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